Lee and Amy Calisti’s Contemporary home perches in the clearing of a Coastal cul-de-sac in the Early Academy Hill Area of Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Clad in a geometric orchestration of brick, glass, concrete and steel, the home strikes a balance of harmonious, refreshing and functional. “Eliminating the excess was a sustainable and also a visual target,” says Lee.
Lee, who is an architect, called his home House 6, and it represents his ongoing interest in contemporary, environmentally conscious single-family home design that’s also affordable. He says, “My home is my family’s refuge, my business card and my doctrine of home in a neat package.”
in a Glance
Who lives here: Lee and Amy Calisti and boy Noah
Location: Greensburg, Pennsylvania
Size: 2,217 square feet; 3 bedrooms; 3 baths
That is intriguing: The building site was formerly undeveloped; no virgin land was disturbed to build the house.
“From picking a building site to selecting materials to be used in the home, sustainability without excess expense was the goal of designing my family home,” says Lee. The south-facing rear allows for continuous sunlight through the day, saving on energy and heating prices throughout the year. Balconies away from the living room and master bedroom offer a place to take from the hilltop view.
Minimal glass onto the western side of the house celebrates the materials of the exterior and keeps the effects of harsh winter storms. The exterior materials include a combination of brick, Galvalume out of Atas, flat-seam metal panels and split-face concrete block.
The exterior of House 6 exudes a clean design aesthetic also found throughout the inside. Lee designed the steel mailbox and had it constructed by a local fabricator.
Door: Low thermal-emissivity glass, Pella
Light from large south-facing windows and doors illuminates the living space, reducing the demand for artificial lighting during the daytime. This complements Lee’s plan for cost effective living and also creates a warm glow that softens the house’s modern geometry.
All living room seating: La-Z-Boy
The spacious living area is Lee’s and Amy’s favorite spot in the house. “Even when we have family and friends over, everybody can still feel together, even if they are spread throughout the kitchen, dining and living rooms,” says Amy.
Massive windows welcome in views of the outside. Most of the kitchen storage sits below the counter line, making an expansive feeling that opens up the northeast corner of the house.
All windows: non thermal-emissivity glass, Pella.
The spacious kitchen features stainless steel appliances and custom-made maple wood cabinetry with Andredas Kitchens. The Bosch stove and dishwasher are Energy Star compliant, and the floor is Forbo by Marmoleum, a natural linoleum material. Magnetic jars over the range offer convenient access to spices.
The couple decided a warm main color palette for the primary living areas. “Amy suggested all the color ranges, and also we have large samples to hang on the walls in the space during construction,” Lee says. “Several decades later, we enjoy them just as much.”
A blouse by 10-year-old boy Noah adds a personal touch, infusing the space with warmth of the heart and hand.
“We both share a passion for clean and simple furnishings that feel comfortable also,” Amy says of this couple’s decorating philosophy. Symmetrical arrangements throughout the home, as seen here from the living area, play the asymmetry of the windows, lending rhythm to the space. The interplay between soft and hard, sleek and textural, and contemporary and traditional appears throughout the home. Lee says, “My wife keeps me grounded and real. She adds a balance to the kind of our home.”
The guest bath has a stainless steel bowl sink plus a mirror that is floating, which Lee designed utilizing a simple glass and wood plank.
The warm color scheme of this first floor carries through to the upstairs. The washer and dryer are tucked away on the right behind triple-paneled doors.
Paint: Hubbard Squash and Rookwood Terra Cotta, Sherwin-Williams
The master bedroom includes a refreshing and cool color palette. Lee designed a lengthy window over the headboard so they could see the sunrise every morning. An Ikea color installed onto a sliding path covers a different window for privacy. The color is left open throughout the day and acts as a contemporary tapestry, introducing pattern involving the area’s geometry.
Paint: Icelandic, Sherwin Williams; Chair cloth: Jo-Ann; rocking seat: Ikea
Lee is a minimalist in mind and designed the master bedroom closets to conceal garments and dressers. The Shaker-style cupboard doors by Alno Inc. have simple railings and recessed panels, paired with contemporary stainless pulls. Lee used the exact same drawer and pull styles throughout the house.
Striped walls and boyhood collections provide Noah’s room a youthful allure. “We felt it was important for Noah to have a place of his own, so we let him choose how to decorate it,” says Lee. “He wanted stripes, thus we painted stripes.”
Lee and Amy’s next home projects include installing built in storage and stone countertops, and finishing the basement as a playroom for Noah.
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