Buying Here: Fox Chapel


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"I was inspired by two or three homes that I had seen on Fifth Avenue in Shadyside. I liked the look of the stone. I wanted to re-create it."

Anyone who lays eyes on the exterior of the Renaissance Revival-style home at 422 Fox Chapel Road in Fox Chapel would agree that the owner/builder nailed it. The inside is a whole different design story.

The stately home, which sits on 2.2 acres, is on the market for $3.8 million through Marie Pace of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services (412-361-4000, ext. 265 or www.howardhanna.com).

Its interior design could be best described as modern art deco with classic touches. There isn't a surface you don't want to touch, sit on or envelop yourself in. It was designed to be used, and nothing feels off-limits.


Fox Chapel
At a glance

  • Web site: www.fox-chapel.pa.us
  • Size:

    8.5 square miles

  • Population:

    5,436 (2000 census)

  • School district:

    Fox Chapel (www.fcasd.edu.)

  • Enrollment:

    4,385

  • Average SAT scores:

    Verbal, 563; math, 568; writing, 562

  • Annual taxes on a $100,000 house:

    $2,758; Township: $240 (2.4 mills); School: $2,120 (21.2 mills); 1 County: $398 (4.69 mills)

  • Earned income tax:

    1%

  • History:

    Fox Chapel was home to the Seneca Indian tribe until the late 18th century. History documents the first white settler as James Powers, who arrived around 1790. The land was later named for John Fox, a German immigrant who landed in 1831 and farmed the land around the present Faith United Methodist Church until his death in 1889. His daughter donated some land to the Methodist Protestant Church for a chapel to be named his honor.

1

Includes the Act 50 Homestead Exclusion, which reduces assessed market value by $15,000 for county taxes


The owner, who asked not to be identified, and his wife, an interior designer, have a young, active family.

The house has five bedrooms, six full bathrooms and three half-bathrooms, but its heart is the 20-by-40-foot kitchen with shapely, sinewy curves that are lit for dramatic effect. In the ceiling, recessed lighting peeks out from a tiny bulkhead; small, red handblown-glass pendants hang above the island; and the 2-inch-thick glass countertops have a lighted edge that can be dimmed. The floor-to-ceiling curly maple cabinets are finished with a high-gloss poured acrylic, and a glass tile wall infuses the whole room with a jolt of color in shades of red, purple and tan..

The center island seats five and has an offset ancillary counter with a decorative design in the glass. The lower counter has a cooktop with a potfiller, a stainless-steel hood and lots of storage. .

The kitchen is outfitted with GE Profile appliances, including a 400-bottle wine room with temperature and light controls. The bottles sit on dark acrylic ruby-red rods that impart a warm glow that won't affect the wine quality.

Another fun feature is a serpentine-shaped bar sink sunk right into the glass counter between the kitchen and the great room. Its long, slinky shape is great for parties.

"We fill it up with ice and bottles of wine, turn on the counter lights and it just feels like a party," the owner said.

The floors are honed marble and run throughout the main first floor with slightly different colors, designs and patterns.

The adjacent great room has a lighted coffered ceiling and a large fireplace finished in the same vertical tile found in the kitchen. That room flows into the playroom -- a smartly designed space that has banquette seating for 12. Armrests and bolsters in a modern, creamy yellow upholstery provide comfort, while the seats lift up for loads of toy storage. The center of the room has a convertible work/billiards table with bench seating that is perfect for crafts. Two large skylights and windows brighten the room, and large doors access a cabana room.

The cabana measures 60 by 23 feet, running the length of the back of the house. It is enclosed on three sides by a run of glass accordion doors that can be opened for summer use.

A large outdoor kitchen is nestled along a 20-foot long curvy counter that seats 12. It's party-ready with a beer tap, gas grill, built-in ice chest, refrigerator sink and plenty of storage. Two mini fireplaces allow the space to be used in winter, too.

The cabana opens to the saltwater pool that measures 35 by 70 feet. A circular water slide and eight jets produce a fountain stream on the circumference. Across the patio is a guest house with 1,150 square feet of living space.

The main entrance is an homage to art deco design, with creamy venetian plaster walls set off by a magnificent hand-forged polished stainless steel railing.

"It took the craftsmen almost three years to complete it," the owner said.

Glass panels are set in the stainless fan-motifs that run throughout. At the top of the staircase, a skylight of stained glass pours color down on the trio of waterfall-style light fixtures from New York with crystal and purple anthracite balls.

Upstairs are four bedrooms, including a master bedroom suite. There also is a playroom. Three of the bedrooms range between 13 by 14 feet and 15 by 17 feet, all of them with walk-in closets designed by California Closet Co.

The master bedroom measures 20 by 22 feet. The master bath features an acrylic blue soaking tub as the centerpiece with high stainless-steel faucets. A separate shower boasts a 14-head water fixture. A double vanity holds blue vessel sinks with faucets set in mirrors.

A large dressing room has a run of drawers that separate the space for two. Carpeted throughout, it has open and organized storage with fixed lower hanging racks, motorized upper clothes racks, and nooks for shoes, accessories and more. There's a second water closet in the dressing area.

The lower level of the home is designed for activity with a home gym and an authentic 1930s movie theater room with a classic art deco motif. The 110-inch rear-projection screen is set up for movies or television and has state-of-the-art surround sound. A kitchenette with a popcorn machine rounds out the space.

The home is open for tour to pre-qualified buyers only.


SALES SNAPSHOT


ASPINWALL


2010

2011

SALES

55

40

MEDIAN PRICE

$175,500

$195,700

HIGHEST PRICE

$371,000

$600,000



BLAWNOX


2010

2011

SALES

17

25

MEDIAN PRICE

$105,000

$92,000

HIGHEST PRICE

$175,000

$365,000



ETNA


2010

2011

SALES

46

42

MEDIAN PRICE

$57,900

$54,900

HIGHEST PRICE

$150,000

$125,000



FOX CHAPEL


2010

2011

SALES

59

65

MEDIAN PRICE

$520,000

$475,000

HIGHEST PRICE

$2,225,000

$2,274,338



HAMPTON


2010

2011

SALES

243

210

MEDIAN PRICE

$188,000

$199,850

HIGHEST PRICE

$1,137,500

$905,000



INDIANA


2010

2011

SALES

91

61

MEDIAN PRICE

$177,000

$182,000

HIGHEST PRICE

$1,011,000

$1,250,000



MILLVALE


2010

2011

SALES

41

39

MEDIAN PRICE

$31,800

$19,900

HIGHEST PRICE

$204,900

$105,000



O'HARA


2010

2011

SALES

116

120

MEDIAN PRICE

$185,000

$189,000

HIGHEST PRICE

$730,000

$924,000



RESERVE


2010

2011

SALES

46

49

MEDIAN PRICE

$105,000

$85,000

HIGHEST PRICE

$176,000

$162,000



SHALER


2010

2011

SALES

387

373

MEDIAN PRICE

$134,420

$131,500

HIGHEST PRICE

$343,000

$375,000



SHARPSBURG


2010

2011

SALES

36

33

MEDIAN PRICE

$36,900

$49,500

HIGHEST PRICE

$152,000

$180,000



Correction/Clarification: (Published June 13, 2011) A Fox Chapel home has four upstairs bedrooms including a master bedroom suite. There also is a playroom. Three of the bedrooms range in size between 13 by 14 feet and 15 by 17 feet, all of them with walk-in closets designed by California Closet Co. The description was incorrect in a Sunday story.
homes

Rosa Colucci: rcolucci@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1661. First Published June 11, 2011 4:00 AM


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