By Rachel Jones | Photographs by Michael Fornataro

This time last year, a new opportunity came knocking for Kent Koch. The president and owner of Koch Construction Company, Inc., who specializes in custom-building high-end homes, opened the door to a project that would lead his business in a more urban direction. It called for a contemporary residency that would exude New York style while still staying inside the Pittsburgh area. “I’d never done that before but wanted to see if I could do it,” says Koch. “I’ve been doing this for 30 years, and it’s always nice to do something different.”

To ensure the smart house maintained stylish elegance inside and out, Koch enlisted Selma Sherman to help design the interior layout. “When he showed me the space, I was beside myself with excitement,” says Sherman, interior designer for Selma B. Sherman/Interiors. Immediately inspired, she got to work incorporating elements that maintained the contemporary-urban vision she shared with Koch. Open floor plans, high ceilings, and the latest technologies and entertaining amenities came together. Sophisticated touches, like the free-standing soaking tub and floated vanities in the bathrooms, and the glass banister along the LED-lit staircase, carried the sleek simplicity throughout the home.
“I put all of my favorite things in there,” she says.

One of our favorite things is that the unit is one of 11, which are all connected by skywalks and share a common courtyard. Members of each unit also share an exercise room and a communal kitchen area where parties can take place. The only thing not taking place here is shoveling snow, as the secured entrance — which homeowners drive into before pulling into their own two-car garages — is heated.

Thoughtful in function and design, the breathtaking abode at 2500 Smallman St. incorporates the comforts of a family home within the excitement of a metropolitan setting. “If somebody’s looking to live in the city,” Koch says, “this is the place to be.”

Perlora provided the furniture and James Gallery provided the art for the staging of this home.

The family room opens up to the patio via a 16-foot NanaWall that closes into itself for an expanded entertainment space. Fuel the festivities in the outdoor kitchen, complete with a coyote grill and Green Egg.

A tiny speaker inside the climatized wine cellar bounces sound waves off of the three glass walls and turns the entire area to a giant speaker, allowing music to radiate through the dining room as you choose which of the 300 bottles the cellar holds to serve your guests. Plus, Koch installed similar speakers on the windows above the master bathroom for musical accompaniment while singing in the shower.

“To me, that’s elegant and contemporary,” Sherman says of the chandelier above the staircase, her favorite feature in the home. “That sort of sets the tone.”

With a color scheme of soft gray and taupe against the metallic backsplash, the heart of the home follows the beat of comfort and ease. Prepare every meal flawlessly, thanks to the kitchen’s top-of-the-line appliances and ample counter space, topped with waterfall granite.

“All of the ceilings are 11 feet or more, so we tried to utilize the space in all of the closets and provide storage all the way to the top,” Koch says. Sliding ladders, similar to those librarians use to climb high bookshelves, were added to the walk-in closets and the laundry room for a convenient way to access these maximized spaces.

Fab Features

  • 4,725 square feet
  • Master bedroom with a walk-in closet and a center island inside for extra storage
  • Guest bedroom with a walk-in closet and a private bathroom featuring a Robern Uplift mirrored medicine cabinet
  • LED accent lighting surrounding the perimeter of both bedrooms
  • Master bathroom with floor-to-ceiling Dekton wall panels, a wall-hung vanity, a Robern Uplift mirrored medicine cabinet, a Kohler Digital Oversized Shower with railhead and infinity drain, and a soaking tub with neck roll
  • Kitchen with Viking double ovens, two-door refrigerator, two-door freezer, six-burner stovetop, two dishwashers, and a microwave housed in the center island
  • Wet bar, complete with wine cellar, ice maker, and waterfall granite-topped bar
  • Family room with built-in shelving, a 48-inch horizontal gas fireplace, and access to an outdoor living space that leads to the interior courtyard
  • iPad-controlled technologies, including temperature, lighting, sound, and HD surveillance
  • Tesla-adaptable garage, ideal for charging electric cars
  • Shower in the garage for washing off your pet’s paws or muddy shoes after a walk

Koch Construction Company, Inc., recently won the 2016 Builder’s Association Metropolitan Pittsburgh (BAMP) Excellence Awards for Best 50+ Housing Single Family Attached Home Over $500,001 and Best Single Family Attached Home of the Year Over $500,001 for this home. Congrats!

Koch Construction Company, 412.292.8389.
Selma B. Sherman/Interiors,


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