Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Glass Imagining North Side Woman Creates Third-Floor Retreat 2015- 16 Renovation Inspiration Contest/winner, Small Residential Category

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Glass Imagining North Side Woman Creates Third-Floor Retreat 2015- 16 Renovation Inspiration Contest/winner, Small Residential Category

Article excerpt

Like many things in Robin Alexander's house, the project started with a stained-glass window. Her 125-year-old Victorian in Perry Hilltop didn't have any when she bought it 20 years ago, but she has been working in stained glass as a hobby for many years.

Since she moved to the North Side, she has been replacing or accenting clear windows with colorful panels that tint the abundant sunlight drawn into her three-story home. She slowly worked her way up to the third floor, which overlooks the Ohio River from one small window. With an artist's eye and a love for purple, Ms. Alexander transformed it into a teal-and-lavender retreat that was chosen as the winner in the small residential category of the PG's Renovation Inspiration Contest, sponsored by Dollar Bank.

"This room suddenly became a great space," she says, and the judges agreed.

About two years ago, Ms. Alexander took a hard look at two third- floor bedrooms and a large closet whose plaster was cracked and paint peeling. "It's a very weird space. I love the angles."

She envisioned the closet as a master bathroom, one bedroom as a sitting room and the other as a master bedroom. Then she found a teal-colored toilet at Construction Junction in Point Breeze, a non- profit retailer of salvaged and surplus building materials. It's one of her favorite stores.

Her idea was to buy a clawfoot bathtub and paint it to match. But she decided it would dominate the small space and opted instead for a smaller tub with art deco curves that she found on Craigslist, another favorite source.

Then she got to work on a stained-glass window in teal and her favorite color. "When i was young, I liked magenta," she said. Now it's darker, more like eggplant.

For the floor, Ms. Alexander chose travertine tile from Craigslist and accent glass tile from a tile store going out of business. …

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