Make yourself at home at LUXE Pittsburgh
Brent Hugus doesn’t care much for trends. In fact, when it comes to high-end kitchen and bath design, the LUXE Pittsburgh co-founder prefers to let his clients hold the reins. “We try to set everything up so that we never tell the customer ‘no,'” he says. “So, if you want a white vanity with mirrored faces and a 62 ¼-inch-wide double-bowl sink, you know … whatever it is that you want, we can make it happen.”
Hugus and his partner, LUXE co-founder John Nicklas, opened their first showroom in Downtown Pittsburgh’s Market Square in 2010. Three years and one successful rebranding later, the LUXE trademark emerged in that same space — 200 Fifth Avenue — in April 2013. Six months after that, the duo’s second location — a 4,000-square-foot portfolio of designer tiles, lighting, cabinetry, countertops, plumbing fixtures, and beyond — became one of the first shops to open in East Liberty’s newly developed Indigo Square.
“My partner and I kind of saw what was happening — or about to happen — in the East End and East Liberty, similar to what we saw Downtown in 2010,” Hugus says of LUXE’s storefronts. “When we opened up the Downtown location, that was in the midst of when they were remodeling Market Square. And the whole Square was all torn up, and it was a little crazy down there. Since then, it’s amazing to see how many new restaurants are down there, and hotels, and the traffic. We basically saw the same thing out here [in East Liberty]. And East Liberty is surrounded by all of those neighborhoods that we do a good amount of business in—Shadyside, Fox Chapel, Squirrel Hill. It just made sense for us to take over this space.”
Surely, the bright, airy Broad Street showroom — laden with sleek appliances, bold materials, and futuristic vibes — seems the quintessential locale for a modern kitchen and bath powerhouse.
“I never thought in a million years that I’d be doing kitchen and bath design,” says Hugus, who wields a bachelor’s degree in interior design from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. “But [kitchen and bath] is such a good industry in that there’s so much new technology. We’re working with designer products, and the lines that we carry are the top in the industry. Our manufacturers are constantly pushing the envelope on developing new products and incorporating new technology into their products. It makes it really exciting because everything’s constantly changing.”
With four functional bathrooms and two working kitchens on site, technology runs heavy at LUXE East Liberty. Hugus points out a few of his favorites (all from top-tier German manufacturers): electronically activated cabinets by Eggersmann; a Dornbracht faucet that streams water on its own, whenever and in whatever amount you command it to; Gaggenau’s newest induction cooktop, which uses a magnetic shield to cool in a matter of milliseconds. Products like these, Hugus explains, are unparalleled in the United States. But as the Pittsburgh market’s only carrier of some of Europe’s most popular brands, LUXE has found a way to make luxury living accessible.
“That’s why we started this company,” Hugus adds. “To focus on these brands, and not the commodity products that you see everywhere from the big-box stores.”
In contrast to national home design and appliance corporations, LUXE Pittsburgh specializes in customization. Actually, Hugus thrives on it. One client, he tells me, recently requested an all-stone kitchen — and we’re not just talking countertops. For LUXE’s team of six interior designers, the challenge was met with unwavering enthusiasm. At the project’s completion, “75 percent of the kitchen was made out of stone,” says Hugus. “We can take stone and use it for cabinet bases, so that your countertop, your cabinet faces … everything matches.”
Of course, this design buff understands that the average consumer isn’t likely to provide such a detailed redesign map. For those seeking a new kitchen or bathroom without any finalized design plans, LUXE Home & Design offers everything from private consultations to live, in-store cooking demonstrations.
“We can actually show you how [our products] are going to work in your space,” says Hugus. “With the kitchen, we’ll have a chef come in and do a cooking demonstration to show you the difference between a gas cooktop and an induction cooktop. And we take the showroom to our clients, too. We’ll bring out a couple different faucets to the house, or different door styles, to see exactly how it’s gonna look in the space that you’re working with.
“We want people to understand we’re not just a kitchen and bath showroom. We’re way more than that.”
By our account, this poised and professional company is the only one you’ll need to visit come remodel time. Trust us: your streamlined kitchen and shiny-new bathroom will thank you later.
LUXE Home & Design / 5991 Broad Street, East Liberty / 200 Fifth Avenue, Downtown
+ Headed Downtown to dive into LUXE’s Market Square showroom? Don’t leave before taking a gander around the European-inspired cobblestone block. It’s Hugus’ favorite place in Pittsburgh, and for good reason. “I’m always in awe,” he says. “Downtown in general…it’s just really exciting to see what’s happened. The energy in Market Square, and people walking around, people working, people going out to dinner. We [at LUXE] go to Germany a lot for the lines that we carry, and we get to go to the factories and stuff like that. So we’re always traveling in Europe. And [in Market Square] you get that European piazza feel. I love it.”