Make yourself at home in LUXE Pittsburgh’s design showroom
June 23, 2016
Brent Hugus doesn’t care much for trends. When it comes to high-end kitchen and bath design, the LUXE Pittsburgh co-founder prefers that his clients weigh in as much as possible. “We try to set everything up so that we never tell the customer ‘no,’” he says. “If you want a white vanity with mirrored faces and a 62 1/4-inch-wide double-bowl sink … we can make it happen.”
In 2010, three years prior to trademarking the LUXE brand, Hugus and LUXE co-founder John Nicklas opened an independent showroom in Market Square, Downtown. They publicly rebranded as LUXE Pittsburgh in April 2013, and later that year, launched a second showroom — a 4,000-square-foot portfolio of designer tiles, lighting, cabinetry, countertops, and plumbing fixtures — in East Liberty.
At the time, the ongoing redevelopment we see in East Liberty today was still fairly new. When LUXE settled into the neighborhood’s Indigo Square, it was one of very few businesses to occupy the area — a move Hugus says was intentional. He compares the East End’s dramatic changes to those observed Downtown in 2010. “When we opened up the Downtown location, that was in the midst of [the] Market Square [remodel]. 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].”
The strategy was a wise one, especially considering East Liberty’s proximity to Shadyside, Squirrel Hill, and Fox Chapel, neighborhoods that Hugus says bring the company “a good amount of business.” Laden with sleek appliances and bold patterns, the sunlit Broad Street showroom certainly seems a fitting locale for a kitchen and bath powerhouse.
Wielding a bachelor’s degree in interior design from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Hugus admits that he never anticipated a career in kitchen and bath design. Though, given his enthusiasm and obvious talent for the industry, we think he ended up in the right place. “There’s so much new technology,” he says of LUXE’s various designer brands. “Our manufacturers are constantly pushing the envelope on developing new products and incorporating new technology … everything’s constantly changing.”
With four functional bathrooms and two working kitchens on-site, LUXE employees are encouraged to stay on the pulse of the latest housing technologies. Hugus shows us some of his favorites, all manufactured in Germany: electronically activated cabinets from Eggersmann; a Dornbracht faucet that will automatically stream a set amount of water at a specific time of day; and Gaggenau’s newest induction cooktop, which uses a magnetic shield to lower its temperature in a matter of milliseconds.
As the only Pittsburgh-based carrier of some of Europe’s most popular brands, LUXE is committed to making innovative living accessible.
“That’s why we started this company,” Hugus says. “To focus on these [independent] brands, and not the commodity products that you see everywhere from the big-box stores.”
Unlike some larger corporations, LUXE Pittsburgh welcomes customized orders. Hugus recalls a recent project in which, at completion, “75 percent of the kitchen was made out of stone.” For LUXE’s six-person design team, the request was a first; the challenge was met with unwavering energy all the same.
For homeowners seeking any single or multi-room redesign, Hugus suggests scheduling a private home consultation to gauge how different design components will look in your space. He also encourages attendance at LUXE’s live cooking demonstrations in the East Liberty showroom.
“We’re not just a kitchen and bath showroom. We’re way more than that,” he says.
By our account, this poised and professional company is well-suited to meet your personal remodeling needs, whether they involve stone, granite, or super-streamlined functionality.
+ Hugus’ go-to spot in Pittsburgh? Market Square. “You get that European piazza feel,” he says. “I love it.”