The Klugs in their new home/studio/gallery in Carnegie.

By Carol Reinert

Most couples downsize when their kids fly the coop. Not Dave and Patricia Klug. They bought a 100-year-old, three-story, 16-room former church rectory in need of renovation.

The couple called Mt. Lebanon home for the last 15 years, and while they loved the community and their home, it had limited office space. Dave, an artist, painted in a cramped garage and Patricia, who owns a marketing and advertising company, headed to a coffee shop to meet with clients. They also rented space for an office and the fulfillment center for their company, Klugworld, a veterinary communications business.

“Originally, we planned on getting a storefront in an urban neighborhood, so Dave could showcase his work,” explains Patricia. “We wanted space for offices and a meeting room on the first floor and planned to live on the second floor.” They also had to consider Ollie and George, two mutts they rescued from Animal Friends, who require a yard.

Home of Double Dog Studios and more. Photo courtesy of the Klugs.

Then they spotted an old rectory in Carnegie, part of St. Joseph Catholic Church, which was destroyed by a fire in 1981. The unscathed rectory, a spacious and handsome red brick four-square, was most recently used as a real estate office.

“Our lives are based so much on visual problem-solving so we can see the potential of something right away,” says Patricia.

The renovated kitchen at Double Dog Studios. Photo courtesy of the Klugs.

The property, the fourth the couple has renovated and now known as Double Dog Studios, gives the Klug enough space to live, work, entertain clients, display their art and house their company all under one roof.

Before they renovated the interior, the Klugs took care of Double Dog Studios’ namesakes, Ollie and George, by removing half of the parking lot and fencing in the yard.

Next, they removed all traces of the 1980’s décor, including the pastel pink and blue wall-to-wall carpeting throughout the house. They started stripping the floral wallpaper but discovered that removing it would damage the century-old walls so they resorted to painting the paper, applying an oil-based primer so the paint would adhere.

They lost count of how many gallons of paint they went through for the many rooms, all with 12-foot ceilings, along with the seven-foot wide hallways. They painted the floors as well.

The seven-foot wide hallway can accommodate a seating area under the triple stained-glass windows. Photo courtesy of the Klugs.

To give the space a cohesive feel, they used a limited color palette of gray and white with two shades of blue on both the walls and the floors.

The Klugs tackled all the grunt work with occasional help from their children, Jacob and Lucy. Fortunately, the place was in great shape.

“The former owners were careful to keep it preserved. The construction and craftsman quality are amazing,” notes Patricia.

The Klugs in their new home/studio/gallery in Carnegie.

While the Klugs kept the original floor plan, they made one major renovation, which was the kitchen. Thanks to the adjacent and gigantic, mahogany butler pantry, they didn’t need cabinets. Instead, they installed floating shelves, added a large island and upgraded the appliances, all designed to blend with the original architecture.

The only time they needed a contractor was to deal with a few electrical and plumbing issues.

Now, after six months of renovation, they enjoy three spacious floors with more than enough space to live and work.

The first floor features offices, galleries, the kitchen and pantry, plus a small store where Dave’s artwork is for sale. The ample hallway is set off with gallery lighting for dramatic effect.

“We intentionally kept the kitchen on the first floor so we can hold chef dinners and tastings in the future,” explains Patricia.

The second floor is their living space. When Lucy is home from college, she has the former housekeeper’s suite: a bedroom and bath with a back staircase to the kitchen. The remainder of the second floor includes the Klug’s bedroom, as well as a guest bedroom, a dressing room and a music room (Dave plays drums in The Red Beans & Rice Combo).

The third floor is now a fulfillment center for Klugworld, which sells sympathy cards, welcome cards and posters to animal care providers around the world.

“We think we just brought the house back to its original purpose,” says Pat. “The business of the church was conducted on the first floor and the priests lived on the second floor.”

While the house is now working very well for them, Pat says the improvements will likely never be over.

Come spring, the Klugs will plant a garden and announce the first artist to be featured in their gallery.

“If we take care of the house, the house will take care of us,” adds Dave.

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