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About Esther Dormer

Esther Dormer has designed a range of chic projects, from condos and apartments to commercial stores, with a special focus on small spaces. 

Esther’s brilliance is taking limited square footage (often drab, uninspired, barely practical or just rundown), and turning every project into an open, luxurious, spacious and functional environment.  Though challenging, Esther creates breathtaking, expensive-looking, sophisticated and elegant design achieved with an affordable budget. Designing stylish yet still firm with lots of extras (like storage, much-needed in small spaces) to make every space as practical as it is striking with a positive flow through the rooms, Esther continues to create the illusion that the actual space isn’t small but generous! 

With an eye for detail, finishes and resources that look budget-breaking but are not, Dormer consistently produces romantic, chic, and contemporary apartments, homes, commercial spaces, and even outdoor spaces within the inner city.   

Esther Dormer’s work has been documented in the press globally.


The merging of the decorative with the utilitarian

The New York Times


Old Pittsburgh Condo Turned Luxurious Home

I turned an old, rundown condo into a luxurious and fashionable home.

Carport turned Dreamy Patio

With the addition of an herb garden and fire pit, I was able to turn this unused carport into a dreamy outdoor patio space.

Hilltop Home with City Views

This was once an unlivable one-bedroom in Pittsburgh but after completely reconfiguring the layout, it became a well-designed small space. I even added a back deck to take advantage of the outdoor space and stunning city views.

City Bungalow

I gave this 100-year-old home a much needed makeover. Starting out as a narrow building with its only bathroom in the basement, I transformed it into a 70s-inspired rental property.

West Virginia Lakehouse

I kept family and friends in mind when I was working on this Cheat Lake property by including a bedroom of bunk beds. I added an internal garage door to the kitchen for a seamless indoor-outdoor feel.

Luxurious Farm

My vision was to transform this farmhouse into a luxurious rural escape.

Urban Oasis

Charming Open-Concept

This Pittsburgh home was old but structurally sound. I changed the first floor into an open concept and added a white resin picnic bench for a fun focal point. It is a 1500 square feet home but boasts three outdoor spaces.

Luxurious Modern Home with Rustic Finishes

My goal for this 600 square foot space was to create a feeling of warmth and luxury. I was able to repair the existing hardwood floors but added lots of fun lighting to modernize the home.



From the brainstorming stage to installation, we can work together every step of the way.


Repurpose any space




Item selection

Recycle any space into a functional and enjoyable one. With experience completely reconfiguring floor plans, I can help you make the most of your space.

Whether from the ground up or a single room, renovations can transform even the worst of spaces into your dream home.

Recommendation of finishes, curation of artwork, décor, furniture, and more.

I have the eye and resources to help you finish off your home to reflect your individual personality and taste.

Building a Healthy Home

I studied with an expert on building healthy homes for now and into the future. These are some aspects of a well-designed home that can make you feel healthier and happier that are also kinder to the environment.

  • Choose healthy flooring options with non-toxic glues.

  • Proper ventilation, including screen doors and limiting air conditioning when possible.

  • Reduce EMF exposure from cell phones to computers.

  • Choose healthy beds and mattresses for an optimal sleep environment.

  • Add plants to create high quality indoor air.

  • Best heating options (radiant floor heating) or steam.

  • Properly filter the water you drink and use to bathe.

  • Clean air options to enhance indoor air quality.

  • Create an indoor garden for good herbs at your fingertips.

  • Use non-toxic pest control.

  • Use non-toxic paints.

  • Smart shopping: how to choose furniture and how to allow for off-gassing safely.

  • Choose to position a house to maximize the sunlight enhances mood.

  • Eliminate unhealthy cookware.

  • Good oven choices to enhance food and reduce exposure to microwaves and ovens.


Take a look at these pre-renovation images that prove no home is too difficult to make beautiful.


Small-space living can be expansive and luxurious when Esther Dormer is your designer.  Known for taking limited spaces and making them seem much larger and function perfectly, with open kitchens, plenty of storage, and lots of big windows that bring the outdoors inside plus luxe touches, Esther is an expert and easy to work with.  We love our new home.  It’s sophisticated and elegant but not formal or stuffy.  It fits the way we live perfectly.

Kathy D

Get in Touch

1522 Bingham Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15203

(412) 997-2527

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