Fireplace Mantels

Sally and I met with the home owners of the new French Country Residence for which we are designing the interiors and their contractor on Saturday. It was a marathon meeting, lasting from 11 AM until almost 5 PM. A post on the kitchen design can be found here. (The kitchen continues to go thru incremental refinement which I will cover in a separate post.) The purpose of this meeting was to review and recap where we were on wood floor selections, review all the proposed crown molding, door jambs, wood base and panel trim in the house, fireplace mantels for the living room, family room and master bedroom, door hardware and tweaking the kitchen plan. (While we were there, we offered input on the exterior limestone and stucco colors, exterior window trim color and slate roof tile colors. Sally and I are rarely without comment when asked our opinion…)

Starting with wood floors, we presented several options from C&R Flooring. The first was a rift and quarter sawn character grade white oak floor sealed to look unfinished. I loved the floor – a perfect neutral palette upon which to design the rest of the house around.. The client did not like it at all…

 

The second sample from C&R, a HomerWood character grade white oak oak floor, was also rejected.

 

So… We moved on to several other samples prepared by Baba wood floors. The first was a fumed white oak with a cream colored fill to bring out the grain of the wood. The husband liked it. Wife, not so sure…

 

The wife liked the honey toned Baba sample on the left. Neither liked the dark filled sample on the right.

 

Unable to make a selection looking at such small samples, it was decided that a visit to the Carlisle Wide Plank Floors facility in New Hampshire might be useful. Meanwhile, I am researching installation photographs with Baba.

Our attention shifted to the ceilings and crown molding for the major spaces of the house  - the foyer with it’s 18 foot high ceilings, living room, dining room, kitchen, family room, library and master bed room. The foyer molding is 14″ x 14″ and looks terrific at 18 feet! We will be adding a little embellishment on the flat surfaces between the trim molding.

 

The living room and dining room are to be quite formal with an elaborate crown and a chair rail and panel molding on the walls. This sample was close, but needs refinement.

 

We looked at two master bed room samples. This was rejected because the embellishment was on the frieze. (Very left hand sample.) Fortunately,  we had prepared a second sample with the embellishment on the crown. (Second from right.) The second from the left will be the family room crown – simpler and more relaxed. We decided to hold off on the kitchen and library crown moldings until there design of the cabinetry in both rooms is more complete.

All the samples were assembled with White River profiles. We are now considering plaster for the above rooms. I am looking forward to our visit to Boston Ornament to consider their decorative plaster options and possibilities. We reviewed the panel molding, door jambs and wood base for the house, but I won’t bore you with all the details.

 

Our discussion then shifted to the focal points of three rooms, the fireplace mantels for the living room, family room and master bed room. We are considering two marble mantels from Chesney’s. (The drapery at these windows is going to be a challenge, as it will be in the master bed room.)

The family room’s contenders are limestone mantels from Francois & Co. and Chesney’s. (I have a funny feeling we may see a Francois hood over the range in the kitchen.) I think the family room could use boxed beams in the ceiling, don’t you?

The Master Bed Room’s mantel is a Francois & Co. mantel. Petite and gorgeous!!! The second mantel is one I designed, which wraps around the chimney box. Due to very limited space our option were few. I’m thrilled with the outcome! (Anyone interested in the wrap around mantel? It could be made of either wood or stone.) It’s hard to see,  but I changes the scale of the crown molding in the second sketch. The first was too heavy for the scale of the room.

The kitchen was the next topic and I will save reporting on that animated discussion for another post.

While we were there, the contractor presented several options for materials and colors for shingles/slate, stucco, limestone and window trim. We of course weighed in on the subject by pulling up images of several gorgeous French homes from a previous blog post, which you can see here and an example can be seen below.

I’m loving the doors and delicate Juliette wrought iron in the second floor windows.

(Source unknown)

All in all, a very productive meeting. Sally’s next immediate task is plumbing fixtures (among many things on this project…), while I refine the design of the foyer and foyer stair, rework the kitchen, and prepare concept sketches for the master  bath and library. Never a dull moment…

Have a wonderful week!

 

Cheers,

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I wanted to follow up on our previous post about being published in the Summer issue of Boston Common magazine. Due to editorial limitations, our comments on another house were not used on the story. Sally and I felt they were worthwhile sharing, as they illustrate how we can help a real estate broker better represent a home’s potential, or if we’re working with a client, how we can help them better visualize a room.

We commented on two rooms in the house – a large living room and the kitchen. In this post, I will focus on the living room, which you see below.

In it’s current state, the room struggles with it’s identity. The architecture reminds me of Arts and Crafts detailing. The furniture – I not quit sure what’s going on… The wood trim is too dark while the mantel, which should be the focal point and anchor of the room is too weak. The chandeliers and sconces need help.

We proposed lightening the trim color and reworking the mantel/hearth area creating a cozy inviting place where you would want to settle in a linger – have a good conversation with  friends or become absorbed in a good book and add a friendlier chandelier. We proposed adding boxed beams, making the room feel smaller and intimate.

After preparing the sketch, I felt the mantel was too heavy – needing to be softened and lightened in scale and feel. The elevation sketch below is much more to my liking.

Pulling this together was intense and a just little crazy. On the other hand, (occasionally) it’s fun to test yourself and find out what you can create in a limited amount of time.

Cheers,

To visit our website, click here.

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If you would like our assistance on your design project, contact us here.

 

 

In the May/June Issue of The English Home magazine, I found several image of wood (coal?) burning stoves such as you see in this Chesney’s ad. I’ve always seen them placed in front of the fireplace with an extended hearth. (A code thing in the US perhaps?)  I rather like how neat and tidy they appear and in the right application would give it serious consderation.

 

I posted a picture of an installation on the WKD Facebook page today.

Have a wonderful weekend. Sally and I will be looking for ways to beat the heat. Temps in the low 90′s! YIKES!!!

Cheers,

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