Fireplace Mantels

Several weeks ago, I stopped by the local Barnes and Noble to see what was on the magazine racks. To my delight, I found the 2015 Jan./Feb. issue of Elle Decor. I fell head over heels for every project in the magazine, yet each project told a completely different story. The common thread was how each project was such a personal expression of each home owner and family.

This particular project caught me completely by surprise. If you’re like me, in the store, first you skim the entire magazine – reading story titles and looking at the pictures to see if the mag is “worth buying”. I thought I was seeing a New England style exterior. Maybe the coast of New England, or possibly the Hamptons. The exterior photo spoke to me.

elle decor, Jan Feb 2015; Architect, Frederik Bauer; photographer,bWickmann+Bendsten

elle decor, Jan Feb 2015; Architect, Frederik Bauer; photographer,bWickmann+Bendsten

Just a second! What were these interiors?

elle decor, Jan Feb 2015; Architect, Frederik Bauer; photographer,bWickmann+Bendsten

elle decor, Jan Feb 2015; Architect, Frederik Bauer; photographer,bWickmann+Bendsten copy

elle decor, Jan Feb 2015; Architect, Frederik Bauer; photographer,bWickmann+Bendsten

Clean, minimal, materials beautifully and honestly expressed, classical modern furniture and lighting. This was not your typical New England style home!  Had to buy the bloody mag! Upon reading the article, the house is located on a piece of land overlooking the Strait of Oresund, a body of water separating Denmark from Sweden. Designed by Danish architect Frederick Bauer the exterior, in many ways, expresses a “New England vernacular”. The interior images, say modern Belgium and Denmark. The twist is the open plan layout is inspired by a SOHO apartment. A truly diverse melange of styles and influences beautifully executed.

Some people might question the strong juxtaposition of style and detail. As in Harry Potter’s Platform 9 ¾, this project confirms that one can seemlessly step thru the front door of a home into another world full of magic and delight. As a designer, I can appreciate the total commitment of both client and architect to the fulfillment of a vision. I LOVE it!

Personally, could I live in this house? That’s another conversation…

Cheers,

John Kelsey, Wilson Kelsey Design

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This one’s going to be a quickie… Everything is snapping into focus. Today the tile was grouted. The Francois mantel was installed and the cabinetry people began their punch list work. Tomorrow the glass table top and much of the miscellaneous trim will be installed. I’m so looking forward to seeing the walnut island finished! Friday, decorative light fixtures and possibly the big painted floor reveal!

What you can’t see here are the cool little floating stone shelf we made out of the jerusalem gold tile on either side of the cook top. The product is called Ledgeline, manufactured by Innovis Corporation. Screw it to the wall, tile it and Voila – floating stone shelf! Below the shelf will be a Legrand GFI duplex outlet in Satin Nickel.

All for now.

 

Cheers,

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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,

To visit our website, click here.

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