Fireplace Renovation With a New Custom Cabinet and Floating Shelves: Before and After

My client’s family room had a red brick fireplace that dominated the space and she wanted a change. Because of the odd size and the lack of a mantel, the fireplace seemed out of place and unfinished. And since the client wanted to upgrade to a remote-controlled energy-efficient gas insert, this was the perfect time to redesign the fireplace surround. A full fireplace renovation was in order. In the end, she wanted her fireplace to complement the look and feel of the rest of her home that we had updated and transformed over the years.

Custom cabinet and floating shelves with new fireplace surround

After

Fireplace Renovation With a New Custom Cabinet and Floating Shelves: Before

Here’s the before:

red brick fireplace surround before renovation

Before

full wall view with red brick fireplace

Fireplace wall before

A fireplace is always a focal point in any space. When choosing fireplace design materials, there are a few considerations: the overall aesthetic that the client preferred, the style of the home, and proper scale of the surround. What will hang above it (if anything) is an additional consideration, whether it’s a TV or decorative objects such as a mirror or artwork.

Fireplace Renovation With a New Custom Cabinet and Floating Shelves: After

For the fireplace surround, we decided on a light, neutral tone ledgestone tile from Julian Tile. The contractor, Vaile Long from All the Right Angles, did a fabulous job rebuilding the fireplace frame and tiling the surround.

fireplace ledgestone tile with wood mantel

I suggested that we create a built-in cabinet on one or both sides of the fireplace surround and the client opted to go with a built-in on the left side only since she already had a freestanding sideboard on the right side.

We talked about our options for the wall above the cabinet and whether we should design a full height box with shelves, have floating shelves or leave the space open for a large piece of art. In the end, we decided on floating shelves so my client could use the space to display photos, art, accessories and books.

pictures and vases on floating shelves

Floating shelves styled with personal items

The custom cabinets were built and installed by troico, based out of Coquitlam, BC. They really did an excellent job with the finishing of the cabinet and shelves. The client especially appreciated that they scribed the cabinet to the ledgestone tile of the fireplace surround.

built-in white cabinet with wood top next to fireplace

Cabinet built by troico

To keep the wood tones similar, we specified a close match of the wood stain colour for the mantel and the cabinet top from the client’s sideboard, and from the wood flooring. Years ago we had selected the wall colour, Dry Sage by Benjamin Moore, and the client still loved it so we left it as it.

We wanted the space to feel fresh and up-to-date while maintaining the style of the finishes to have a subtle nod to traditional roots. The medley of the white painted wood, the rich wood tones, and a classic stone finish accomplish just that.

Brown chair and new fireplace

Speaking of renovations, you’ll also want to check out how we transformed our outdated bathroom into a modern spa.

Want even more interior decor inspiration? Follow me on Instagram!

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PowerView Motorization – Intelligent Shades that Simplify Your Life

The next step in window covering motorization technology is coming soon to a window near you. It’s called PowerView by Hunter Douglas and it’s all about two-way communication between you and your window coverings.

More details will come in July when it launches in Canada, but yesterday I, along with other authorized dealers, got a preview of how it works and how the new features, like the Pebble Remote and the Scene Controller, will transform how light and privacy can be controlled in our homes.

PowerView Pebble remote is available in seven colours

Pebble Remote

The new Pebble Remote is ergonomically shaped and is very user-friendly, with buttons for a group of shades operation, shade up/down, vanes open/closed, and my favourite, a STOP button. Previous remotes had only an up or down button, and in order to stop the shade, you had to press the button that was the opposite of the direction of the way the shade was moving. The Pebble cover is available in ten stylish colours.

The Pebble Scene Controller lets the user create scenes to balance different lighting and privacy needs throughout the day. The user can create a scene that is called Good Night which can make the shades lower and close at a certain time or whenever it suits the mood.

PowerView motorization

PowerView App

Another great feature is the new PowerView App, (which is available for Apple, iOS, and Android). You can personalize how your blinds will operate on their own in line with your lifestyle.

For example, you leave your house for work in the morning when its grey and rainy, you turn your lights off but forget to open your blinds that are in the closed position from the night before. Around noon you see that the sun is out, and you want to make sure that your houseplants don’t die from light starvation because your blinds are closed all day. You can go into the PowerView App via your mobile device and open your blinds with a swipe of your finger.

Or, say it’s a Saturday afternoon and you are out doing your errands. Your teenager is at home still sleeping and you want the lawn to be cut before you get home. Use the App on your phone to open up the blinds in your teenager’s room! Now how have you lived without that powerful feature? LOL.

For the energy conscious homeowner, you can schedule the operation of your window shades to optimize your home’s energy efficiency. So when the sun is beaming through your living room window during the afternoon, you can set the time for your blinds to close so you can reduce your solar heat gain. You can even schedule Scenes to operate with the sunrise and sunset based on your location.

This technology is unique and innovative, as well as fashion-forward. for you and how you live.

If you would like PowerView motorized window shades for your home, contact me at info@urbanaesthetics.ca to set up an in-home consultation.

For more information on the features and benefits of PowerView, check out the Urban Aesthetics-Hunter Douglas website 

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How remote control blinds can allow you to relax in your home

So you’re curled up on the couch with your favourite drink and your snuggle buddy (mine is my dog, Zoe) – ready to watch that highly-anticipated movie, ready to truly relax, when you suddenly realize that the glare on your screen means you need to close the window coverings! You could get up, ruining the comfortable little nest you’ve made for yourself on the couch. Or… you could close your motorized, remote control blinds without even leaving your seat! Wouldn’t that be nice?

Couple-Watching-UP-TV1

Automated motorized window covering products include drapery tracks (that roll from left to right across the window), solar screen or fabric pleated shades (that move up from the bottom), and even shades that move from the top down.

remote control blinds

Any motorized blind can respond to your command by the push of a button on a wall switch or a remote control.You can even move the shades with your favourite mobile device! For example, Hunter Douglas provides an app for Apple products that allows full control from your iPhone or iPad. hd_app_1_0

Some manufacturer’s automated shades can have a timer that can be set to respond to the time of day, a pre-set room temperature, or even the position of the sun. This means the blinds can:

  • automatically close to stop the sun’s glare from damaging or discolouring furniture and artwork
  • open in cold weather to keep your heating bills down
  • close in warm weather to keep your cooling bills down
  • open in the morning to provide a pleasant wake-up call
  • close when you’re away to prevent anyone from seeing in

The possibilities are endless. Just imagine if you have a motorized shade in your children’s rooms… While you are in the kitchen enjoying your morning coffee, you realize it’s late and you still can’t hear your kids getting up for school. To help them wake up, you pick up your iPad, and with a single swipe of your finger, voila!, their blinds are opened without you even having to step foot in their room!

In all of these great explanations why motorized shades are so convenient and easy to operate, the number one reason why most of my clients ask about motorized shades is that their furniture, or their teenager’s pile of clothes, is blocking the access to the blind’s pull cords.

Remote control blinds

In spite of all these benefits, you might think that the cost of automatic blinds would outweigh the practical application. However, over the years they have become more and more affordable, as well as user-friendly. Furthermore, their cost can be off-set by the long-term energy savings from decreasing both your heating and cooling bills. There are numerous companies that provide excellent automatic systems, including:

Whole-Home Integration

Along with controlling your Hunter Douglas PowerView® shades through the PowerView App and Pebble® Control, PowerView® Motorization also seamlessly integrates with other sophisticated whole-home automation systems. Synchronize your ‘Scenes’ to automatically activate in coordination with your other smart home devices to create picture-perfect settings throughout the day, every day.

With the right motorized blinds, you can make sure your home gets the light—or shade—it needs in a way most convenient for you.

If you would like an estimate on motorizing your window coverings, contact me at info@urbanaesthetics.ca

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