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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Seven Stylish Window Treatments for your Kitchen Sink Window

Here are seven stylish window treatments for your kitchen sink window:

1. Valances: padded, awning and swag styles.

A valance is a window dressing that covers the top portion of the window. Styles range from fabric-covered padded boards to dressy swags to flat straight-cut valances. A valance is usually mounted on the outside frame of the window, allowing for a privacy blind or shade to be mounted underneath.

Valance photo collage

Pinterest and Urban Aesthetics

2. Roman shades

Roman shades can be made as a valance (decorative) or as an operable shade. This classic design works well in both traditional and modern kitchens. Custom Roman shades can be made with your choice of fabric to bring colour and elegance to your kitchen.

Maria Killam's roman shade

Maria Killam’s roman shade over her kitchen sink window

3. Bamboo/woven grass shades

This is a great way to add a natural woven texture to your kitchen décor. A bamboo or woven grass shade filters the light and provides privacy. It can roll up under a valance or fold up like a Roman shade. Made from natural woods, reeds, bamboo and grasses, they are unique in that over time they attain a one-of-a-kind finish, like other wood features in your home.

Hunter Douglas Woven Woods roller shades

Woven woods roller shades

graber-woven wood roman shades

Roman shade woven woods

4. Stained glass window panel

This idea is practical and beautiful.  Stained glass windows have been used as decorative accents for hundreds of years. Choose the panel in a size to cover as much or as little of the window as required to hide the view or provide privacy, and in a design that provides the colour and style that complements your kitchen. As my friend who provided this photo of her window says, “While I love the view of my neighbour’s yard, this allows them some privacy. I don’t feel like a Peeping Tom, and I still get beauty and natural light.”

Stain glass panel in window above kitchen sink

Photo by Sheilah H.

5. Shutters

Vinyl shutters are one the best options for window coverings in high moisture areas. They can be wiped clean and are incredibly durable in a kitchen environment. The second image below shows how this style of shutter can provide privacy when the bottom half is left closed, while still allowing light in by leaving the top half open.

shutters on kitchen sink window

Hunter Douglas Palm Beach shutters

 

Luxaflex shutters

Luxaflex shutters

6. Light filtering shades

While you may want privacy, you likely don’t want to block out all the light that comes through the kitchen window. This is where I recommend a light filtering polyester roller shade or honeycomb shade. They are easy to clean, easy to operate, and the honeycomb shades can be ordered with the top down/bottom up feature so you can lower just the top of the shade, allowing you still to see out your window.

Top down/ bottom up honeycomb shades

Top down/ bottom up shades

Sheer screen roller shade

Sheer screen roller shade

7. Shelves and plants

What I like about this option is that you can have plants do what they do best: grow in a moist area, provide shade and give you nourishment. Glass shelves secured to ledges in the window frame give you the perfect area to grow herbs or your plant of choice. And the best part is that you won’t forget to water them!

 kitchen-window-herb-garden orchids as window dressing

What’s on your kitchen sink window? Do you need to add a window covering for privacy or to block an unpleasant view?

If you would like more information or even a free estimate regarding a treatment for your kitchen sink window, email me at info@urbanaesthetics.ca

For more inspiration, check out my Pinterest board.

For even more design inspiration, check out these ideas on the Urban Aesthetics/Hunter Douglas website

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Styling an Autumn-Themed Fireplace Mantel

This seasonal home décor project is how to style an autumn-themed fireplace mantel with seasonal items.

For me, fall decorating is all about bringing in natural materials and using found objects from in and around your home to create your seasonal decor displays.

Before

The mantle that I want to style is only 5 1/8″ deep, which makes styling it a bit of a challenge because the decor items all have to work in a linear arrangement.

Create interest by adjusting the heights of the various items as well as using objects with a variety of shapes and sizes.

I started with collecting all the items that I may or may not use and put them together on the coffee table. This makes it easier to see the various shapes and sizes of the objects, and from here I can pick and choose what I want to try out.

(Mmm…. I forgot to remove the seasonal cupcakes that I was using as motivation before I took this photo lol)

So I started with placing two stacked books on the mantel to be a pedestal for the glass bottle with the maple branch cutting on the the right side. Then I filled the apothecary jar with the potpourri (which I purchased only for the colour) and placed that next to the books.

When you have two items that are the same material but different sizes, you can make them seem the same size by how you stage them. By elevating the smaller glass vessel and having the large maple branch overhanging the larger glass vessel, you create the illusion of visual balance.

I added glass pillar candle holders to the left side.

Autumn mantle in progress

I wanted to have an art piece in the middle of the display, but I couldn’t find a piece that I owned that worked, so I used a window-like framed mirror instead. I added the small pumpkins and the dark brown vase to the left side.

But after taking the photos, I found that the overall look with the dark vase wasn’t working for me, so I changed it out for a cream coloured vase.

Autumn mantle

Autumn mantle

All photos by Nancy DeVries

And there it is!

Feel free to share if you have been inspired to create your own autumn decor display!

 

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How to be Trendy with Tangerine in 2012

The new “it” colour in design for 2012 is Tangerine Tango. This has been determined by PANTONE® which is the global authority on color and provider of professional color standards for the design industries which ranges from fashion, graphic design, plastics, automotive and paints.

I like what Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®, says about this year’s color:  “Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy.”

So should a report like this be the reason why you will rush to your local paint store to purchase gallons of this paint colour or why you might order new living room drapes in this colour? I mean, don’t the decorating magazines tell us not to decorate our homes in “short shelf life” trendy ways?

Well, I think there are ways to incorporate trendy colours into our home without making a huge commitment to the trend (unless of course, you just LOVE this trendy colour and you want to enjoy throughout your home).

It is important to know what the latest trends are because truthfully, we all want to be stylish in one way or another.  We all desire the hottest digital item or the newest spring fashion shoes. Even though we know that something better is going to come along in a year or two, we still rush out to buy the hot, right-this-minute item. It’s just our human nature. So why do we deny ourselves the latest trendy style in home decorating?  Trends can become timeless so if you love it, why not use it?

To help you find ways to incorporate this punchy, exotic and energizing colour into your home décor, I’ve found a collection of photos that show off this colour in various room settings and products.

Tangerine

BM sitting room

 

Tangerine

Kate Spade Bathroom

 tangerine accents

Sarah Richardson Hilltop

 

tangerine

Bamboo bowl

 

West Elm nightstand

 

tangerine artwork

Kate Spade dining room

 

tangerine accents

Orange accents

 

Farrow & Ball Charlotte’s Locks

And this last photo is from a bed & breakfast that I stayed at when I was in the Netherlands this fall. The wall colour in most of the homes we were in were white or off white and the trim, doors and accents were in a bright or deep colour.  It looked colourful, fresh and novel.

Photo by Nancy DeVries

But  if you’re not ready to bring it into your home, you can try it on at your local Superstore.

Latest fashion from Joe at your local Superstore

Latest fashion from Joe at your local Superstore

Tangerine Tango is a fun, sassy color for 2012! I suggest bringing it into your home first with accessories – such as pillows, warm winter throws, lamp shades, or other decorative accessories. If you love the color and you are ready to take the plunge, I suggest pairing it with colors such as navy blue, white, black, taupe, beige and even purple! You can create your own wallpaper effect with Tangerine Tango by creating a wall stencil, then using the color to create a bold, unique pattern on your wall.”  David Bromstad – host of HGTV Color Splash

So how will you use Tangerine Tango this year?

If you would like help with your colour selections, click here to book your appointment with Nancy.

 


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5 Steps to a Quick Christmas Arrangement

I love using natural materials at any time of the year to decorate my home, but I especially love it during the Christmas holiday decorating season. 

Here is one example of a quick arrangement that I put together in a very short amount of time. I took photos of the process.

  1. Gather from your garden (or local nursery) some cedar branches, huckleberry or boxwood branches along with some decorative ornaments.

cedar branches

2.       Fill your urn with water and place the cedar branches inside, arranging them to hang over the edge of your planter. cedar branches planter box

3. Place about 3 twigs of huckleberry or boxwood (which you can spray paint to add colour or sparkle) among the cedar branches near the back.

4. Place an oversized ornament (or lichen ball as shown) in the centre of the branches to weigh them down to keep them in place.

5. Add other decorative ornaments or ribbons to your arrangement for the finishing touch. Cedar branches arrangement

Now wasn’t that easy?

If you have any quick holiday decorating ideas, share it with us by leaving a comment!

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