Sunday, February 2, 2014

Fireplace Redo

When we added on to Brambly thirteen years ago we did some "temporary" things because we didn't have the budget to do everything we wanted at once. Since then I have learned that "temporary" easily becomes "semi-permanent" as life gets busy and time passes by. The living room fireplace is an example of temporary becoming semi-permanent. We originally put in a gas fireplace because we already had a wood fireplace in the adjoining library. The gas fireplace put out a lot of heat, but we quickly realized that the propane was costing us a small fortune. We began to avoid using it and relied on our central heat to keep us mildly warm.
 About a year ago I began to obsess on finally finishing the fireplace. We knew we needed to find another fuel source so we could be comfortable in the room. Although I was leaning toward wood, we decided to go with a pellet stove on a thermostat so the room would be warm in the morning and when we got home in the evening.
A look at the new fireplace.
An old photo of the way the fireplace used to look. Our archaic television was in the red cabinet.

The old fireplace and mantel were removed and we had it cutout for the new flat screen.

We flanked the new fireplace with built- in bookcases.

Although I am not a huge fan of the look of pellet inserts, I am a huge fan of the affordable, convenient heat they produce. The old, slip covered wing back is my new seat of choice in the room. However, with my first grandchild on the way (yikes), I am scouring upholstery catalogs trying to find a nice looking swivel rocker. This has not been an easy task.

My husband did the herringbone brick work. I've had the rattan chair since I was eighteen and I cannot part with it.

I was determined to hide the new flat screen behind doors.

I wanted to have pictures above the fireplace. We affixed them to the cabinet doors with ultra strong construction glue.

It was important that the doors looked like they were part of the box panelling.

The silhouettes of our family were above the old fireplace and I wanted to have them over the new fireplace as well.

The new "permanent" fireplace makes the living room look and feel so much warmer.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Wine Cave Dinner

A few months ago my business designed and planned a rehearsal dinner at beautiful vineyard. It was the inaugural event in the newly constructed cave and we were honored to be asked to do the first event.
The only request we had from the family was that it would be elegant and inviting. We chose to rely on candlelight and glass to achieve a romantic, warm glow in the cave. We hired a local caterer who specializes in authentic paella. She prepared the meal outside the cave in the open air lounge we created with vintage furniture, fire pits, and a 10 ft. upholstered bar while the guests listened to live music and ate appetizers.

Mirrors and over 100 candles ran down the center of the table. Four large candelabras added elegance and drama.

We placed an antique sideboard and mirror at the end of the cave. It was covered with candles and held extra bottles of the vineyard's celebrated Barbera and Tempranillo wines.

Square plates and ivory linens. We used pink peonies for a pop of color.

It turned out to be a beautiful evening and the guests stayed and enjoyed it until the wee hours of the morning. When the guests were done with the meal they spilled out into the lounge and enjoyed live music around the fire.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Bedroom Redo: The Mantel

Here are some photos of the mantel in my daughter's room. I have a few more projects to do before I finish the room, but my life has suddenly become extremely busy and I am lucky if I even get dinner made and the laundry done.

I just wanted a quick and inexpensive mantel makeover.
Here is a grainy before photo of the mantel-dark and boring.
I  painted the mantel a glossy ivory. I did not want to spend much on decor- I painted the backside of art I already had with a buffalo check and I added some vessels from the thrift store.
I've had this antique dress form for years and love the way it looks in this room.
I prefer the simple look of the mantel and my daughter seems pleased too.