Two mantels, two different looks

Mantels are one of the best places to decorate for the holidays and if you are like me, you love looking at different ones and different styles to get some ideas for your own.

I’m lucky enough to get to do two totally different ones every year, just for me.  Here’s my cottage mantel that I keep pretty minimal and rustic, totally appropriate for the country setting that it is in.

RUSTIC COUNTRY CHRISTMAS FIREPLACE

 

Photo credit: Justin Frost

RUSTIC COUNTRY CHRISTMAS MANTEL RUSTIC COUNTRY CHRISTMAS MANTEL RUSTIC COUNTRY CHRISTMAS MANTEL

 

I used lots of fresh local greenery, some pinecones in a vintage apothecary jar, some antique encyclopedias (which I have sprinkled around the entire place), some sparkly grapevine balls, a birdcage and of course some candleholders. Honestly, this mantel took me all of half an hour to do. Quick, simple and rustic, just the way I like my country Christmas mantels.

Now for my city house, I went with a more sophisticated style.

CHIC AND CLASSIC, GREEN, BLACK AND WHITE CHRISTMAS MANTEL

CHIC AND CLASSIC, GREEN, BLACK AND WHITE CHRISTMAS MANTEL

CHIC AND CLASSIC, GREEN, BLACK AND WHITE CHRISTMAS MANTEL

Some similar elements here, fresh greenery and some dried magnolia leaves (they do last a few years, if you are careful when you store them), some fairy lights and of course candlesticks and candles. I may just tuck in some white and clear christmas balls amongst the leaves, at some point.  Pretty, simple and classic, perfect for my home in the city.

Merry Christmas!

Lisa

 

 

Weekend meanderings and a new fireplace.

So how was your weekend? Great, I hope.  Mine, well I had a pretty productive weekend.  After three winters of dealing with the noisy and not so pretty wood pellet stove, it was time for it to go.  We put in a high efficiency and as large as we could fit, wood insert, to try and help with the exorbitant heating bills that we keep receiving, especially during this particularly long and cold winter.  And as an added bonus, it’s actually quite pretty in a masculine, log home kind of way.

This is the before –

photo 2

And the after (but I think you could have figured it out on your own) –

photo 1

So much better in my opinion.  It smells so good, you can see the fire so much better and we are certainly clearing up our stash of logs from some previous tree cutting.  There are only two things I would change, I wish it would have fit a little more flush into the space, but this was as good as we could get and I wish I had managed to clean off some of the soot on the stone, prior to the installation.  Does anyone have any good tips for cleaning the stone?  I’m all ears!

I also worked a little on the laundry room and managed to get some stencilling done.  I’m hoping to share the complete makeover next week.

photo-9

And speaking of this never ending winter, I was determined to de winterize the cottage decor.  Here’s some of the results.

mirror bunnies oars

So what were you up to?

Lisa

Fireplace Renovation from Wood Burning to Gas

fireplace-before

Before …

firepace-after

After …

   

This original wood burning fireplace had a raised marble hearth and surround.  The wood mantel had been faux finished to resemble green marble.  My clients wanted a gas insert and a cleaner, more modern silhouette that would fit the scale of the room better.  A flush slate hearth helps to make the room more spacious and the smaller brick slate surround keep the look more contemporary. The simple wood mantel was custom made and finished to match the wood floors.  Adding two new sconces completes the look and repeats the black finish of the gas insert.

From Wood to Gas

Thought I’d share a client before and after makeover.  This one is their family room wood burning fireplace.  They wanted to change it from wood burning to gas and to start over with a clean slate (no pun intended).

Here’s what we started with…no judgments please…..

The scale of the fireplace was much, much too large for the size of the room, so that needed to be addressed first.

And after much talk, design and, of course some messiness, we now have this….

As you can see, we removed the raised hearth and the original mantel and installed 12″ x 12″ slate tile for the flush hearth and small brick slate for the surround.  The mantel was custom made to match the existing wood floor.   A new paint colour and some up to date sconces and voila, a room that they can enjoy and be proud to show.

My clients are very happy and it’s pretty to boot.

 

Fireplace from wood to gas and beyond

I’m in the process of renovating a wood burning fireplace to a gas fireplace for a client.  The gas insert has been chosen and ordered.  

The slate tile has been selected and sourced to coordinate with the slate tile in their foyer and kitchen back splash.  They are very similar to this tile.  


I’ve sketched out the design (to scale) for the simplified hearth and mantel.  

And two of these sconces have been ordered for above the mantel.

I’ll be very excited to show you the finished fireplace.  To say the current fireplace is dated…well…that’s a bit of an understatement.   It will be a very DRAMATIC MAKEOVER!