When I started the project, back in August 2013, the bones of the space were already in great shape--all the space lacked was paint and cohesive furniture selections/placement. Well, almost. One other glaring weak point was the pre-existing brick fireplace surround, dating back to the original construction of the home. The tired-looking brick facade just didn't seem to work with the new, clean aesthetic, even with the handsome, live-edge wood mantel that the homeowners had added.
|"Before" Image of Existing Brick Fireplace Surround|
We jumped right in and started working on floor plans, paint colors, and furniture/fabric selections for the two spaces (more on that in a future post), vowing to address the fireplace at some point down the road. About half-way into the project, I stumbled upon the inspiration I needed, in the form of a wedge-shaped, natural stone tile, called V-tile by "Island Stone." Vtile by Island Stone It came in several colors and we eventually settled on a medium gray Quartzite, which had a nice neutral tone but was far from boring, with naturally occurring sparkles and flecks. After watching a very informative video on the manufacturer's website about suggested patterns for the product, we decided to do a dry-stack (no grout) application, with alternating rows or courses of (1) large V-tile, then (2) narrow. The tiles were placed thick-end to thick-end, then thin-end to thin-end, producing a lovely undulating effect. The finished fireplace is perfect for the space. It's tall, stately, and deceptively simplistic looking. The colors of the Quartzite blend nicely with the pre-existing black slate hearth and the undulating tiles give the room richness and depth. So much so that the client and I both felt the fireplace no longer needed a mantel or embellishment in the form of hung art. The fireplace surround IS the work of art.
We're still fine tuning the newly acquired furnishings and adding finishing touches to the room, so I don't want to reveal the whole thing just yet, but I am happy to say that we've found a clever reuse for the beautiful live-edge mantel that came off the old fireplace. We've decided to use it as a floating wall shelf, just to the left of the fireplace, creating a little spot to set a drink, place a candle or two, and nestle a floating ottoman beneath. I've very excited that we get to reuse this piece and can't wait to see it once it's hung.
|Discussing Placement of the Floating Shelf|
There are so many more neat features to this project, and hopefully things will wrap up in the next couple of months and I will be able to reveal more of the space. For now, consider this a little teaser.