by Faith Teel
This post is just for you "blue and white" fans! I'm one of you. I love the new trend of color sneaking in with all the gray and white we've been seeing, and blue is so easy to integrate with neutrals.
Speaking of gray, remember those blue-gray bookshelves that we installed at 55 South Market in downtown Asheville?
This is project is from the same apartment, where the blue theme is carried over into the next room. But when we first arrived on the scene, it was just a plain white box.
Of course, it was headed someplace a little more daring.
The homeowners planned to use this room as an office, and they needed a shallow set of shelves (since the room is fairly narrow) that would still hold their deep printer. We were brought in to add a custom bookcase with a special deep shelf.
That's our design for the shelves. We do lots of white bookcases (they're classic!) but this was the first time we put them up against a Navy-blue wall, and the effect was really nice even in the model.
We built them at the same time as the gray fireplace surround. And in addition to all of these bookcases, we built a pair of sliding Shaker-style doors which were destined for the office bathroom.
These would take up less floor space than an ordinary door, which would allow the homeowner to use more furniture in the small room.
Then the painters were brought in...
... and we got to work soon afterward.
I love this view of downtown Asheville. I could work in an office like this!
On the other side of the office, the sliding doors leave room for a comfy chair.
Classic white bookshelves like these look good in any room. Give us a call to get yours.
We just finished up a fantastic "before and after" transformation of a fireplace hearth. Let's start with the "before."
It all took place in a very nice living room with pale blue walls and white trim. But wait... what's that...?
Whoever built this house must have run out of time when he put the fireplace together. It's hard to see from our photos, but the existing mantel jutted out almost a foot into the room and looked rather out of place.
The homeowner was having trouble styling it to look right, and since her boyfriend is an English teacher, she also wanted to add bookcases on either side, but didn't know how to tie into that mantel.
They each had different ideas about the style of the fireplace. She prefers modern, and he prefers traditional. The existing style of the room could go either way, with a wide traditional baseboard but relatively simple window trim. With that in mind, we decided to go with a "transitional" style that walked the line between modern and old-fashioned.
Our first design was based on the dark gray mantel which we installed recently in downtown Asheville:
However, that mantel wouldn't work here. That style looks its best when it stands out in front of the bookcases, and due to fire code regulations our new mantel would have to be recessed behind the bookcases. This is rare because most fireplaces jut out into the room... and it was a real design challenge to incorporate deeper bookcases!
On our next try we were getting closer. We used an even simpler mantel design, but kept the traditional molding. However, this was a little too formal for the room.
Finally we settled on a corbeled-style mantel which went well with the simple square trim around the windows. The homeowner also chose an oak top which tied in nicely with the golden hardwood floors.
Once we settled on a design, I got busy in our studio. As usual, we did most of the painting and assembly offsite, which makes the homeowner's life much easier!
After the new mantel and shelves were ready, I went to work on that ugly fireplace, being careful not to mar the tile.
Speaking of tile, I originally thought the existing tile was a bit "blah." But when we put in the new mantel and shelves, the tile seemed to pop against the white wood, and it's much more appealing.
The new bookcases and fireplace look like they've always been a part of the room, which is our goal with built-in furniture.
The classic lines are easy to style - you could make it formal or casual. It even looks great with a simple black-and-white photo and a few colorful books.
If your living room has the "builder grade" blues, give us a call. We can bring in the "ooh and ah" factor that could make a big difference in your home value, for a relatively small investment.
I'm Arthur Teel, a craftsman who builds custom furniture in Asheville, North Carolina. Give me a call to talk about your next project!