The credit for this classical design goes to my husband and partner in Beaux-Artes, Stuart, or Art (as in Beaux-Artes), who designed and built this handsome built-in. It all began with finding the Griffin at a roadside garden statuary place on a return trip from Buffalo.
We fell in love with him, but they only had one. So, Art made a mold and cast him in cement. He then made the base and top followed by the mantle and a great fireplace began to take shape.
I asked Art to fill in some details.
Art: I have always thought that a big decorative fireplace “makes the room”. In the case of our family room, the fireplace was designed and built before there were flat screen TV’s. The TV placement was always in an awkward location, either to the right or left of the fireplace on a cabinet. When we finally got a flat screen TV we put it on the fireplace mantle. It looked terrible with wires and cables everywhere. The sound system with tape deck, VCR and CD player was to the right on a cabinet. In short, the electronics made the fireplace mantle look messy. I knew the solution, recess the TV into the wall, and consolidate the audio visual equipment to a minimum. I tossed the VCR, DVD player and 5 CD changer, in favor of an iPod, a home theater sound system and DVD/CD player, a satellite receiver with DVR and of course the flat screen TV.
To recess the flat screen TV, I measured the equipment and designed a box to fit everything. Then I cut out the drywall, cut away a few 2×4 studs. The box fit neatly into the hole in the drywall. Then I covered the seams between the drywall and the box with some nice chair rail type molding.
Next, I turned my attention to the areas to the left and right of the fireplace. For balance I designed equal sized built-in cabinets with shelves above. I have always loved thick shelves with a big piece of molding on the front. They can hold oversized books regardless of the weight. The cabinets are basic, but I made flat panel doors and then added some bolection type molding to the front of the doors.
He also cast the antique corbels we had acquired many years ago so that we had enough for the family room and kitchen. I love their simple lines. Not too overdone as many corbels can be.
The composition ornament we used on the blocks and over mantle are from Decorators Supply.
For the cabinet doors he used compo rosettes for the blocks and a molding which complimented the fluted trim he used on the fireplace.
Another detail we love are Beaux-Artes decorative trims for recessed lights. We chose the Tuscany style which looks great with our architectural details.
There aren’t a lot of traditional ceiling fans to choose from. This one from Horchow has fairly nice details. The light kit makes it.
Like the ceiling but it needs some decorative painting. Add that to my to do list.
The last classical detail, we chose Beaux-Artes’ Venetian Rope decorative grille in the stone finish.