Happy St. Nikolaus Day! According to the German tradition, children (and perhaps some adults) put out their Nikolaus-Stiefel, or Nikolaus boot, last night. Those who were good woke up this morning to a shoe full of treats provided by Nikolaus himself. Hope everyone is continuing to enjoy the holiday season.
Today we have a guest post from Shahab Shokouhi of Dulles Glass & Mirror. Enjoy:
When you want to turn up the heat in your home décor this winter, few upgrades are as effective as a beautiful fireplace. Whether you are installing a new fireplace or updating your existing set-up, consider the cool look of custom cut fireplace glass surrounds!
From sleek new doors added to a traditional brick surround or a focal point fireplace established in the center of the room, decking out a fireplace with glass panels can give you that ‘traditional with a twist’ look you’re going for in your interior design.
Here are some of the creative options for adding the perfect amount of sophistication to your classic fireplaces as well as a bit of background on the hottest new trends in fashionable and functional home heating.
Close Out the Cold
A travertine stone surround presents a nice textural contrast between the cool stone and the roaring heat of the fireplace.
But not just any type of glass will suffice for managing those blazing temperatures. In the world of modern fireplace glass, there are two basic kinds: Tempered and NeoCeram.
Tempered Fireplace Glass
Also known as safety glass, this glass is fabricated to be thermally stable, which means it can withstand heats ranging upwards of 400-500 degrees Fahrenheit.
In addition to tempered fireplace glass being heat-resistant, it is also much stronger, and therefore more impact-resistant than traditional types of fireplace glass.
Finally, it is more economical and presents more customizable possibilities than other options. Not only do you have a wide range of glass panel shapes at your disposal, but you also have your pick of glass thickness and colors to choose from.
NeoCeram Fireplace Glass
On the other end of the heat spectrum, NeoCeram may be the way to go if you are looking to place your glass within six inches from the fire’s surface. This heat-resistant glass ceramic can withstand around three times the amount of heat that tempered glass can handle, or over 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit!
Just shy of a quarter inch thick (at 3/16th of an inch), NeoCeram is the best (and safest) option for hot-burning gas fireplaces and wood-burning stoves, both of which burn hotter than traditional fireplaces, in large part due to the fact that NeoCeram will not swell or melt when subjected to extreme high heat conditions.
Either way, you’re not going to end up with your grandma’s fireplace!
Fireplace glass that is custom cut is completely customizable for unique spaces and fireplace surrounds that are modern and out of the square box.
Even minimalists need to stay warm and by keeping the furniture in the room sparse and white, with the only other color found in the artwork (that resembles the fire itself), you can highlight the fireplace and truly make it the centerpiece of the space.
And just because it’s called ‘fireplace glass’ doesn’t mean it isn’t suitable for see-through stoves!
What sorts of stylish fireplaces with glass surrounds have you seen?
Shahab Shokouhi is a glass design expert at www.dullesglassandmirror.com, an innovative manufacturer of glass table tops, glass shelves, and all other glass and mirror products. Follow Dulles Glass and Mirror on Pinterest or on YouTube to see how they’re changing the way glass products are manufactured, customized and delivered.
Channel your holiday spirit and create a festive Thanksgiving tablescape. If you’re entertaining at home, start with a stunning centerpiece to anchor your theme or style. Attending a gathering elsewhere? It can also serve as the perfect host or hostess gift. I’ve rounded up a few ideas for simple Thanksgiving centerpieces:
Hang painted acorns from a branch to incorporate nature into your table design. The blue, red, and interesting patterns create an eclectic look. Check out this painted acorn tutorial.
Instead of one large centerpiece, gather smaller items on a tray. Mercury glass, pinecones, and candles provide holiday sparkle and the silver contrasts nicely with the rustic table and place settings.
White can really pop. Keep it simple. A cylindrical vase filled with wheat adds texture along with an understated golden hue.
Don’t toss your Halloween pumpkins. The autumnal collection of pumpkins, gourds, and leafy greens is oddly romantic. Craft your own with this DIY fall centerpiece tutorial.
Eat by candlelight. An arrangement of DIY cornhusk votives and seasonal flowers is warm, welcoming, and unique.
Get the little ones involved. Christina at The DIY Mommy created an amazing kids’ craft tutorial for a thankful tree. Let the artwork take center stage on your table.
Charming and quirky. Silver candlesticks flank either side of a DIY centerpiece. Here’s a closer look:
Ashley Russell of The Quirky Sophisticate, revamped an old candleholder by covering it in cardboard, stuffing it with moss, and sprinkling acorns on top.
The deep rich colors of this chrysanthemum arrangement are dramatic. Place the floral arrangement in the middle of the table or create smaller ones in front of plates using glasses. Martha Stewart mixed chrysanthemums with leaves and berries to capitalize on the shades of autumn. Check out her suggestions.
How do you plan to spice up your table decor this holiday season?
Today we have a guest post from Jonathan Ensor of Empire Today. Enjoy!
Vintage home design and décor seem to be all the rage in the pages of interior decorating periodicals and blogs. For those with neither the time nor the budget for antiquing marathons, there’s plenty of inspiration out there for you – from top to bottom.
Wallpaper isn’t as popular as it once was, but a slightly frayed pattern on an accent wall can give your home a cozy feel. You can find actual vintage wallpaper in thrift stores or on the web, but consider distressing new paper with a stain, shellac, paint, bleach or even sandpaper. There are how-to videos for all of these methods online.
Rustic hardwood floors are ideal for that old farmhouse look. Slightly softer woods are easiest to distress: pine, oak, even bamboo. As a bonus, a pre-scratched up floor will camouflage any marks you, your kids, pets or furniture might make. Consider hand-scraped laminate flooring if actual wood isn’t your cup of tea.
I’m just going to go out on a limb and say it: antique furniture is usually a rip-off. So why not fake it? You can buy vintage fabric and reupholster modern pieces or give newer furnishings a dose of old age. Again, you’re going to want to employ your good old friends: sandpaper, stain and paint, along with wire brushes and steel wool. It’s even been recommended to take a heavy chain to your end table or dresser, giving it a few good whacks before you start coating and scraping. Off-kilter dings and scratches are signs of authenticity.
Now that you’ve got your walls, floors and furniture artfully destroyed, it’s time for the fun part. Accoutrements! The DIY world abounds with inspiration for these types of projects, so if you’re the crafty type, you’re in luck.
Turn newer or junky old pots, picture frames or jars into “vintage” treasures by painting them with primer and chipping it away. There are paint methods for getting a faux bronze or zinc patina. Find a piece of old wood, paint and distress it accordingly, stencil on your family name, something French, whatever – and bam! – now you have an antique sign to hang.
An old, beat-up suitcase can take on a new life as a repurposed end table, medicine cabinet or even a pet bed. Turn pages of old books and dictionaries (bonus if they’re in another language), yellowing sheet music or vintage pattern sheaths into collaged…well, anything, really. Let your imagination wander. A pile of old costume jewelry brooches can be transformed into unique magnets with little more than a dab of hot glue.
A bit more specifically, my wife is absolutely bonkers for this antique-y, DIY flowered table. We decided to wait until spring to tackle the homemade vintage door I came across the other day; then we realized it might be best to knock out the project this fall, so it can weather outdoors over the winter. There are so many cool tutorials out there for any budget or style. What’s your secret for getting the old-timey look?
Jonathon Ensor is a freelance design blogger for Empire Today. When he’s not scouring yard sales for the best deals on classic furnishings, he moonlights as an amateur hoarder.