From Thought to Reality

Interior Design is not just a passion for me, but also an obsession. When I have an upcoming project , it consumes my thought process 24/7. Such is the case with every room I have planned for over three years for our new house.

The fun part has FINALLY started which, for me, is the actual hands on finish work.

The family room all started with this purchase, a salvaged Gothic style 12 foot high fireplace.


The room has a 14′ ceiling which then starts to pitch to house wooden trusses that reach up to about 24 feet high.


This is the sketch I made after buying the fireplace. I envisioned a library like wall with bookcases on either side.


After seeing the room framed out, I decided that the ceiling was too high to make the setup completely horizontal at 14′. It would visually lower the overall look and I would lose the effect of the high ceiling. Pinterest came to the rescue as I found lots of inspiration.


I wanted a grander and stronger setup than planned. I had visions of the Breakers in Newport..


and the Biltmore Hotel in all it’s glory for Christmas…


So back to the drawing board I went and this was the photo that made up my mind-


I had to take a Gothic fireplace and give it a French touch, paint it to look like stone, and have the rest of the wall look like wood.

No problem! Three years of collecting architectural salvage was going to start paying off. The first item to be used was a door that must have been on an armoire that had a mirror in it. The mirror was cracked and very heavy so I removed it and primed the wood.


I found a composite crest and attached it to the center, added corbels and hung it over the mantel.DSC01035


 I had the framers make alcoves on either side that are 10′ high, 4′ wide and 12′ deep. There will be glass shelves and lighting from a strip that runs down the inside edge.

This piece is from Frontgate and was bought to put in the large area between the firebox and the start of the overmantel which is close to 6′ high!


One by one I added pieces that gave more interest to the fireplace such as these 30″ corbels



Pinterest gave me another idea when I found this picture…

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 I love the carving and feeling of this valance so I decided to achieve the same look over the bookcases.

More salvage, some plywood and lots of creativity turning all this-


and these old brackets…


….into my new valances.


Add some primer, install to the wall and they are ready to be faux finished.


There is still some work to do with some columns, corbels and trim but this is the work in progress. My friend Ericka, a decorative painter made my sample board for the finish work and I absolutely love it!


The entire middle will look like travertine and the bookcases will be the wood finish. Her inspiration for the tone is from the floor which will be classic Versailles pattern inlaid wood.


I even bought my very own mitre saw to make the process easier and faster.

I am also working in the master bedroom (in between installation of tile floors). I will be sharing the progress in that room next!

5 thoughts on “From Thought to Reality

  1. Holy cow! You are seriously ambitious! You are living my favorite Buddha quote: “your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.”


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