Jasmine called us with a challenge.
Her character home had original coal burning fireplaces and old not-to-code masonry (see photo above). Any upgrades had to blend with the character of the home as well as provide energy efficient heat. As many people with Character homes in the greater Victoria area know, heating is always an issue – and for most homes in this era, keeping their home at a comfortable temperature can be an expensive endeavor.
Original tiles are on rough condition, particularly on the hearth. The frame around the opening is all that remains of a coal burning insert that has long since burnt out and replaced with firebricks. The shape of the resulting fireplace makes it useless as far as any heating qualities go. The chimney above is not code conforming or robust enough to tolerate a chimney fire, so safety and durability of the old chimneys were of concern.
So, better late than never, here we go!
It looks just perfect. It complements the house and produces lots of even, energy-efficient, comfortable radiant heat.
Details: The Valor Windsor Arch cast iron faceplate is available from Valor in flat black, or brushed nickel. Our client wanted a bit different look than brushed nickel so we had a black faceplate sand blasted to remove the original paint, it was then electroplated with brass. After this step the plate would have looked like it was solid gold. The faceplate was then painted black again, and while the paint was still wet the paint was removed from the surfaces to be highlighted. The revealed brass still looks very bright, so the artisan gives it a further oil rubbing treatment to darken it down to the patina look. The faceplate then received a final clear coat finish to seal and preserve the now completed unique finish. The tiny tiles are made from cut abalone.
What do you think, did we meet the challenge?