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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Monday's Method

Today I am starting a new series ~ Monday's Method.

A while back, I asked my readers what they would like to see or learn about on my blog. Some folks asked for design advice. Great! Love to do it. This is a marriage made in heaven to me. First of all, I love to design and I love to help ~ some of you know I already do an advice column. Second, I am a huge fan of Susan's Between Naps on the Porch Metamorphosis Monday. If you have never attended Susan's party, you are missing a wonderful event. Susan invites people to link their Before & After posts. So many ideas are there for all to see and be inspired by!

My Monday's Method will differ from Susan's but relate. My concept is for those of you that have a design question, just drop me a note at paula@paulagracedesigns.com. Be as specific as you can and send photos. I'll offer a design solution for you! It may be the first step to your metamorphosis. If you implement the solution, you'll have a follow up post to link with Susan's party! How fun is that?!!

For the first Monday Method, I'm answering the design question of a lovely gal who also writes a fabulous blog, Karen at Strictly Simple Style. Karen writes about her defined scale problem:

Hi Paula,

I've attached a few pictures of the fireplace area of my great room. The fireplace is 62 inches (The mantle is 69 inches). The open areas on either side of the fireplace are 64 inches each. I would have to dig out the blueprints for an exact floor to ceiling measurement, but they are approximately 16 feet high.

As I mentioned in my comment on your blog, the horrible old television set will be going. I'd love to hide the new set in some type of built-in unit. The other issue is the window treatments. They were custom made just two years ago and I'd like to keep them, but the panel near the fireplace wall could interfere with a wall-to-wall unit. Can you see why I need help?!

Thanks for taking a look Paula. I look forward to any suggestions you might have.


Some pictures of her dilemma.....
I see what you mean. This is a question I get asked a lot actually because many of the homes around my parts have these soaring ceilings. They are both awesome and challenging. You mentioned built-ins but were concerned about them interfering with your lovely drape panels. You could do built-ins but just not wall to wall. Another option is to embrace and control the expanse at the same time. How?

I love paying homage to architecture such as this with a floor to ceiling application. The soaring vertical line will give one the feeling of freedom ~ reaching new heights. Plus it may be enjoyed by both floors, main and upper levels. The best way to show you is with an elevation...
Here I have remove the existing mantel (carefully so I may donate it) and replaced it with a floor to ceiling application of slate tile. I found these samples at Mosaic Source...

Prairie Falling Water, Prairie Octagon

Desert Gold Falling Water, Desert Gold Octagon

Slate is beautiful and familiar thus almost universally loved. Great appearance for the here and now, wonderful for resale. I adore these neutral hues in either of these samples (the upper being a bit warmer than the bottom palette). I think the hexagon is a bit more unusual so I am drawn to that one. Plus I like the metallic inlays.

The television can be mounted just above a simple mantel so a separate cabinet won't be needed. Since this is in a public room in your home, I would suggest you conceal the television while not in use. It is simple now-a-days with a mirror or art ~ there are many options. I found these examples at Home Entertainment...

The gorgeous slate and television could be flanked symmetrically with larger scale cabinets with a traditional style and interesting details such as the French Window Cupboard from Sarreid, Ltd. (I love Sarreid for large scale pieces)...
The symmetry along with the horizontal line provided by the tops of the cabinets will contribute a more formal appearance and secure feeling ~ balancing the expanse of the slate. Beautiful, tall vases or other accessories may be placed atop the cabinets for added height and interest.

This design with enable you to keep your beautiful window treatments, provide display and storage cabinets, and highlight the architecture with an eco-friendly slate tile that will be very easy on the eyes.

Thank you Karen for the suggestion and submitting a great question! I hope this helps.

There is always several ways to resolve a dilemma. Any other ideas for Karen?

Also, if you have things you would like for me to cover other than advice, just let me know!

Just read Cottage Instincts blog ~ lovely ~ I'm joining that party too!

There are so many great parties out there! The Shabby Chic Cottage's Transformation Thursday is wonderful!

Found another lovely blog ~ the photography is amazing and the music beautiful. Little Red House ~ I joined Mary's Mosaic Monday party. Please take a look! You'll be glad you did.


  1. Thank you so much for the fabulous suggestions, Paula. I can't wait to show my husband to get his input. I love the idea of working with the architecture of the room.

    I truly appreciate the time that you spent coming up with this terrific solution to my problem.

  2. You're welcome! It was my pleasure :)
    Paula Grace

  3. Nice plans and great ideas! I am enjoying your blog!

    Very helpful.....

    Stop by!


  4. I really love this idea. I'm enjoying your blog so much and getting great ideas.

  5. Wow - thanks for the offer to help! This'll be a great series!!

  6. I think that Karen should seriously consider your suggested design solution. Slate applied to the wall would make such a great statement and would really warm up her space and make it feel a lot cozier.

    I hope you continue this series!

  7. I love the idea of taking the slate all the way to the ceiling. I just love Sarreid, we used to go to the warehouse sales and get awesome stuff !

  8. I would love to see this implemented. The tile and the large scale cabinets are fabulous! I love this new Monday's Method blog. Keep up the great work! Very inspiring.

  9. Wow that would be stunning!! I like the question and answer format -- great job!

  10. Love the solution you came up with!

  11. What a great concept - and lovely ideas for the room!

  12. Great idea for a new Monday series! I like your solutions for her room. Most of the houses in my neighborhood have these two-story family rooms that are really tricky to decorate. No one knows how to handle them.

  13. I really like this idea for a new series, Paula Grace! I think it's perfect. Plus, for those who are perhaps too shy to email, or just need some inspiration, this will be so appreciated!

    I really like the idea for masking the home entertainment bit. An elegant look for a typically odd item in the home.

    I can't wait for the next...

    Have a wonderful day*

  14. Oh what a fabulous idea + great advice!!

  15. This is a great new Monday feature, and you gave really good suggestions. She could also just paint a band of color, if money were an issue.

  16. What a great solution for that soaring space! Welcome to Mosaic Monday, Paula Grace, and thanks for contributing! I look forward to visiting your blog again soon. :)

  17. What a great solution. I think the stone would really warm up that space. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your advice and this series! Lisa

  18. The slate is so pretty but I am a little confused by the suggestion. In the sketch, the slant of the ceiling is different than the actual photo of the room. The suggestion makes the slate in a straight line when having it go to the ceiling. Compare and see what I mean. If the slate were to be true to the photo and go from floor to ceiling, there is an awkward area at the top. So, how is that corrected?? It's confusing to me.

  19. Great question. The sketch is just a sketch. I didn't have the actually dimensions. It would not need to be 'corrected.' The slate would simply follow the ceiling line. The width of the slate would not change nor would it stop short of the ceiling. It will look just fine as it is paying homage to the architecture, not competing with it or trying to augment it.
    Paula Grace ~

  20. Ahhhh, thank you so much for answering as I've often wondered how that would work!


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