Monday, June 5, 2017

Rtown Lane Fireplace Built In Project

I have so many design project to share with you guys. If you follow me on Instagram, you see little snippets every day of where I am at with certain projects, but I would love to do posts about each project to explain to you the longer thoughts on the decisions that are made, why we made them, and of course just to share pretty photos. 

A project that I am currently working on is in Reynoldstown, here in Atlanta. I have a cool young, hip couple that brought me on to help decorate their kitchen/living area on the main floor of their home. The house is a town home, and it is tall and kind of narrow. It's about 9' across and I think 16' long. Considering a couch is about 3.5' deep, that is not a lot of space! I actually did design work for their neighbors down the street a few months ago, so had similar challenges in that space (which I need to blog about, too!), but we came up with a totally different way to address this space. It's fun doing something different in similar spaces! Anyway, they wanted to add an electric fireplace and bookshelf wall. They loved the idea of traditional bookshelves, but with the house being a modern/transitional style, and the narrowness of the space, we couldn't get away with just a simple bookshelf design. Here's a photo of when I first visited them:

Where the sofa is is actually the bookshelf wall now. Anyway, these are family pieces that they own, and while we ditched the leather chair, side tables and coffee table, my clients wanted to keep the sofa (and there's a matching side chair) so we are having them stripped and stained a dark gray with new upholstery. It was a challenge to see them as anything other than what they are now, but I'm actually really excited to see them transformed. You guys know I appreciate history and holding onto treasured pieces, so I am all about working with family pieces to make your own. The fabric we chose is a nubby gray/cream stripe (little stripes) that feels like a nod to what was probably on there before, when the pieces were made in the 1950's, but a much more modern color story. We chose a clear tempered glass waterfall coffee table to keep from taking up too much visual space. The other tables and accessories are still TBD!

Anyway, back to the bookshelves. 

This were my (crappy) sketches:

they look better in real life. Haha!

Paddy, carpenter to the stars, came and helped make our vision a reality. Here is the day that he taped it all out for us - making my job way easier ;)

Anyway, I came up with the idea to add brass rods on the ends instead of traditional bookshelf walls, so that when you turn a corner (when you come into the room, the bookshelves are immediately on the wall beside you) you don't feel that the shelves are closing you out. Instead, you can see through them. My clients didn't want to do floating shelves over the doors, and I thought this would be a good way to give the feel of a more solid, built in piece without closing off the edges. 

Here it is in the flesh, baby:

Can you believe it! I love it! The shelves are very shallow - I think around 14-15" deep? I can't remember what we finally ended up with, but we wanted to make them as shallow as possible without it looking like a movie set or being unable to decorate them. I love the brass. 

The railroad tie mantle has significance too, which is a nice personal touch. We heavily treated and sealed it before using it indoors as a mantle piece, don't worry. You can see the hardware for the doors sitting on top of the cabinet in this pic. I love the brass plate detail as well.

We are also doing a built in bar and banquette in the kitchen! 

My clients have a fun bright orange accent wall here in their kitchen, across from this and on that wall we are doing a fun blue and white Ikat. So, we wanted something to coordinate but not fight with that over here on the bench. We ended up going with the small dotty-looking fabric that is second from the left on the middle row here! This grouping was after we had narrowed it down by about 50%. :)

Can't wait until this is all said and done and I can show you guys some more pictures. We are doing a white tulip table here as well, and the brass chandelier will be centered above it. Will follow up with more updates when I have them! 


  1. How fun to see great design come to fruition. I can't wait to see that sofa updated. I don't doubt that you can do it. I'm not sure I would have had the vision to see it but gray? Yes, I think it will work.

    1. Thank you! Yes, I think it'll be good and I love that they're holding on to a family heirloom!

  2. Wow! That is a narrow space. The shelves are stunning. And you can never go wrong with a tulip table.

    1. Thanks so much! Yeah, it is, but it somehow doesn't feel like it with the right furniture choices! Phew!

      Love the tulip table, too!

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