Loving this cozy setup with our Zen34 concrete fire bowl in Mist color featured by House and Home Magazine. Isn't this just charming? The stones the fire bowl is nestled in really tie in with the optional cast river stones added to the fire pit. Fabulous idea! 100% staycation ready.
With the low profile of the Zen34 fire pit it's the perfect match for muskoka chairs. These chairs also called Adirondack chairs are particulary low set, so the 12" height of this fire bowl is ideal to make sure everyone still stays warm!
Learn how to bring the cottage to your city backyard — with tips from H&H's Stacy Begg.
Photo: Tracey Ayton | Design: Architecture by Jen Heath
Read the article here
Inspirations for French Country Mantel
The inspiration for the French Country mantel was born in the South of France.
Like most powerful countries in Europe, France was known for its lavish lifestyle, priceless treasured arts, and marvelous feats in architecture and exquisite arts. A particular gem is the city of Avignon in the Provence region in the South of France. The city is known for its important religious history, opulence, and it was briefly the seat of power for the papacy. This is all on top of the enchanting natural beauty and captivating landscape around. Here is a little bit of history on this landmark.
Avignon became a central trade post in the olden days for its strategic positioning and for the bridge over the Rhone River. Avignon was a very profitable city, and its key position forced many different European tribes to fight over it into the late middle ages until the Roman papacy took over.
In 1309, Pope Clement V transferred papal power from Rome to Avignon to avoid political unrest in Italy. This means he chose it to be the seat of Papacy and to be the site of Pontifical Residence. Under their rule and with the expansion of trading, the city gathered a plethora of merchants of all trades, architects, builders, painters, sculptors and musicians and other tradesmen.
The Palais des Papes (Papal Residence) emerged from the combined brilliance of both the best French architects and the best Italian painters of the time. The marvels of the palace with its flying buttresses and enthralling interior frescoes were truly overwhelming! The palace had a turbulent life after the papacy moved back to Rome, and unfortunately the interior of the palace was all but ruined after the Napoleonic army used it as a barracks and prison over 350 years later. The remains are still awe- inspiring and is home to where you can purchase the coveted Chateuneuf du Pape wine.
The French are well known for their love of wines. Their adoration for wine goes back for thousands of years. As a result of this passion, the papal government were determined to have areas in and around the region to be recognized and be famous for producing the best wine there was. The area Chateuneuf du Pape (translated as New Castle of the Pope) was established under Pope John XXII and the wines of this region because known as "Vin du Pape". These wines are renown the world over as exceptional.
Another interesting attraction of Avignon, and one of the most famous bridges in the world to date is the Pont du Benezet also known as the Bridge of Avignon, built in 12th century. You might know it from the children's song! It originally had 22 arches, spanning over 900 meters and was the only place bridging the city of Lyon and the Mediterranean sea. Aside from the fascinating legend of how and who built this bridge, Pont du Benezet played one of the most significant pilgrimage passages between Italy and Spain.
The bridge was dismantled, rebuilt, washed away numerous times by flood water over the course of history and was finally left unfinished and abandoned in the 17th century. There are only four arches left standing to this bridge to date, BUT, do not ever underestimate this “ruin" as it still stands bold and boasting of confidence, truly an ancient feat that survived history
The amazing sights, historic importance and astonishing architectural arts of Avignon are the inspirations behind our most popular fireplace mantel, the French Country.
The French Country mantel, befittingly named is our elegant and understated fireplace surround that merges the traditional characteristics of the organic French countryside with the bold architectural elements of medieval structures.
It is one of our most sought-after designs that easily matches any interior with its classic details and timeless style. Its imposing presence is refined and humbled with the down-right-at home welcoming feel to it inspired by the natural traits of the rustic country aesthetics. This mantel bears the element of balance and harmony between elegance and comfort. It is a stunning focal point for great rooms or smaller living spaces, if using one of the more compact sizes.
The French Country Mantel is available in two heights and two standard lengths. Customization is also available to this design. Contact us if the standard dimensions do not work for your project, and we will review your requirements for the necessary adjustments.
To add a full effect of grace and drama, or to meet the requirements of your fireplace unit consider a hearth to complete the look.
Venice is an extraordinary city well known for its rich history, opulence in arts, astounding architecture and ingenious innovations. The city is emblematic of dazzling romantic imagery as typified by the rowing scenes of Gondola ride coasting along the water canals, availing the pleasure of the magnificent views portrayed in hundreds of Hollywood movies.
Venice is composed of 118 small islands, situated in the Veneto Region of Northeastern Italy, and it solely relies on canals, waterways channels and bridges. To this day, thoroughfares are only accessible either by boat or by walking through its countless twisted streets and crossing small footbridges.
The city, in the middle of a lagoon has a challenging landscape and would have not been habitable if not for the brilliant minds of the Venetian people. Their ingenuity propelled the construction of building structures above water. They used thousands of wood pilings of about 60 feet, driven to the bottom of the lagoon that reached past the silt and dirt until it hit the sturdy hard clay that could hold the weight of the structure piled above it.
However, with the proliferation of building structures, the weight of the city pushed it down deeper into the mud forcing the water out and compressing the soil. This distinctive occurrence has combined forces with the tide movement of Mother Earth and causes cyclical flooding. This phenomenon is what makes Venice well known to date as “The Floating City”.
Piazza San Marco
The exuberance and luxuriance of the architectural elements around Piazza San Marco was perpetually inspiring! As the largest square in the city, it is the main location where important government buildings are located and was the central hub for the goings on around the city. It was laid originally in front of St. Mark’s Basilica, a small chapel that was inside the complex of the infamous Doge’s Palace.
St. Mark’s Basilica is aptly named the “Church of Gold” for its extravagance and grandiosity.
The Doge’s Palace
The Doge’s Palace built in a Venetian Gothic style is considered a masterpiece. The architectural style was influenced by Islamic and Byzantine Architecture. The combined influences of these architectural marvels are symbolic of the Palace’s richness and grandeur.
Doge’s Palace, also known as Palazzo Ducale has the most intricate and unparalleled interior woodwork! Their use of gilded woodworking significantly elevated their status in the society as the splendor of gold paintings deliberately impressing upon an image of wealth and their status in the upper echelon.
As much as Venice is surrounded by water, their fear from time immemorial has always been fire. Since wood is what the buildings were made of, it was a necessity to come up with a solution wherein they could safely use fire inside their homes. That is when they thought of building hearths, chimneys and fireplaces. With the Venetians’ unprecedented love for grand style, they took advantage of the use of fireplaces to flaunt their great wealth and fortune. Their fireplaces were designed bearing a status symbol and built massive for a more imposing effect. They are so big that it could stable a horse! The fireplaces were lavishly embellished with detailed artwork, including family crests. They needed a more visible place to exhibit their glorified power and having an extended mantel with hood, fully ornate, above the fireplace featured all of that.
These ageless mantels became the inspiration behind our Venezia fireplace mantel.
The Venezia is a classical chimneypiece with an overmantel design that is both graceful and elegant in style. The profile has layers of attributes to keep the classical fireplace mantel design interesting within the picture frame style. Although inspired by the exquisite mantel designs at the Palazzo Ducale, the Venezia is conceptualized with current style in mind. It is perfect for all types of living spaces but perhaps a little more partial toward traditional interior designs. The Venezia has an absolute commanding presence yet subtle enough to be the centerpiece in today’s homes. The height of this mantel is also adjustable to accommodate most fireplace inserts.
Would you like a bespoke mantel that echoes classic style and royalty? If a timeless and luxurious mantel design is your goal, then you would love our Venezia mantel. To achieve that classical elegance, add a hearth to complete the look.
Rome is known as one of the most traveled and most visited cities in the world. Located in the beautiful country of Italy, Rome is known for its vivacity, amazing natural scenery, fascinating history and not to mention its astounding architectural achievements.
Roman architecture has a significant influence in design, planning and construction of building structures to this day. It is assumed that one of the most ingenious innovations that Roman architecture brought forth was the prevalent use of concrete. They realized how it was more sustainable to produce and how much more durable concrete was to use for their landmarks and architecture. Rome's famous landmarks include the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon and Castel Sant'Angelo to name a few.
Castel Sant'Angelo summarizes the grandeur of Roman architecture. It was originally commissioned by Emperor Hadrian in 135A.D. as a mausoleum for him and his family. It was once considered the tallest building in Italy.
Castel Sant'Angelo has massive collection of paintings, military memorabilia, sculptures and medieval weapons. But most of all, Castel Sant'Angelo is treasure trove of fireplace design ideas!
The exceptional craftmanship of the structures inside Castel Sant'Angelo is enthralling! A fireplace in one of the rooms was quite captivating that it became as an inspiration in designing our own Chateau Mantel. This mantel has an exuding elegance, clean lines with timeless style that is ideal for both traditional and contemporary interiors.
Inspired by classic European designs, our mantels go through extensive studies and different stages from concept to installation to produce an upscale and ageless quality of our products.
Here is a glimpse on the interesting stages that our mantels endure to be unique and bespoke to you.
Every mantel that we designed has a hidden and interesting story behind it. Each is inspired by timeless architecture and classic arts derived from our trips and travels in search of new ideas and designs. Our mantels go through an exhaustive process from Inspiration to installation before it could even reach your home to make sure that each and every one is bespoke to you.
Our mantels have been featured in HGTV's Love It or List It a few times and in Worst to First where they shot some scenes at our facility, showing how our mantels were made and captured our artisans at work in action. Our production crew are trained craftsmen with extensive experiences in European art works. Check out the video below to see the fireplace from Castel Sant'Angelo which inspired the Chateau Mantel.
If you are looking for unique and timeless designs for your fireplace mantel, browse our website, go through each design and get an idea from our mantel collections. Be inspired!
Read our latest news, tips and see pictures of exciting projects!