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!
Check out this video of the entire process of our Concrete Panel installation, from initial sketch to beautiful fireplace!
Initial sketch & colour selection
Framing and installing gas unit
Installing stunning concrete panels
Enjoy your beautiful new fireplace!
We have all been fascinated by fire from the time it was first discovered to this age of memes and technology. Watching the perpetual motion of the flames as it give us warmth and comfort is like being in an oasis of serenity.
Fortunately, DreamCast firepits can bring this experience right into your backyard. Our collection of fire pits from our minimalist Zen Bowl to our 72” Linear fire tables give a campfire feel to your personal outdoor space. These fire pits are designed to accommodate all types of patios, layouts and of course, your style.
Common type of gas fuel types are either Natural Gas or Propane. Ethanol is also an option, but not a topic of this article. Some areas have certain restrictions when it comes to gas connections - to which gas do you have access? That is why it is very important to know in your area the type of gas burner required for your fire pit.
Firstly, What’s The Difference Between Propane and Natural Gas?
Natural gas consists of mostly methane. It also contains propane, butane, and a few other gases too. Natural gas comes from underground shale deposits. You may have heard of the controversial method called fracking to release the gas from the underground. So, propane is actually refined natural gas. It burns cleaner and hotter than natural gas, so it is considered a much more efficient gas fuel. Propane is also much more available than natural gas because after it is liquified, it’s easy to store in tanks and transport. For example, propane can be delivered by truck to a remote home that doesn’t have natural gas lines available.
Natural Gas vs. Propane
Natural gas is cheaper than propane, but propane burns hotter, cleaner, and is way more available than natural gas. Propane actually produces twice as much heat as an equal amount of natural gas. For homeowners with natural gas lines available it is cheaper to heat your home with natural gas so in that case, natural gas is the better alternative.
How long does a propane tank last? You will get about 95 hours per gallon if burned at a rate of 1000 BTU per hour. As an example if you have a heater with a BTU rating of 30,000, then a gallon of propane will last you 3.17 hrs.
How Many Gallons of Propane in a 20 Pound Tank?
A 20-pound propane tank is the most common size tank. A 20 lb tank is the typical size tank for barbecue grills and the ones you can get in the easy refill programs at Home Depot and gas stations. A 20 lb propane tank holds 4.5 gallons of propane.
If you have the privilege to choose between natural gas or propane but are torn between the two, our list of advantages and disadvantages of each gas type may help you feel more comfortable in making that decision.
See the list below.
Advantages of Propane Gas:
- Setting up is easy
- No need for new landscaping work, if you are not plumbing directly to an onsite tank
- Instant backyard upgrade
- Emits warmer heat than natural gas
- Easy refill (bottle switch programs)
- Mobile - you can change up your patio layout
- The connection hose is visible
- Emits warmer heat, but it comes in lower BTU options so you can get more fuel time out of a standard 20lb propane tank.
- Higher BTU fire pits need bigger onsite tank
- Propane tank is visible (a side table or tank cover may be needed to hide it)
- Need to refill tanks
Natural Gas Advantages:
- Less expensive than propane (depending on where you live)
- No need to refill fuel
- Can be hard plumbed- meaning no hose! (unless it’s a quick connect)
- Provided there is enough pressure in the house, you can go CRAZY with the BTUs on the firepits
- A maximum of 20' hose is required for a quick connect option
- It can be expensive to run a line and/ or add a quick connect box
- Once hard plumbed, the unit cannot easily be relocated
- Outdoor lay out cannot be reorganized once plumbed in the ground
Whatever type of gas you decide to use for your firepit, you will need a certified gas fitter to install it.
Fire is fire, let’s enjoy it with care.
As the weather gets warmer, we are now getting ready to enjoy the fresh smell of the outdoors and start working on our gardens and patios. One of the highlights of the spring and summer season is to enjoy our outdoor space, to gather around our concrete firepit, cozying up, sharing some food, some robust Malbec and telling stories.
But before this could all even be possible, Spring time is cleaning time and the beginning of what you would want your outdoor space to look in summer. Prepping includes weeding, planting flowers in your garden, patio washing and getting ready to use your concrete firepit.
Although our concrete firepits are not high maintenance, we recommend the following steps on how to keep your DreamCast firepits look good after a heavy winter.
Below are some tips to get your firepit going…
Storing Your Firepit For Winter:
Have a wonderful Spring!
We are loving how these custom concrete panels turned out for interior designer Jenna Josephson. The offset design gives plenty of room for a feature fireplace and to have the TV at an ergonomic low height. We always recommend to have the TV installed as low as possible to keep the neck from straining. Also, installing the TV separate leaves room for a size upgrade down the line! Result - stunning look and everyone in the family is happy.
"Josephson mixed light woods with a black and white colour palette for a minimalist base. Grey-stained kitchen cabinetry adds a subtle warmth, while pops of colour come from plants. It's against this neutral backdrop that dramatic tile moments really sing—in the master ensuite, the powder room, and for the backsplash. The result is a modern family home that mixes Scandi cool with farmhouse chic...and no sign of the building's oh-so-'90s past." Read the whole article here
Check out HGTV 25 Mantel Ideas featuring a DreamCast Britannia Mantel!
We're in good company!
Click the image to go to the article for more inspiration.
A photo from site:
This French Country was extended in width to 84". Note the seams like in a classical masonry assembly.
Linear Modern Fire
We often get the question of what would we prefer between our Quadra 72” and our Linea 72” fire tables. The answer is definitely not as easy as we would like to think, and it is quite subjective.
These units have their own distinct appearance and characteristics that are equally stunning on their own.
Our Linea comes in 2 sizes: 60” and 72” long. Both are 24” wide and 15 “in height. It has 5” of comfortable table space all around the unit for any purpose the table may serve. It comes with either a 36” or a 48” burner that produces a long line of linear flames for a more alluring presence. Both versions can come in 190k and 250k BTUs respectively, giving out warmth for everyone to cozy around. For propane versions the units are a reduced BTU output unless stationary propane tanks are on the property. Our Linea series is a good size that could be best used as an entertainment focus, or as a space divider.
At the end of the day if the standard sizes just aren't quite right - we also do custom Quadra & Linea tables.
Send us an email or call for a quote.
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