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Posted by BEG on December 28th, 1999 08:11 AM
In reply to Faux oak by Henry in MI on December 28th, 1999 04:54 AM [Go to top of thread]

Natalia.......what a beautiful name.
Ok, Henry has got you going. Now, with his idea in mind, I think about some of the problems we have in the industry regarding "building" modifications. "How in the hell does that have anything to do with a fireplace mantle", you ask?Wellll, let me explain. More often than not, we get projects that where someone wants to add to their home. When this occurs, and not to over simplify, we approach the problem two ways.

Way #1, "make the addition look like the origional structure".
The methodology is obvious here. We look at the design elements of the home, Victorian, Wrightian, Midwest Crappola, etc, and we are off to the races to duplicate them in some manner. In the "rare" case where the origional home is "so" beautiful, and the client "so" sensitive to design, we have to be very careful. Sometimes the origional home "allows" for duplicating ideas, so the massing of the "addition" leaves the origional concept of the architecture "pure".However, sometimes the origional architecture is such that the addition will "not" allow us to leave the origional architecture "pure".......or at least reasonably which case the final results will look out of place "even tho" we kept to the origional design concepts. In other words, we end up with too much of a good thing.


Here it comes...........

Way #2, departure of the orgional design with "neutral" design elements that are different from the orgional architecture. In this case, we don't try to duplicate the origional (oak mantle piece in your case). Instead, we use compatible but different materials. It is far more sinful to have something come up "close" but miss the mark than to have it completely different.

Now that I have said all that, and I say it all in an effort to bring you up to speed in terms of design, and I have assumed that you are not a designer and excuse me if you are, so that you can approach your problem from another angle. For example, along the lines of the Faux Painting idea, you could actually have a totally diferent color on the columns...........a color that perhaps would have been part of the origional design.........dark brown or what ever. Would a different shape work...........square perhaps. In this case, you could build up the columns with quarter sawn oak materials that you can find pretty easily and then you could stain it to match. could build up square bases out of oak that the columns "sit" on, and then use the origional columns, or perhaps you could have brackets made that hold up whatever your columns hold up so you could eliminate the idea of columns, or, or.............the list goes on.

In a way, you have a pretty tough problem to solve. Not having a total picture or the mantle design, I could be all wet here and making a fool out of myself (again). But, hopefully I have spread some positive light on the subject and allowed for you to look at even more options that may work for you.

I just had to give my two cents worth to someone with a name like Natailia.......

Good luck.

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