Roaring Fires At The Ready

Fireplace with raised hearthOnce upon a time families daydreamed about additions where they could enjoy the winter months snuggled around a roaring fire with their families. Then their designer would break the news. That cozy fire requires pouring a foundation, having a highly-skilled mason plan and execute a complex chimney system and being resigned to sacrificing energy efficiency over the fall and winter months. That’s usually when a family drops the fireplace from the plan.

Architects and designers really like to delight people, not disappoint them so it’s fantastic news that clever companies have devised and refined a prefabricated solution that doesn’t require all the prep work. These modular masonry fireplaces are positioned, reinforced, and lined with fire-resistant brick veneer.

“Once it’s installed, you’d never know,” says Normandy Designer Bill Peterson, who has used this solution in several recent additions where the families are delighted with the results.

Bill says, “These fireplaces operate really well. They’re energy-efficient and really nice looking.”

They also function exactly as traditional fireplaces do; burning logs, crackling, popping, and providing ideal gathering spots for families.

Fireplace with TV above in a vaulted roomA modular masonry fireplace still vents through a chimney, but not necessarily one on the exterior of the house. The fireplace is set into the room and becomes a design element. It is flanked by built-ins or otherwise integrated into the focal wall. With the attractive and on-trend veneers available, these fireplaces are truly eye-catching. “They’ve really upped their game with the choices,” Bill says.

The hearth and surround are finished with stone or tile just like a masonry fireplace. “You can build around it. We’ve done built-ins on either side for symmetry. The whole effect is a warm and inviting room with an added function that improves the enjoyment of the space.” says Bill.

If you are considering an addition or thinking about remodeling your family room, great room, or living room and have always wanted a fireplace, this might be just the solution for you. “They’re much easier for a retrofit,” Bill says. Why not set up a time to chat with Bill about the possibilities adding on or remodeling your home can bring? You can also find inspiration in the Normandy Remodeling photo galleries, and when you follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

A Modern Rustic Bathroom Remodel

Bathroom with pattern tile floor

When it comes to remodeling bathrooms, some things are universal. People want to maximize their space, create a feeling of openness and let in as much light as possible. Designers like Normandy’s Laura Barber, AKBD, really enjoy the challenge of turning dark, cramped spaces into spa-like retreats.

Laura’s initial conversation with this Lincolnshire couple revealed their wishes for all of the above and the inspiration for the inventive design. “She had a frame in the bedroom that kind of became the mood for the whole bathroom. It really was the springboard for the whole direction, which is modern, sleek and also rustic.” Laura says.

Freestanding bathtub with decorative nicheIn the modern and sleek column, the gorgeous soaking tub topped the must-have list. Laura fit it into the space, which is rather awkward and not huge, along with a nice big shower. “We stole a little space from a linen closet to give them a bench in the shower,” says Laura. “We really worked hard to add all the little things that make it feel spa-like. The bench improves the experience just like a small ledge above the tub offers space for bath salts, a candle or even a glass of wine.”

Medium wood tone bathroom vanityLaura suggested a mix of black hardware and brushed nickel fixtures. She explains, “Mixed metals offer a custom look with lots of personality.On the rustic side, textural porcelain tile inspired by the frame lines the shower and the niche. “It does a really neat job of giving the room that rustic look,” Laura explains.

Bathroom with rustic look tile in the showerThe laminate cabinets and black-and-white floor tile are on-trend but not trendy. “They were really ahead of the curve,” confirms Laura.

Do you have a décor item that just might inspire an ultra-cool bathroom remodel? Set up a time to talk with Laura about the possibilities. You can also attend one of our upcoming virtual webinars to learn more about what makes a great bathroom. There’s lots of inspiration to be found in the Normandy Remodeling photo galleries. Follow along on Facebook and Instagram for bits of design inspiration.

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