Brick is just as useful as it is beautiful. You can use bricks for pretty much everything: exterior siding, interior decorating, and backyard landscaping, whether it is a recreational space or a garden. Plus, this material offers such a broad range of colours and it offers so many visual effects!
There’s the crude brick, used especially for exterior siding, but there is also the decorative brick used for interior decorating. The range of colours and shades is impressive. It also comes in many different shapes since brick is a material that can be carved.
You could paint brick. What makes it special is its texture. A white-painted brick wall has so much more to offer than a white-painted sleek wall. The white colour is not as white, but it stands out because of its rugged design. The same is true of a black-painted brick wall. It looks nothing like a black-painted sleek wall. It’s not as black, but it stands out more. Same goes for every other colour.
There is a downside to this, however. If you paint a brick wall, you will shorten its lifetime because you’re preventing the brick and the mortar from breathing. You will have to check it regularly and make the necessary corrections if you want to avoid going through the whole process again. Otherwise, you could follow the guidelines of Écohabitation experts.
The brick doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth. A brick with jagged sides and overflowing mortar offers a different look. You could also distress the brick to make it imperfect. Some people even marble the brick to make it look more rugged. Continue reading →
Wine is suitable for all seasons, but during the rigours of fall and winter, it provides a warmth that is unique to it. During these times, it has the gift of reconciling us with life. Not surprising that lovers of good wine reserve a specific place for it.
Some people store it in their closet. Sacrilegious? Not at all. Good bottles of wine can be stored anywhere, as long as it is cool, devoid of light, has an ambient temperature between 10 and 15 degrees and 55% to 80% humidity. Warning! All these conditions must be respected to the letter, all year long. Wine is delicate and sensitive to changes in temperature. It needs stability. The slightest change can alter it.
To ensure this stability, some wine enthusiasts resort to a mini-air conditioner, a humidifier, a wine cooler, and other devices after having consulted a wine specialist.
There are two other mandatory conditions: the wine must be free from any vibration and the air it breathes must be pure. Therefore, you should avoid storing it in the garage. Continue reading →
The cold sets in. The good old fireplace will soon find our feet, our hands, our faces and our best smiles. It will offer us warmth and the crackling of its logs as soon as we get close enough. The fireplace is very practical, but it can also be very beautiful if you take the time to refit it with a nice exterior when you’re doing renovations, decoration or construction work.
A fireplace can be a column of rough and massive stones or, on the contrary, a column with a finely sculpted mantel that evokes Greek or Roman esthetics, to the great pleasure of owners with a classical taste.
A fireplace can be monumental in size and its relief or built in for greater discretion. The contemporary look is ideal for a built-in fireplace, because it spreads softness and simplicity. This makes the contemporary look perfect for a suspended fireplace. Most fireplaces are made of metal. They are so slender that they appear to be mobile. Continue reading →
Initially, a real loft was a dwelling outfitted in an abandoned industrial building. At some point, interior design professionals had the idea of using the loft lifestyle in houses or traditional apartments. Easy to understand why: there isn’t an abundance of abandoned industrial buildings. Yet, people were looking for a loft.
And that’s how the loft lifestyle saw the light of day. Are you interested in it?
You can easily convert your living space to adapt the loft style. Again you have to know how to deal with the restrictions, the first one being that the structure of the traditional dwelling does not have the strength or solidity of an industrial building. There are also the ceilings and walls, not to mention a lack of an open central space.
It would be a good idea to get advice from a building professional or architect. Otherwise, make sure you have plenty of patience before you start.
Do you like playing with volumes? You’re going to have a lot of fun. First, you have to create a central open space, which means removing a maximum number of doors and walls according to industry standards. The loft style reduces barriers. It favours light, air, space.
How do you divide the rooms? Go by block: mezzanine for a floor, different floor covering for each room, small walls, retracting partitions, stretched canvas, sliding panels to replace walls, bedroom on a platform.
Install sliding doors and vertical windows. Add a skylight? Great idea.
A metal stairway highlights the loft effect. Placing it in the centre of the room would not be a bad idea. Leave out the risers: they’re an unneeded barrier. A ladder leading to the mezzanine is also a very loft thing while having the benefit of being movable, which saves space. A bridge connecting the two rooms on the mezzanine level is a loft whim.
Concrete, wood, brick, steel and stone are the favourite materials of loft disciples. Pick freely from them for the various coverings. Loft fanatics really like recycled materials. Keep that in mind.
Slate and polyurethane flooring are solutions for changing the previous materials. There is also wallpaper that imitates these materials perfectly if you find them too noisy or too heavy. Tiles do the same thing.
Favour glass in order to not disturb the natural light that flows in generously through your new windows. And to enhance the space: small wall of glass slabs or transparent panels, glass guardrail along the mezzanine, patio door. And why not use glass for the mezzanine floor?
The heart of the loft style being the height provided by an industrial building, create ways to get visitors to look up: add poles or columns, install a long vertical mirror, sculpture or tall plant, low tables, tripod lamp or old lamppost.
Recess to the maximum: lighting and heating fixtures, sliding partition on rails recessed in the ground. Even the kitchen table can slide on rails.
Other ways to gain space: storage modules on rollers, folding furniture, mobile screens that function as walls, furniture equipped with wood bases on wheels to move as needed.
Lofts were originally designed for people who lived alone. Today, even small families cram into loft style lodgings.
We recommend the following references to guide you in the work. Everything is clear and detailed.
We tasted food cooked in a wood oven on the roof of a hotel at the Siwa Oasis in Egypt. We didn’t see what it was made of. We did notice the exquisite taste of the lavash (Egyptian bread that we call pita bread), Clepara pizza and oum mali (oriental pudding).
More and more people are building an outdoor oven in Quebec. These ovens are taking different shapes. One thing to keep in mind is that the materials have to support high temperatures for a long time. You think that brick would be the obvious choice. But wait! The quality of the brick or its finish are not always up to par.
You just can’t combine field rocks or bricks stuck together with mortar. Our cold temperatures require a good insulation system.