Today’s blog post has been kindly written by a fabulous guest blogger Caitlyn, and this afternoon she is sharing with us an interior design article on the beauty of slate and how to improve your living spaces with the addition of just a few traditional features.
Generally speaking slate has become a trendy home addition – now placemats, coasters, tables and slate chalkboards are all popular items for the home especially in the wake of a shabby chic revival. In the kitchen, slate is even used for serving food – a movement which started in swanky restaurants and gastropubs which has transcended the professional sector and is now a feature in many people’s homes. Partly thanks to these new interior trends, slate hearths have now seen a comeback which makes the most of their aesthetic qualities as well as their practical properties.
Fireplaces traditionally are solid square or rectangular features in natural or stained wood, marble or synthetic material, often with tiled, marble or slate hearths. Slate hearths were traditionally a feature of old cottages or Victorian houses, a small barely noticeable area of black stone sitting underneath the fire or stove.
Creating a talking point for your home
Gone are the days in which slate hearths were a functional, nondescript element of a fireplace with nothing further to add to a room in terms of style and purpose – now they are a centrepiece, a talking point and a real feature in the home. Slate is simple and natural yet versatile – so it adds a modern yet rustic edge and compliments a huge variety of different décor. It’s also grey or black in colour – so it’s perfect for any colour room and doesn’t clash. Slate simply makes a statement without being showy or ‘in your face’ – which is why it fits perfectly with utilitarian Swedish styles, regency Victorian styles and slick modern designs alike.
Aside from the contemporary design factor, a slate hearth still adds a rustic, natural cottage feel to any home. Perfect paired with a wood burning stove, slate lasts a lifetime – it is incredibly durable and very heat resistant.
What slate to choose?
Welsh slate is widely recognised as the ‘crème de la crème’ of slates – it’s been mined there for thousands of years and has a unique composition which is unrivalled by its counterparts from overseas. It comes with a price, however depending on the size and nature of your project you can find reclaimed Welsh slate at lower prices which is often a good choice for period properties as it tends to have added character. Contrary to popular belief, slate isn’t just available in square or rectangular form in rough black or grey. It can be cut to any shape or size (circular, curved, triangular, bevelled) – and there are a variety of finishes available – natural, polished, smooth, matte – the choice is yours.
A good fireplace manufacturer will be able to advise you on what sort of look and finish will suit your home. They’ll work with you to cater exactly to budget and preference, whether you’re simply fitting a slate hearth on its own, or whether it is a component of a larger scale project. Good manufacturers also tend to build to specification and hand-craft their hearths, so there aren’t any creative constraints as there may be if you were buying the slate ready-made. Slate comes in different qualities from different sources, so it’s always important to check up on this with your manufacturer first.
However you choose to use slate in your home, it’s obvious that this once humble material is now a sought-after commodity which fits with all styles and designs and adds a unique element to your room.
Guest post supplied by Bespoke Marble Fireplaces – specialists in the installation and manufacturing of quality marble fireplace surrounds.