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Kitchen Ugliness

I have two really ugly holes in my kitchen ceiling, right over the woodstove.  They look like this:

They're vents that go up to the second floor - one to each bedroom.  The allow the warm air from the woodstove to theoretically rise and heat the bedrooms.  I don't know if they actually DO that, but they're there, and I hate drywalling ceilings.  Originally, there were really, really ugly metal floor grates in those holes.  I took them down to paint the ceiling, and wanted to put something nicer-looking up.  I picked up some inexpensive wood faced grates at Home Depot, but they don't fit - the holes are too close to each other, and we would have to trim them to fit.

That was what we had planned to do, but over Valentine's Day weekend, isabeau_lark   came to visit, and in the course of talking about her heat registers, she found this site: www.heatregisters.com.  They had a lot of really neat things, if you're into house bits.  Among them are decorative vent covers - they look to be either laser or water jet cut plywood.  Regardless, they're awfully pretty.  We could get one, add some molding on the edges, and screw one piece up to cover both holes.


I can't decide.  There's four that I like, and while we have some preferences, I'd like to get some opinions.  So what do you think?


Quatrefoil: (the badge we registered for the two of us is a quatrefoil)

Revival: (this is pretty cool - it reminds me of all those medallions from the borders of the Grande Heures of Jean de Berry.  Just, kind of sideways)


Any thoughts?  I won't be doing this for a while.  As I mentioned, those vents are directly over the woodstove, which is running continually.  This will be a spring project.  A late spring project.

EDIT: I didn't mention paint options, because I really don't know.  Do I want it to stand out more, or blend in more?  Ceiling white would blend it in, black or a metallic would stand it out.  Clueless.  Desperately looking for input.  :-)

Which Pattern






( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 1st, 2010 12:25 am (UTC)
The second part of the question was impossible to answer without knowing what colour stain/paint, so I just had to plug one in. I think paint would emphasize the shape more dramatically, being starkly one colour, making the edges stand out more...but if the grain is really gorgeous, or the stain colour is really stunning in its surroundings...
Mar. 1st, 2010 01:48 am (UTC)
Same here. I also agree that a metallic finish should also be an option.
Mar. 1st, 2010 02:06 am (UTC)
I hadn't thought of a metallic paint...
Mar. 1st, 2010 02:26 am (UTC)
You could also do a textured paint...stone and so on. You could paint it to look like wrought iron, too. Or terracotta.
Mar. 1st, 2010 02:04 am (UTC)
I mentioned in the edit that I don't really *know* what color stain/paint - that's part of the problem. They've got them in paint grade and stain grade, so either is an option. I tend to go "stain" because I really love wood, but I'm trying to keep an open mind.
Mar. 1st, 2010 02:11 am (UTC)
The edit wasn't there when I read the poll :) I think I saw the entry pretty immediately after it was made. I've been on the net off and on all night, since I'm just sitting with my laptop, writing and stuff.

I hate the look of too much wood. I like wood as an accent, but if there's too much of it, even if it's nice it all starts to look cheap to me, like 70s wood paneling. I'd go with stain if you really want the look of wood and the surroundings support it particularly well, but otherwise I'd go with the more graphic element added by solid paint. But that's my style...I don't like too much harmony or blending. (I like things that 'go', dont' get me wrong.) I like pop and impact. To me, wood almost never has much impact. (I only like dark wood anyway, so that's limiting right there. I hate middle-toned woods like those in my parents kitchen. They just all look cheap to me.)

Anyway, that's my spiel. I think wood is great as an accent, as I have it in my living room (pretty much just trim on the shelves and a table in dark walnut.) But to choose what I'd do in YOUR place, I'd need more info. I can only tell you what I'd do in my own house. :)
Mar. 1st, 2010 12:53 am (UTC)
Since you didn't offer my preferred option
I chose stain. Preferred would be an antiqued metal finish or dark bronze :-D
Mar. 1st, 2010 02:05 am (UTC)
Re: Since you didn't offer my preferred option
I could try a metallic paint, but actual metal wasn't an option. If it was, it would be a slam dunk and I'd just be showing you the finished product.
Mar. 1st, 2010 02:03 am (UTC)
I said stain as well. Something that matches the beams, either as they are, or as you're going to make them, would make the most sense to me. I still have to contact them to see if they'll match my paint for my trim.

BTW, just posted pix of the box project we spent so much time discussing that weekend. Slowly but surely!

Edited at 2010-03-01 02:05 am (UTC)
Mar. 1st, 2010 02:07 am (UTC)
Strangely, I hadn't thought of tying it into the beams. (Obviously, or I would have mentioned their existence for the people reading who have never been in my kitchen...)

I'm SO glad you found that website.

Mar. 1st, 2010 11:36 pm (UTC)
Me too. It means eventually I'll be able to get rid of the ugly things in my living room, dining room and kitchen!
Mar. 2nd, 2010 01:30 am (UTC)
Beams... that's exactly what I was thinking!
Mar. 1st, 2010 02:29 am (UTC)
Call me a party pooper, but...
I think the quatrefoil is very pretty, but I think the more something like this blends in, the better--i.e. paint it to match the ceiling. For one thing, it looks like they're at diagonal angles to each other, so making them stand out would make that even more obvious, and very distracting to the people inclined to be distracted by that sort of thing. If they blend in and someone casually looks up and notices the pretty pattern, that's a nice bonus, but otherwise I think reducing the visual distraction is important.

I think all of the designs are lovely, by the way.
Mar. 1st, 2010 02:49 am (UTC)
Re: Call me a party pooper, but...
Actually, I wasn't paying attention. I for some reason thought it was right above a fireplace. (On the wall. Which would be very strange. I really shouldn't go by pictures and only skim the entry.)

I agree that ceiling vents aren't really meant to be seen/noticed. It's kind of like a patch on clothing; it's best if it blends in.
Mar. 1st, 2010 05:50 am (UTC)
IMO, Simple is better so I picked Tudor.. Also, large holes = better air flow & less annoying dust bunnies, plus easier to vacuum out the dust bunnies & cobwebs when they do happen.

On your ceiling, I think less obtrusive is better so I'd say, paint them to match. The pattern will be pretty enough.

These are just my thoughts at midnight-thirty.
Mar. 1st, 2010 01:37 pm (UTC)
I guess my two cents would be: which pattern would best match the colonial theme? Which pattern would they have around, hypothetically?
Mar. 1st, 2010 02:42 pm (UTC)
I'll go with Tudor, for the reasons merimask gives. Dustbunnies, bad! However, I'd go for a wrought iron or other metalic look, since it's probably going to be obvious that there's something there no matter what, and if it's trying to blend in with the ceiling, it may initially look like you've had a psychotic mouse at work up there.
Mar. 1st, 2010 11:16 pm (UTC)
I'm not real good at judging what will and will not look good in an area. Simply looking at my own house would tell you that but I voted anyway.

One thing I would add however is that you might consider adding a small fan(s) to these vents. In theory hot air will rise and warm the rooms however the flow rate through such opening with natural air flow is not great. Adding a fan, much like those used in PCs for cooling, will draw much more air into the upstairs and give a degree of control to how much heat you pump into the upstairs. I believe these can be found in home improvement stores. If not fans with a thermostat control shouldn't be too hard to rig.

Hope you're surviving the winter and snow without too many problems.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )