Friday, 14 November 2014

French Terracotta Shingles in a contemporary project ...

We have just completed a project in Melbourne that demonstrates terracotta shingles fit perfectly in a modern design.
Traditional shingles are usually associated with period home designs, replete with intricate shapes, heaps, ridges and gables, as well as steeper roof pitch. But on this project, architects Kennedy & Nolan chose the sheer lines of a pyramidal shape, and the plain and vivid colour of raw terracotta.
The result is a landmark that will age nicely and stand the test of time, probably becoming a classic example in a future near us.

This is not in Egypt, but in a Melbourne leafy inner suburb...
Indeed, it wont take too many years before this roof blends with style and originality, just off one of Melbourne's most recognized golden miles.

Making sure the shingles are aligned !

Getting there ...

Always on top of things !

A timeless pyramid shape ...

Another best kept secret in one of  Melbourne's leafy suburbs ...
With a range of French roof tiles that also includes Mediterranean curved profiles, TGH is able to respond to any request for a genuine French look, supply only, or supply and fix as well. With 17 years of experience in Australia (and far more in old Europe...), we can certainly direct you to a location in Melbourne or Sydney that will very likely resemble what your next project is going to look like !
          But to keep it simple, we have a number of picture galleries on our website, for you to draw inspiration from. And if it is not enough, we are just a phone call away for some serious advice. We shall speak soon !

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

The Cremone bolts: an element of Classic French architecture

A bit of history

Cremone locks first appeared in France during the 18th century. Although a lot of details are missing on its origin, specialists believe the product was imported from the Cremone region in Northern Italy.

At this time two window lock devices were used in homes: the Espagnolette and the Cremone. With increasing urbanisation in the 19th century, Cremone locks became more and more popular in France's large cities.

Nowadays, a lot of Parisian apartments are still equipped with this traditional window lock to protect the building's authenticity.
Gearbox with olive knob (white epoxy / polished brass)

How does it work?

This system is very simple and is composed of three main elements:

- Rods: each Cremone set has two rods, one at the bottom and one at the top. When you turn the knob, they slide up and down on the outside surface of your window or door and lock into sockets that are fixed to the door / window frame or the floor itself.

- Handle: it can be either knob or lever form.

- Cast housing: this cast iron box is where the mechanism is installed. The handle rotation engages a pair of rack gears which then push the rods upward and downward at the same time into the sockets.

A full Cremone set showing upper rod section and gearbox

An heritage product into contemporary projects

This traditional locking system is widely used in France even today. The variety of modern colours and finishes has given this product a second life. Few companies can supply it in the variety of options we have.

The best example is as per above picture, for clients who were looking for a different combination, to match their contemporary interior. We custom-made the Cremone sets with a Satin Nickel finish for both knob and rods.
The result is stunning, giving this piece of art a bright future in contemporary interior design.

Brass olive knob / steel box
Pewter lever and box
Nickel satin rods and olive knob / white epoxy box

Thursday, 23 January 2014

How to recreate a French Provençal style for your home?

"Fashion goes out of fashion. Style never does." This famous quote from Parisian icon, Coco Chanel, suits perfectly what Provençal style is to France. Even though we have seen change in aesthetic, ancient practices are still carried on. Especially when it comes to interior design.

The French Provençal style in interior design:

Sophisticated in its noble simplicity of line and colour it perfectly reflects French "Art de vivre".

French Provençal style traces it origins to between the fifteen and seventeen centuries. France at this time was already a country of contradictions, being very different from North to South. However, the common feature of all its regions was the passion for the simplicity of interiors. Which is still true for the Provençal style.

Proven çal style furniture is easily recognizable by its vegetal ornament, shaped table and chair legs.or, chair back molding. Traditionally, the main material used was timber being completed by other materials. For example, wrought iron gives a real chic accent to a Provençal house: bed heads, mirror frames or even chandeliers. The Provençal interior is based on the art of communicating lightness to heavy furniture.

This style continues to be widely replicated in contemporary interiors, with an emphasis on main rooms: kitchen, living room and bedrooms. It is a misconception to thinks that Provençal style is all high ceilings and large windows. A standard size room can recreate the spirit by adding white washed furniture.

A Provence living room is commonly composed of low and deep armchairs covered with colourful fabrics. A low coffee table made of timber (ready to share a bottle of wine and cheese), a dresser, centrally position, with weathered finish will complete the look.

You can accentuate this feeling by adding porcelain home ware, upholstered chairs and a massive oak table. Dinner is a special moment for the French, they spend a lot of time around the table discussing and sharing their day - and enjoying their food!

A bedroom in Provence has to be comfortable, ideal for quiet rest. Like any other room the furniture is timber with 3 mains pieces: bed, chest of drawers and vanity table. Linen curtains are used to reduce the light but not to obstruct it - this is the function of shutters. Finally, a carpet placed under the bed atop floorboards is the way "Provençaux" appreciate their interiors.

The kitchen is the masterpiece, naturally! A big cast iron oven with a stone hood will make a chef of any cook. Joinery is simple but yet practical - no glossy effect. For the floor, stone or tile pavement, the easiest way to keep the heart of your home clean. Don't forget to have your pans and saucepans hanging on the wall - et voila - you have made a home.