Want your home to look like this inspiration room? The designer dishes on what it takes, why it's worth it and how to fake it for less.
This fireplace was designed to be the focal point that would tie together this Sea Cliff living room with an adjoining dining room. A natural stone tile was chosen to complement the existing decor.
"We did a polished travertine tile that has a lot of creams and grays, and a very small thread of red in it, which is a really cool, unexpected pop of color in an otherwise very muted, subtle, sophisticated color palette," says designer Rebecca Goodman, owner of Lola Tucker Interiors in Sea Cliff. She counterbalanced the cool sheen of the tile with a contrasting leathered granite hearth. Under-shelf lighting and splurge-worthy handles on custom cabinetry are understated accents that pack a powerful design punch.
WHAT IT TAKES. The chimney was built from scratch. Goodman estimates the cost for a comparable project in a home with an existing chimney at $10,000-$15,000 for the designer's fee, labor and materials purchased at the designer's rate, which may differ from retail.
TRAVERTINE TILE. $15.15 per square foot, retail
WHY IT'S WORTH IT. You're paying for the quality, durability and unusual beauty of the natural stone, says Goodman. "It's not like ceramic tile . . . It's travertine tile from Italy," she says.
GET THE LOOK FOR LESS. Go for real travertine, but tile a smaller area, such as the fireplace surround. Try Country Tile by Fiorano in Manhasset.
LEATHERED GRANITE. $1,350
WHY IT'S WORTH IT. The weighty slab is a worthy visual anchor for the soaring chimney, and the trendy texture offsets the smooth tile. "They actually take a wire brush and brush out the soft minerals in the granite, so that it gives it texture and depth . . . and a very unusual look," Goodman says.
GET THE LOOK FOR LESS. Try bluestone for similar contrast, though it may lack the impact of granite.
CUSTOM CABINETRY. $5,000, estimated
WHY IT'S WORTH IT. This hardwood cabinetry aligns precisely with the hearth for a clean look. The 21/2-inch shelves are perfectly scaled for the space and thick enough to house the accent lights.
GET THE LOOK FOR LESS. You could forgo the highly stylized look and install stock cabinetry.
PUCK LIGHTS. $100 for four, retail
WHY THEY'RE WORTH IT. These hard-wired lights were built into custom shelving for a distinctive look. "They bathe the objects below them in a very soft light, so you can have the fireplace on and the puck lights on, and it sets the mood," says Goodman.
GET THE LOOK FOR LESS. Don't put this off for a future upgrade -- wiring will be cheaper during a renovation. For a less elegant but affordable alternative, Lowes sells lighting kits that don't require hard-wiring. $10 to $230.
NATURAL HORN CABINET PULLS. $370, retail
WHY IT'S WORTH IT. These handles are handmade of real buffalo horn with brushed bronze hardware. "They are so sexy and so pretty," says Goodman. "They pick up all the colors in the stone and in the hearth...Because they are a natural product, there's so much dimension in the color and the design.They are just very special, unusual pieces that you don't see everywhere else."
GET THE LOOK FOR LESS. You can't fake that wow factor, but for a similar aesthetic, try these leather handles ($44.95 each) at Hicksville-based MyKnobs.com.