5 Reasons to Add a Fireplace to Your Home This Winter

Across the country, many states are being hit with big snowstorms and all-time low temperatures. We’re in the thick of winter and keeping warm seems to be on everyone’s mind. There is nothing more cozy and homely than a freshly lit fireplace to keep you and your family warm. Here are five reasons to install a fireplace or light yours up this winter!

It warms your home…and your spirit!

The most obvious reason to get a fireplace is to keep you physically warm. Before radiators and electric heating were invented, many people would use fireplaces to warm their entire houses. After all, nothing is hotter than fire! With a working fireplace, you’ll likely be able to save on your heating bills. With the fire burning, you won’t need to use your central heating as much. But besides providing actual heat to a room, fireplaces will warm your spirit. Cuddling up by the fire with a cozy blanket, a warm drink, and a book is the best way to unwind on any winter evening. They’re relaxing to look at, hear, and feel. It instantly adds a cozy atmosphere to a room that truly cannot be replicated by anything else.

Provides a great place for family fun

Arranging your living room around a fireplace creates a fantastic space for family fun! If you have kids you can gather around the fire and tell stories to each other, read books, or even roast some marshmallows. In this age of screens and TVs, fireplaces provide an important space where the whole family can spend time together without the help of electronic devices. While keeping warm, you can teach your children about fire safety and find new ways to bond as a family!

It ties a room together

The designer in me loves a good fireplace for the simple reason of how it quickly ties a room together. A well-designed fireplace looks amazing and elevates a space from a house to a home. The mantlepiece provides a lovely platform for your favorite decor and the space above the fireplace simply begs for some artwork or family portraits. A plain wall is transformed into a cozy, beautiful area with the simple addition of a fireplace.

Adds Value to your home

A working fireplace is definitely sought after for homebuyers, so installing one is an easy way to add value to your property if you ever decide to move or sell. Not only does it make a room look beautiful, but especially if you live in an area that gets cold in the winter, your fireplace could easily become a selling point for your property. Everyone wants to cozy up next to the fire during winter. Making the investment now will likely pay off in the long run.

There are no excuses!

Getting a fireplace may sound like an intimidating or impossible venture to take on your home design journey. However, they’re easier to install than you might think. Many houses, especially older ones, may already have a chimney and fireplace that was covered up with wallboards. Either way, a team of designers would be able to put in the work for you.

The photos below are of a room that I designed, which involved adding in a custom-made fireplace. It was originally a blank wall before we started, and I decided to design the room around this bespoke fireplace. We started by creating custom made windows on either side and then built the custom-made working fireplace with a chimney. On the adjacent wall, we added custom-made built-in bookcases with a desk in the middle and finished the room off with bespoke club chairs, an ottoman, draperies, and roman shades. I’m very happy with how this room turned out and know that my clients will be enjoying many cozy evenings in this beautiful room!

What are you waiting for?

Adding a fireplace to your home is an investment that will pay itself off in the years to come. It provides heat (saving you money on your heating bills), adds value to your property, warms the family’s spirit, and looks amazing! If you’re looking to get a fireplace installed, head to our services page to see how we can help you.

Scott Antique Markets: A Designer’s Dream

As a designer, a large part of my job is sourcing furniture and decor for my clients’ designs. I’m always striving to find unique and beautiful pieces, and going antiquing seems to be the best way to guarantee this. Scott Antique Markets is one of my absolute favorite places to source home furnishing and decor.

Why Antique?

There are numerous benefits of choosing to invest in antique pieces.

Quality & Durability: Most antique pieces were handcrafted long ago. They were made by skilled craftsmen with care and precision which is often lost in flat-pack furniture and commercial retail. When someone fabricates a single piece, you know it’s been given more attention than something made by machines on an assembly line. The piece has made its way through history which speaks for itself in terms of quality and durability. When you invest in antique pieces you know that they’ll last you life time. Not only are they physically durable, but antique pieces don’t go out of style. So you can have confidence when buying an antique that the piece will last you a lifetime.

Investment: Antique furniture and decor keeps its value. In some cases, it even increases in value the longer it’s around. If you purchase an antique piece today and later decide you want to change it, selling the piece should be no hard task. You may even make some money from it!

Sustainability: Buying an antique is one of the best forms of sustainability. Rather than sending the piece to a landfill, it gets to live on with you. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, about 9.69 million tons of furniture was taken to landfills in 2015 alone. Choosing to buy antique pieces instantly cuts down your personal contribution to this. Antique pieces are the epitome of the “reuse” in “Reduce, reuse, recycle!”

Individuality: Whether it’s a rug, a chair, a vanity, or a vase, if it’s antique, it’s unique! I take pride in the fact that my designs for my clients are always bespoke, personalised and unique. One of the easiest ways to do this is sourcing antique pieces. Because they’re not mass produced, no one will have the exact same piece as you, bringing a lovely individuality into any design.

Scott Antique Markets: All You Need to Know

The Market only opens once a month, so be sure to plan ahead! The Atlanta Market is opening from February 11-14th, so make sure to book a morning or afternoon off to make it there! If not, they’ll be open again next month. They also have a location in Ohio, which is due to reopen in November of this year. For a full timetable, please visit their website. Be aware that admission is $5, to be paid at the door only. But with the variety and amount of beautiful pieces to browse, it’s worth every penny.

The Scott Antique Markets were started by Don Scott who worked for nearly 20 years buying and selling antiques around the country. He was working as an exhibitor when he decided to create his own Antique show with a large focus on Customer Service. The Scott Antique Market in Atlanta was born and shortly afterward they expanded to open a market in Columbus, Ohio. Having been to the market since I was a young teen, I can confirm how wonderful their customer service is!

I usually take a list from a client of pieces that need to be sourced for their design. The home furnishings are sourced from all over Europe. And while they do sell New Home furnishing, their antiques are definitely my favorite to look at!

Here are some of my favorite pieces I saw last time I was at the market!

Favorite Pieces - Part 1

Favorite Pieces - Part 2

Interested in renovating? We’ll go to the market for you! Head to our services page to see how we can help you create the home of your dreams!

Designing your home office: Tips, Ideas, & Inspiration

If you work from home, your home office is one of the most important spaces in your house. So today we’re bringing you more tips, ideas, and inspiration for your home-office. I’ll be taking you through a design I did recently for a gentleman’s home-office renovation, so you can see what the process is like from start to finish!

Choosing a Space

The first step in designing your home office will be choosing where to set it up. Home offices are most effective when you’re able to use an entire room. Having a whole room as a dedicated work space will increase your focus and productivity, by creating a physical separation between work and rest. If possible, choose a room with lots of windows so that you can work in natural light. It’s nice to have some extra space to move around during the day. And if you’re the kind of person who likes to walk around while on the phone, having enough space for that in your office will be a big help!

Starting With the Base

When designing any room, I like to start with the base and work my way from there. Choosing one base element to design the rest of the room around makes it easier to coordinate the design. For this gentlemen’s home office, we decided to keep the layout of the room, which meant the focus was on redesigning what was already there. I started with this beautiful rug full of blues, beige, and mocha colors. Starting with this rug meant that I was able to hold the paint samples and other fabric samples directly against it and see that it would all match. For more tips on choosing the perfect paint color for your home office, check out this article.

For the windows, I chose a beautiful valance with three Roman shades under it. Now that the base of the room is all done, we can start turning it into an office!

Furniture & fixings

The most important part of every home office is of course, the desk. Depending on what type of work you do, it’s best to get a desk that’s large enough for you to work without getting too cluttered. For this client, we opted for a large dark-colored desk with beautiful brass details that match the mocha color of the walls and in the rug. This desk was large enough for him to keep his office essentials on the desktop while still having plenty of space to work. They say working in a clutter-free environment helps increase focus and efficiency. We got a matching cabinet for the corner of the office as well, which provides good storage for any documents and office supplies, as well as a place to keep the phone and other bits.

This room already had built-in bookcases, so we left those, but I added a grass cloth behind the bookcase to add color and texture into the room. We also added a window seat cushion upholstered in a textured mocha linen, as well as two throw cushions in a leopard print cut velvet. This added more texture and provided additional seating in the office. We added in a couple of lamps, for those days when work spills over into the evening. All that’s left is the decor!

A Personal Touch

The decor in your home office should motivate you to work, bring you comfort when it gets stressful, and provide an appropriate background for any video-calls, all without becoming too distracting. It’s a delicate balance. We recommend keeping the decor minimal. For this gentlemen’s office, we kept the wall behind his desk simple, with this gorgeous American flag painting. It provides a lovely splash of color and is appropriate to appear in any video calls he may attend.

The bookshelves are filled with books, pictures, certificates, some sporting decor. The baseball bat, balls, and golf clubs are that extra personal touch to inspire my client throughout his workday!

Interested in renovating? Head to our services page to see how we can help you create and design the home office of your dreams!

Kelley Astore Interiors

Expert Interior Design & Renovation Services of Every Style.

Where We Work

Northern Virginia, Washington, DC,
and the Greater Washington Area


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