Dec­o­rate your home with a hot tin roof

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOME DECOR - By Leslie Blake-Cote

WHEN Mathieu Pronovost and his fi­ancée, Ta­nia Pas­safi­ume, bought a home in Ot­tawa’s By­Ward Mar­ket area 18 months ago, they thought they were pre­pared.

They had limited money, but lots of en­ergy and fam­ily will­ing to help with sweat eq­uity.

They knew their home, which dates back to the late 1800s, needed a lot of work, es­pe­cially the ceil­ings. Three as it turns out: in the en­trance, the liv­ing room and the din­ing area.

The op­tions were limited. It was ei­ther stucco or wall­board, says Pronovost. “Then I re­mem­bered, when I lived in Mon­treal, be­ing in restau­rants and cof­fee shops that had tin ceil­ings. We thought they were beau­ti­ful and very orig­i­nal.”

Their de­ci­sion be­came a no-brainer. “In fact,” laughs Pronovost, “my elec­tri­cian said that 20 to 30 years ago peo­ple were throw­ing the tin out. To­day it’s com­ing back.”

Their de­tec­tive work be­gan as they went on­line, check­ing out dif­fer­ent com­pa­nies.

They fi­nally set­tled on Tin Ceil­ings in Mannheim, Ont., a sub­ur­ban com­mu­nity near Kitch­ener, be­cause of the great web­site, a huge se­lec­tion of dec­o­ra­tive tin and the abil­ity to se­lect their de­signed pieces and see the fin­ished ceil­ing on their com­puter screen.

Since the cou­ple con­ducted their search on­line, they never ac­tu­ally met the own­ers of the com­pany. The Tin Ceil­ing Com­pany is fam­ily-owned and op­er­ated by Brian and Linda Greer, their daugh­ter, Amy, and her fi­ancé, Robert Entz.

Greer first no­ticed tin ceil­ings in the small On­tario com­mu­nity of St. Mary’s when he was 12 and never for­got them. In 1972, he opened his own busi­ness in cus­tom metal work.

To­day, the Greers’ com­pact, busy fa­cil­ity be­lies the breadth of their clien­tele. Cus­tomers come from ev­ery prov­ince, each Amer­i­can state, Europe, Hong Kong, Ja­pan and Is­rael. Depend­ing on the geog­ra­phy, the Greers ship the tin pan­els to their desti­na­tions by FedEx, truck or plane.

How­ever, Pronovost and Pas­safi­ume were concerned when their ship­ment ar­rived, sup­pos­edly con­tain­ing enough metal to cover the three ceil­ings in their By­Ward Mar­ket home. Hav­ing paid $2,800, in­clud­ing $195 for ship­ping, the crate seemed far too small. They were cer­tain part of the or­der was missing. i i

How­ever, af­ter open­ing the crate, they were re­as­sured. It was beau­ti­fully pack­aged with nice tis­sue and each moulded piece fit into the other, says Pas­safi­ume.

The pan­els are still rest­ing in the ship­ping crate as the cash-strapped cou­ple get the ceil­ings ready for the ren­o­va­tion job.

They have de­cided to spray paint the ceil­ings and the tin white, then they will rely on fam­ily and friends to in­stall the tiles.

It’s a de­tailed job, but the com­pany of­fers de­tailed di­rec­tions.

The dec­o­ra­tive tin isn’t limited to ceil­ings, says Amy Greer. They can be used for wain­scot­ting, kitchen back splashes, bars, room di­viders, mir­rors, planters, cupboards, even stove hoods.

For the ad­ven­tur­ous dec­o­ra­tor, there’s some­thing new on the mar­ket that is, iron­i­cally, quite old.

— Canwest News Ser­vice

For the am­a­teur, in­stalling a tin ceil­ing can be com­pared to fram­ing a pic­ture.

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