Decorate your home with a hot tin roof
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.