Tag Archive for: warmth

warmth + winter

23 Feb
February 23, 2016


February is here, which means winter has set in. We hope that you have already taken steps to prepare your home for winter. Cleaning your furnace filter, refrigerator coils and maintaining drains all are essential in winter home keeping safety.  If you live in a part of the country that hasn’t already received some amount of snowfall, chances are within the next three months you still could. Which means, you’ll be spending time preparing a fire and enjoying the physical warmth and inviting atmosphere it provides.


We are quick to recognize the importance of tending the functionality of the fire; ensuring there’s enough wood supply and keeping the flue clean, but what about the esthetics of the fireplace?

The screen and tool holders don’t have to be an eyesore; rather they are another expression of style. Architects and interior designers commonly utilize the fireplace for design inspiration as a focal point in the room.



Great Lakes Metal Works can help with just about everything besides making the fire (but word around here is, if you offer Richard a homemade German Chocolate cake, he’ll probably do that too!). We create beautiful, one-of-a-kind fireplace surrounds, fireplace tool holders and can also recommend a chimney sweep or bulk firewood source if you are in need. 

An imaginative screen reflective of this client's taste in design meets the demand for function as well.

An imaginative screen reflective of this client’s taste in design meets the demand for function as well.

A decorative element above the fireplace is a great way to set the style for the room

A decorative element above the fireplace is a great way to set the style for the room.

Does Ambiance Really Matter?

22 Oct
October 22, 2015

Think of the last time you had a truly enjoyable dining experience. What made it so pleasant? You may not be surprised to realize it was more than just the food that satisfied you. Does restaurant ambiance affect the enjoyment of food? Studies show yes, restaurant ambiance plays a huge part in whether guests positively viewed their meal and if they will come back again.

A New York Times article entitled, “Ambiance of Eating: What is its Role?” explains how eating is both a physiological and a psychological act. “The body responds in the most subtle of ways to surroundings- to harsh colors, bad lighting, noise or tension. It is no coincidence that some of the highest-rated restaurants are also among the most beautiful,” explains an inspector for Guide Michelin.

With that knowledge in hand, what steps can be taken to ensure a relaxed dining experience that matches the food you’re serving? Let’s consider how the atmosphere of your restaurant can enhance the pleasure of what is eaten.



Including planter boxes is a great idea to create a calm and soothing environment and an easy way to incorporate nature into a dining space.


Decorative fireplace surrounds are a thoughtful detail to the dining space, adding to the comfort of a room.



As one of the first things seen upon entering a restaurant, the hostess stand should also be a statement piece, reflecting the style of the restaurant.



Consider the signage with your restaurant name; it can easily become a piece of art and more then just a title.


A custom built bar top is a sure way to up the wow factor of a restaurant as well.


You may have already thought about this, but the same principles apply to your residential dining space as well. Equally as important is the room where meals are eaten; just as the bedroom is a place of solitude and rest and no work should be done there, so the dining room or kitchen is the suitable room for eating. Next time you’re tempted to plop down in front of the T.V. just remember the adverse affects this has on your digestion and ability to judge how satiating a meal has been.

We’re available for design consultation, fabrication and even restoration of any wood, metal or stone element of a dining space. Give us a call at 773.517.6733 or email us at info@greatlakesartstudio.com.