The Cross House

Wanna See My Cool Grilles?

Last week I did a post about replacing the cheap AC floor grilles in the parlor. I wanted to avoid confusing the all-important historical narrative so grilles which were distinctly modern (and high quality) was my aim.

I fell in love with grilles made by Kul (pronounced cool) but not a single reader liked them!


This is what I had. Oh, the horror! The horror! Wanna see what I have now? Scroll way down…





















The grilles look gray in the image. They are a dull gold in person. They are also 1,000% more sophisticated than what I had before. It also delights me that something so minor (floor grilles!) has been given some thought. And that the historical narrative has not been screwed with. At a glance, a person will look at the grilles and think: Oh. The house has new AC. Cool.

Some readers suggested getting wood grilles that kinda vanished into the wood flooring. But…I want to celebrate that my 1894 house has modern central AC! I do not want the tell-tale sign of AC, grilles, to vanish but rather to be something distinct and beautiful.

The 1894 radiators of the house are gorgeous, and are rich with detail. These were innovations when the house was built and they were clearly intended to be looked at and admired.

And this was my thinking when it came time to the AC grilles.


10 Responses to Wanna See My Cool Grilles?

  1. So why isn’t this THE default design for vents? In situ, perfect! I wasn’t convinced before.

    Ross, trendsetting Victorian design in the 21st century. Keep on, leader! Take us to the promised land.

  2. To me they scream ‘modern’. So I don’t like them at all. But, the next owner of the Cross house could easily change them if the spirit moves them. I know everyone generally offers high praise for your aesthetic, but I totally detest modern design and plastic and pastel colors. I have often thought I was born in the wrong century. BTW I offer my highest praise ‘Summa cum laude’ to you, for your preservation and restoration of the exterior and interior architectural details. A dio, Ross!

    • Hi Michael,

      The grilles do scream MODERN.

      But that was the whole point.

      The house did not have central AC when it was built. The AC is modern. So I wanted the grilles to reflect this. I do not wish to create a fake history for the house.

      The grilles are also metal, and of high quality.

      While you claim to dislike modernity…your words on being typed on a computer!

  3. I am going to smash my laptop right away- after I check my emails and Facebook. NOT. FWIT I am not against all modernity- I love Victorian exteriors and interiors. It was not a dilemna to me when I had to replace my heater. I had very few original vents. They were very interesting faux-finished slate with cast iron grilles. I had the heating contractor install floor vents and cold air returns where they were supposed to be for the heater and air conditioner can function economically and effectively. Reality often intrudes on our best intentions. However, I do not dislike every bit of modernity. I dislike the modern aesthetic. I think modernism offers very little to a man’s soul. Victorian homes are friendly warm and cozy. Later home construction has a look that lacks the warmth of earlier styles.

    • We will have to disagree about Modernism.

      For example, I have been in Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater and it is one of the most magical, wondrous places ever. It touched my soul deeply. It is also warm and surprisingly cozy!

  4. Unlike some people here I like this grill. It actually blends in more. Even though it’s modern all the other stuff you did makes up for it. I’m glad you replaced the old grills. I would though try to get a victorian style grill from the correct time period (yeah don’t mess with that historical narrative) just to see how it looks.

  5. They look 100% better. You mentioned that no one liked the Kul grilles. It’s not that I didn’t like them, I was just trying to think of ways that you could save money while still maintaining your overall approach. But, anyway, I think they look great and I really admire your attention to detail!

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