Beaux-Arts Classic Products designs and manufactures classic alternatives to replace industrial elements found in all residential and commercial spaces, such as heating and air conditioning vent covers, return air filter grilles, speakers covers, radiator grilles, crawl space vents, and decorative trims for recessed lights.
Industrial Versus Functional Works of Art
Our Mission is to create architectural products that are functional works of art for those design projects that demand the best. “Our products transform everyday eyesores into Functional Works of Art.”
Beaux-Arts Classic Products is a very unique company. From our founding in 2002 we understood that certain interior design elements were only available in basic industrial styles. For instance, decorative options for heating and air conditioning vent covers wee practically non existent, even though fabulous examples of great looking grilles were prominent in historic buildings. We found it odd that buildings built after World War II only had the stamped metal louvered type heating vents and that if one wanted something nicer looking they had to go to an antique store.
So we founded Beaux-Arts to fill this void in the marketplace. We introduced the decorative arts to the interior design industry. The decorative arts movement began during the Italian Renaissance when fine arts were introduced to functional elements like furniture, fireplaces and staircases. It blossomed in mid 19th century England when William Morris created wallpaper with fine arts quality. The decorative arts flourished as the combination of talented artisans, the industrial revolution and rich Americans rushed to build their own European style castles in the United States.
Initially we concentrated on two main areas, first re-creating historic heating vents, and second making historic looking trims for recessed lights. We sought out historic composition ornament made from hand carved wood blocks, which was the same approach used by 19th century artisans. This immediately made us stand out with products that are three-dimensional, while our competitors only made two-dimensional grilles.
Beaux-Arts Classic Products decorative trims for recessed lights were the first available anywhere, in 2003 there were no competitors.
Our first grille designs were, Gothic, French Colonial, Georgian, Italian Renaissance and Louis XIV styles, which were all laid out by hand.
In 2012 We began the transition from making masters by hand to using technology to scan historic elements, manipulate the designs in 3-dimensional software and cut the masters with a CNC to create our functional works of art products line. Today we use technology to create our masters.
Arts and Crafts Style Decorative Grille
RR-209 14×14 in Dark Bronze Finish
These grilles were originally made in Brooklyn, New York from 1865 to 1922. Andrew Carnegie specified them in all of the 1,689 Carnegie Libraries he built in the USA from 1883 to 1929. Beaux-Arts Classic Products has been manufacturing these uniquely American grilles in the USA since 2010. They are the most popular style sold by Beaux-Arts Classic Products.
This grille we feel is the best decorative grille ever made in the United States. There are an assortment of elements interwoven throughout the design, such as the chevron pattern in the moulding, the interlocking diamonds, a rope, a ribbon as well as stylized acanthus leaves.
They can be used for historic preservation since they meet U.S. Government’s General Services Administration Code #1501003S Standards for Historic Preservation Guidelines.
There is nothing in the marketplace that comes close to our Louis XIV Style Decorative grille.
Louis XIV Style Decorative Grille
RR-203 24x24LT in Antique Brass Finish
The Louis XIV style is a very popular grille since it is the only grille of this style in the world. Its best known as the style of the Palace of Versailles and named after the longest reigning king in Europe, King Louis XIV also known as the Sun King. But even today most of the diplomatic state receptions in the world take place in rooms decorated in or influenced by the Louis XIV Style. From France, to Russia to Saudi Arabia the style of Louis XIV has been adopted as their own.
We designed our Louis XIV style grilles to meet the needs of high end design projects and historic preservation worldwide. They have noticed that there is a certain type of client who wants no other style, only the Louis XIV style will do. The basis of the design is the acanthus leaf. We make this style in over 60 different sizes.
Our newest style decorative grille is our Empire Style.
Our line of decorative options for recessed lights has expanded from decorative trims to include decorative trims embellished with crystals. It is a unique product we call “Recessed Light Chandeliers“. They are a great choice for bathrooms, hallways, master closets, kitchens and dining rooms. We offer lots of crystal options, styles and finishes to create the perfect light source for you recessed lighting which is not only practical but attractive.
2016 The most popular Victorian Style Decorative Recessed Light Trim is available in sizes to fit all recessed lighting canisters in the market; 3-3/4″, 4″, 5″, 6″, 6-3/4″. Scanning made it possible to create all these sizes. While preserving the integrity of the original carvings.
2018 Introduced Decorative Recessed Lighting Trims in sizes to fit all LED Retrofit Baffles and the newest LED Wafer technology.
Victorian Style Decorative Recessed Light Trim
For LED Wafer Technology
Every step in the process used to design, manufacture and market products is determined by the fact that Beaux-Arts is driven to make the best, without exception.
It all begins with the design process. Developing a line of decorative grilles takes three or more years. It frequently starts with a historic model, or fraction of a model. The Louis XIV style, started with a small seven inch square, that had been hand carved during the baroque period circa 1700. Next the fragment is scanned and the search begins for other elements necessary to make a larger design. The design process involves hundreds of hours of 3D computer engineering on a CAD program.
The next step in the process is to make a mock-up. Many times a three-dimensional computer drawing looks quite different as a model. The mock-up points out what needs fixing and what needs to be thrown out.
All our models are made on a CNC milling machine. Even a small 6” x 10” piece takes 20 to 30 hours of constant machining on the CNC. The tooling used to cut the design are a tiny 1/64” tapered ball nose bit, needed to mill the fine detail and smooth surface required. It usually takes five to ten mock-ups to hone a 3D drawing into a model worth pursuing further.
When a new style is agreed upon and the models look great, the real work begins. Usually the smaller size grilles are made first, since most HVAC grilles are the smaller supply size grilles. To make each size, an exact 3D drawing is made, then the tool paths computed so that the CNC can mill the new master. A master is a perfect copy of each grille size made out of an extremely hard material so that it will last forever. From that master, molds can be made so copies can be cast then sold. While the smaller size grilles can be made in a day or two, making the largest sizes can take eight to ten days of continuous milling, day and night. Rough cut bits wear out after fifteen hours, while finishing bits can cut continuously for five days or more. The spindle turns the bits at 17,000 rpm without any vibration. Making 70 different sizes of the same style grille can take three years from start to finish.
After each master is finished, molds are created in the negative, so that exact images of the masters can be cast, again and again until the mold wears out.
Our products are cast in the finest urethane resin, made by one of the world’s best resin producers. Urethane resin is an exterior grade material which is impervious to water and UV rays. Urethane resin is very expensive. We use it because it gives a lost wax quality casting without the cost and wastage of using the lost wax method. In the Decorative Arts era most fine casting was done in the lost wax method. Today the cost of the labor and materials make the lost wax method of casting economically prohibitive. If you examine a Beaux-Arts Classic Products casting you will not see flash, air bubbles or rough or grainy surfaces, like on most other metal or cast iron type castings. We tried some of the best sand casting foundries in the US, but the casting came out grainy and rough with way too much flash. We also tried aluminum casting but that was also rough and grainy and not suitable for the smooth surface detail our designs require.
After casting all products are placed on tempered glass shelves in an industrial oven for curing. Heat curing actually enhances the qualities of the resin, by increasing the tensile strength, dimensional stability and heat tolerance. Baking at high temperatures also quickens the natural curing process from seven days to eight hours.
After spending the night in the oven all products spend time in the machine shop, and planing the backs. This is also where the screw holes are drilled out.
Beaux-Arts Classic Products offers 12 different finishes for our grilles. Many of them are hardware finishes, like rubbed bronze, dark bronze. antique brass, aged copper, nickel, pewter and umber gold. Others are wood like finishes like antique cherry, Chinese red.
These finishes are created by a method that Beaux-Arts developed in-house, which is somewhat similar to powder coating. The basic difference is that powder coating uses an electrostatic charge to the powder particles, which are then attached magnetically to the grounded ferrous metal part. The powders are applied to the front surface of the mold, next the resin enters the mold and chemically fuses with the powder. The strength and durability of this process creates a maintenance free finish. Finally the finish is glazed to achieve an aged look and some finishes require further highlights. Other finishes such as white, black and bright gold are sprayed on in the paint booth.