INTERIOR DESIGN   |   Carolyn Feinstein   |   May 01, 2020

INTERIOR DESIGN   |   Carolyn Feinstein

May 01, 2020

Let's take a little break from the norm to explore a modern and innovative solution to a problem we have resolved to accept as a necessity.

How can an air vent be sexy? Take a look, up or down, and examine the air register next to you. Does it say anything but "please, clean me"? What if it integrated so seamlessly into your walls, or ceilings, or floors, that you never gave it a second thought. The finish - perfect match. Rusted frame - no thanks. Ability to see the years of dust through the louvers - not a chance. See? Sexy.

Here in Central Texas, it's rare to find floor vents used for HVAC. Often times in Austin, HVAC ducting is run down to the living area from an uninsulated attic space above. I happen to think running an A/C unit in a 140° attic is the worst idea anyone has ever had, and I'm including crocodile wrestling and 19th century baby cages, but builders do it because it's cheaper than properly insulating the roof or building a first floor utility room. If I had my way, and I do when I'm creating plan sets for JCA's clients, every roof would be properly insulated and the thermodynamics of a structure would always be taken into consideration during the design.

Having air supply and intake registers on the ceiling or vertical surface interrupts the visual continuity of the room, leaving those standard, "Home Depot-esque" covers screwed into the drywall with full preview of the inside of your ducts. Ugh.

I have been waiting for a solution that disappeared into the drywall. Vents are not a focal point - they are a functional necessity. It's frustrating to design a beautiful room, build it from the ground up, and then, right when the dream is coming to fruition, slap some big metal louvered plates in the middle of it. Luckily, our friends to the North came up with an elegant solution. Canada to the rescue!

Aria Drywall Pro Air Registers with a custom white drywall finish to perfectly match the surrounding wall

Image Credit: Aria Vent

Aria Custom Vent Solutions has created air supply registers and returns that seamlessly integrate into the finishes of your room. No frames, no dusty louvers, no visual barriers. Installed during the drywall phase of a project, each register is affixed using a drywall beam rim, then floated and finished to match your wall or ceiling. The interior cover, like the Dry Wall Pro Air Register pictured above, can be customized to match any wall or ceiling finish (think custom wallpaper!). This is important for those of us down here with textured walls.

Aria Drywall Pro - Air Return showing a seamless look in ceilings and walls to match your drywall finish.

Image Credit: Aria Vent

The air conditioned icing on this cake is that these vent covers are equipped with dampers that give you full control over the airflow. No more fighting with the tiny tab that has rusted into place to stop the air conditioner from giving you goosebumps in the shower.

Just a heads up - Aria provides specifications for air flow requirements and compatible exhaust fans. If you are placing these in a newly built home, you may want to ask your HVAC pro to consider this when designing your systems.

Giving us a cold air return like their Drywall Pro Air Return (pictured above) wasn't enough, so Aria took it a step further by also offering the Drywall Pro X (pictured below) that can be used with ceiling or wall mounted exhaust fans and cold air returns. Instead of your grandma's bathroom fan in the middle of your beautifully remodeled master bathroom, this elegant cover conceals the fan while maintaining functionality and airflow.

Aria Drywall Pro X - Exhaust fan and air return covers showing a seamless smooth finish customized to match your walls and ceilings.

Image Credit: Aria Vent

No, this is not a sponsored article (though I'd never turn away an Aria that showed up on my doorstep). And yes, I may be overly excited about something as simple as an air register, but after staring at the bare aluminum interior of my air ducts through the louvered gaps of the wall-mounted monsters in my living room for the past 7 years, I can't wait to make a mess installing these bad boys.