Interior Design: Three Family Friendly Tips on Fireplaces

October 28, 2010


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I have had several requests for an update on my Living Room and fireplace project. As of today, the chimney is built, the glass doors and design have been selected and ordered. The mason will be starting on the interior design of the fireplace later this week. Now, we need to track down some great sconces to finish off the look.

With the cool weather and holidays around the corner, here are my three tips for family friendly fireplace design.

1: Keep the architecture of the home top of mind for the design.

We started with the look of the home and the taste of the clients. Their home is older and in a sophisticated farmhouse style. Fortunately, they wanted the fireplace to fit the existing architecture of the house. In fact so much so, that the brick on the chimney is recycled in keeping with the older look of the exterior.

2: Safety is the priority and code must be followed.

The room is cozy and so required a smaller scale fireplace. We had to keep in mind that the couple has two young children, so there is no raised hearth to trip over.

Stoll, fireplace, glass doors, safety, interior design

I also advised the clients to add glass doors. Be sure to leave the glass doors open when the fire is burning. Our version from Stoll has an interior safety screen. Not only will the glass doors keep the children out but the late night embers and heat in.

The hearth must be at least 16″ deep if the fireplace is less than 6′ wide, 20″ deep if more than 6′ wide. Following code and getting inspections can be a complicated process. We always bring in a qualified mason and/or general contractor to ensure a seamless and safe installation.

3. Finally, have a certified chimney sweep check your fireplace once a year.

When I started designing the fireplace for my clients, I gave them 5 black and white sketches of options. The clients knew that they wanted an arch but were not sure if they preferred the stone or brick so I went back to my drawing board to color render both.

fireplace, brick, interior design, library, farmhouse style, connecticut, color renderingThis was drawn at a smaller scale and provides a more formal white surround and mantel, as well as the glass doors inset in a burnished bronze frame. You can see the size of the fireplace compared to the wall in this drawing.

stacked stone, fireplace, interior design, color rendering

Because of the variation in color in the stacked stone, I drew this in a larger scale. This is the fireplace design that the couple selected. Later this week, the mason will start building it. It will have a custom mantel and burnished bronze glass door insert.

stacked stone, O&G, fireplace, interior design, connecticut

This afternoon, I am heading back to O and G to look at more stone options for the hearth. We had thought we would go with bluestone, but after some consideration the clients don’t love it. I am looking forward to searching through slabs for just the right thing. I will let you know what it is!

Since a fireplace is a feature they are going to live with for a long time, I want to be sure it is exactly what they want.

I love to hear from you. Do you have an architectural feature you would like to add to your home?

Does it all sound just too overwhelming? Please feel free to contact me at averydesigninteriors for a consultation.


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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Bobita October 31, 2010 at 2:45 am

Really nice post! I like it!

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