Fires are the focal point of any room as they provide an eye-catching display of dancing flames along with the warmth we all covet every day.
A fireplace can change the entire appearance of a home, while adding unique style that adds to the ambience creating a warm, intimate or lofty and spacious interior.
Although there are now wall fires and wood burning stoves that stand alone, fireplaces are still sought after as they offer traditional style and contemporary chic that makes a house a home.
The Benefits of a Fireplace
A fireplace isn’t only for improving the appearance of a room it provides a function that ensured the ultimate safety for your family. It encapsulates your fire into a strong surround ensuring hot ash, sparks and flames are kept contained.
They are also easy to clean, as a fireplace will allow you to easily wipe off any soot and dust, while the mantel ensures that the warmth from the fire doesn’t warp any paint or wallpaper above.
The History of the Mantelpiece
The mantelpiece was original designed to hold the flue in place, recessed into the wall big timber beams would offer support to ensure smoke travelled up the chimney and fires were kept contained.
As architects sought to compete, the mantelpiece became a statement of grandeur with intricate carved fireplaces designed to wow and impress.
The largest in Britain is a whopping thirty foot long, still in existence at Haddon Hall it frames the fireplace beneath.
Today fireplaces blend classic with contemporary. Many are inspired by traditional designs as they mirror the ages from the 17th century on. Victorian fireplaces are functional and elegant, made of cast iron many are framed with Victorian tiles, some of which can be worth a pretty penny on their own.
As we enter the twenties and the art deco period, architects experimented with ceramics and wood, modular designs were used to give a futuristic style, while many mirrored the European mantles that used intricately carved marble.
Other materials drifted in and out of fashion from limestone fireplaces to today’s most popular black granite. Each one has its own advantages and each material is capable of creating a centrepiece that makes any house a home.
Traditionally, as mantelpieces started to jut out from the recess they’d be used to hold candles and the family clock. Today they’re known for sporting individual items such as photographs bespoke to the home they live in.
If you’re unsure which fireplace you’d like for your home, or if you’d like to replicate a specific era, get in touch and talk to us, nobody knows fireplaces better!