Ever since humans lived in caves, the fire has been an integral fixture in our homes. For millennia, family life has been played in front of this literal ‘heart’ of the home. Originally used for cooking as well as warmth it quickly evolved from being a necessity to survival into a stylistic and decorative element of rooms and houses in all cultures across the world.
Until relatively recently houses and rooms were built and designed around the fireplace. It was the most important feature of every home, but somewhere along the way the march of innovation and the advent of gas, electricity and central heating, combined with the perceived impracticalities of having a fire in the modern home have led to the fire and indeed the fireplace being all but consigned to history by designers and architects.
Yet it is true, even today, that everyone still loves a fire! How often do we walk into a modern property and feel there is something integral missing? That it doesn’t feel ‘like home’ or that it’s lacking a soul? The enduring love of a fire is so innate that this strange feeling of something being missing is probably because the property doesn’t have a fireplace!
Nothing compares to the timeless appeal of a roaring fire; the relaxing ambiance, the dancing light, the glowing embers. Even modern gas and electric fires can offer the classic warmth and comfort of traditional fuel burning fires, and when coupled with the right fireplace design even non-functional purely decorative fires can become the eye-catching centrepiece of any room that modern homes and buildings increasingly neglect to include.
With a nod to the classic and enduring designs which have established fireplaces as a stylistic statement in homes and rooms through time, here are three vintage fireplace designs which can provide the classic style, timeless grandeur and that elusive soul and heart your room has been missing.
Victorian style fireplaces are striking, beautiful and attention-grabbing additions to any home. Early Victorian fireplaces were very ornate in design showcasing intricate, often floral designs on their casting but by the late Victorian period had become cleaner, simpler and favoured more geometric patterns and design work. This style offers an elegant yet classical look. Often made from marble, or carved wood they can give an antique look and the feel of a master craftsmen’s touch.
Typical Edwardian fireplaces are taller and slimmer than Victorian era designs, eschewing intricate patterns in favour of tiles as their main design feature. You will find beautiful geometric tiling serves as a perfect surround to the fire offering a look of pure class. The tiling sometimes features unique and charming flower designs which, accompanied with the unmistakable grandeur of the style, creates a thrilling focal point.
Fireplaces based on the international Art-Nouveau design movement of the late 1800′s to early 1900′s incorporate sweeping curves, non-linear forms along with highly stylised, intricate craftsmanship and ever popular flower and plant based designs. Art-Nouveau style brings a gorgeous and elegant sense of sophistication and adventure to any room.