The Spotlight Edit | Fireplaces
'I lingered most about the fireplace, as the most vital part of the house.'
Henry David Thoreau
There is just something oh so magical about a fireplace. The grandeur of a traditional fireplace with a gorgeously intricate mantle piece is, in my humble opinion, unmatched by anything else. The subtle crackling of the fire, the all enveloping heat and the slow dance of the amber and orange flames, just takes me to a world of complete and utter relaxation. An ideal winters night for me would be, the lights turned down low in the room, the fire turned up to the max, me nestled in a pile of thick woolly blankets with a box of fancy chocolate, a huge mug of hot cocoa because you can never have enough chocolate, and a feel good movie to top it all off. Pure bliss, complete and utter bliss.
There is just something magical, something inviting and safe about a fireplace. When the cold world outside batters me down with bitter winds and rains, I look forward to nothing more than to run home and warm myself up in front of the fire. It is as familiar as a loved one's embrace and as safe as well. When done right, fireplaces can become THE spot in the house.
If there is one design feature and element that I will insist on having and including in every living room design, it is the fireplace. Nothing causes me more pain than seeing fireplaces stripped out of rooms, bordered up and plastered over. I know there are plenty of more modern ways of heating a room and a house, but to me a fireplace is an institution. In my opinion there is nothing else that can take pride of place in a living room. It is a focal point. It does not have to be traditional, a lot of modern fireplaces are just as stunning and just equal of being a focal point.
And as amazing as the fireplace is, the mantle piece or the fire surround is the space I absolutely love to style. Seeing as it is the focal point, it is the perfect spot to showcase the finer things in the room. Ceramics, candles, candelabras, photo frames, flowers, plants, books, prized trinkets and the list goes on. My favorite way of styling a mantle piece is by having one statement piece of ceramic work, can be either a sculpture or a vase or anything else, placed completely to the right or left. On the opposite end I like to have some fresh greenery, ideally mirroring the height of the ceramic or doing the complete opposite and be cascading downwards. I also like to have a cluster of candles of varying heights, placed slightly off center towards one side. And to finish the look off I have either a large mirror or piece of art hung above on the wall.