Wow, the time has just been flying by these days.  My apologies for such a lapse between posts here.  All I can say is distractions, distractions…far too many distractions. 

Well, the weather has definitely turned.  There’s a deep chill in the air.  Trees are shedding their foliage.  And the night is descending upon us before we even arrive home from work.  It is a splendid time of year where it feels pleasant to unwind, natural to reflect and certainly appropriate to be thankful.  With this, so many of us have turned our thoughts to the heart of the Home.  Symbolically, bringing our minds to the imagery of a spectacular fireplace.  Wonderful articles have been written to the topic.  One of my favorites was from Claire Watkins on her site High Gloss Blue.  In case you missed it, you can track back to it Here.  While most of these pieces have focused on the interior charm of the home; design and decor; mantles and materials, I would like to focus here on the composition of all of the elements as they go together to create a truly a magnificent fireplace. 

Lets start by looking at the interior finishes.  For me, nothing compares to the beauty and stature of an authentically hand-cut limestone surround. 

via Portfolio of Francois and Co.

via Portfolio of Francois and Co.

via Portfolio of Francois and Co.

via Portfolio of Francois and Co.

 

via Portfolio of Francois and Co.

While each of these fireplaces is beautiful in its own right, can you pick up on the common thread that connects them all together?

Yep, it’s the oversized firebox. 

And to me, there is only one legitimate way to achieve this look.  That is with none other than Isokern.  I suppose you could go with a true masonry fireplace unit, but, good luck with that.  You will first have to be able to find a mason who actually knows how to properly build one.  Then you will have to prepare yourself to be able to warrant it for an extended amount of time, because, if something were to be flawed then the effects could be quite hazardous.  Isokern is cool because it has a Magnum Series fire-box that allows you to reach true “Count Rumford” style proportioning.  And, the rest of the internal flue assembly is composed of stackable components that are made from volcanic pumice.   If that’s not good enough, it also comes in a Fire-Lite Application that makes the product much more versatile and easy to work with. 

But here’s to my favorite part.  The Chimney.  Such a classic element, yet, so often – not even considered.

From the pages of my own history.

Mine

 I love this one because it feels Stately, Refined and Elegant.

Mine

 This one because it was just real fun to build!

But, here are some from a real Pro.

From the Portfolio of Spitzmiller and Norris, Inc.

From the Portfolio of Spitzmiller and Norris, Inc.

From the Portfolio of Spitzmiller and Norris, Inc.

From the Portfolio of Spitzmiller and Norris, Inc.

From the Portfolio of Spitzmiller and Norris, Inc.

From the Portfolio of Spitzmiller and Norris, Inc.

From the Portfolio of Spitzmiller and Norris, Inc.

From the Portfolio of Spitzmiller and Norris, Inc.

Magnificent!!!   

Now you can probably see why their work resonates so deeply with me.  It has always been one of my greatest pet peeves that we, as a building community, have sacrificed this vital element in the designs of our homes.  All in the name of cutting hard costs or improving margins or streamlining the process.  Whatever ~ its still just character assassination of the Home to me.  Spitzmiller and Norris, on the other hand,  have always treated this detail with the utmost dignity and respect.  They utilize the chimney as a grounding element to the structure of the home, a vocal piece to the personality of the home and an adorning facet to the genuine value of the home.  And we are a better community because of it.

One Last Image:

From the Portfolio of Spitzmiller and Norris, Inc.

How awesome is that!!! 

Like I was saying, regardless of size or type, if there’s a fireplace in the plans – it will be given incomparable attention and the highest level of detailing.   

 BTW ~ Be sure to check out Claire this December as she debuts on the newest series from HGTV called “Design Wars”

All my Best this Thanksgiving Season,

Kyle

 

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One Comment on “Embers of the Heart

  1. Very interesting subject , regards for putting up.

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