House Beautiful Fireplaces

Overview

Fireplaces are compelling, sometimes even exotic, features of a room. More than simple household decoration, they combine elements of the practical and the artistic in both architecture and design. This beautifully crafted House Beautiful volume explains everything one might ever want to know about fireplaces. There are three parts to the book: a style survey, a section on architecture, and another about design and decoration. Each section elucidates relevant need-to-know data, using visual examples of ...
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Overview

Fireplaces are compelling, sometimes even exotic, features of a room. More than simple household decoration, they combine elements of the practical and the artistic in both architecture and design. This beautifully crafted House Beautiful volume explains everything one might ever want to know about fireplaces. There are three parts to the book: a style survey, a section on architecture, and another about design and decoration. Each section elucidates relevant need-to-know data, using visual examples of traditional, modern, and site-specific fireplaces for a variety of rooms and homes. For example, included in the design section are suggestions for furniture placement, lighting, and firewood storage, while decoration speaks to furnishings on or around the mantelpiece, fire screens, off-season usage, and placement of logs and andirons. World-renowned architects and designers provide ingenious solutions to fireplace design for any d├ęcor. There is an abundance of tips on integrating a fireplace with the overall ambiance of a room--the art, light, walls and floors. An arresting and beautiful visual portfolio covering all conceivable locales and styles, House Beautiful Fireplaces will inspire a lasting glow. END
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688169503
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/28/1999
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 174
  • Product dimensions: 9.47 (w) x 11.27 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Read an Excerpt

STYLE

FROM ITS MANTEL to the glow of its flames, the fireplace ignites the mood of a room. It is the opening statement, the center of energy. Working or not, it always has a presence, and its style often dictates the tenor of the entire room, whether through grandiose or simple design.

HARMONY HAS BEEN the desired effect of interior design since the 1600s, when the arrangement of a room became a conscious effort to please the senses. The ubiquitous fireplace, so utilitarian at first, eventually became a mark of status, and a pivotal feature from which the decorating plan evolved: Where to place a sofa or per-haps a chaise and coffee table? How to angle the furniture to establish comfortable groupings? What objects set on and around the mantel would best enhance the room?

What separates the predictable from the innovative is attention to scale, texture, and balance. Savvy designers play on the theatrics of a fireplace, creating a stage of the surrounding area. A sleek and streamlined mantel might stand out next to a traditional dining room table and chairs; a modernist's media room might house audio and video entertainment in custom cabinetry on either side of a comforting fire. Even the over-the-mantel mirror, something of a decorating cliche, might get new life as a mirrored surround instead.

There is no doubt the fireplace can prescribe a room's character. The country hearth, an age-old symbol of hospitality, evokes warmth with its seasoned timbers and rustic texture. Enthusiasm for country houses is kindled by such old-fashioned features as original mantels and stonesurrounds. Rooms of the less-is-more school treat fireplaces as sculptural accessories to pared-down furnishings. Strong, understated materials and clean-lined contours are the hallmarks of the minimalistic approach; a simple raised hearth can serve as a seating ledge as well as a surface for displaying a few prized objects. To turn a fireplace into the meditative focus of a serene room, furniture might be limited to only one or two pieces. Style is, after all, an editing process and a balancing act. According to the tenets of decorating, harmony is as much a result of subtraction as it is of addition. Some fireplaces defy convention altogether, becoming art forms on the drawing boards or in the hands of innovative decorators.

Copyright © by Hearst Communications, Inc.

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