Spanish style fireplace designs encompass a wide range of vibrant styles, including exciting regional variations from around the globe! As a result, a Spanish style fireplace means different things to different people.
The tremendous power and influence once wielded by Spain and its con-
quistadors resulted in the spread of Spanish culture across many parts of the globe, from the Americas -- North, South and Central -- to the Philippines . . . . .
Design above by Marengo Morton Architects
Consequently, Spanish culture has mingled with -- and subsequently embedded itself -- in the native cultures of numerous countries and island nations around the world.
While some may picture an old world design from Mother Spain when thinking about a Spanish style fire-
place, similar to the striking example
at right by Estrella Stone . . . . . .
. . . others will conjure up images of a Kiva fireplace (below left) or a Mis-
sion Revival inspired design (below right) from the southwestern United States . . . . . . .
or any number of
Spanish Revival designs, introduced across much
of the United States in the 1920s,
that continue to be popular to
the present day . . . . . . such as
the one pictured at right.
Still others will envision a vibrant and richly colored handmade tile surround from Mexico . . . similar to the stunning example pictured below . . . . .
or an elegant stone mantel and surround, such as may be found in a formal dining room or study in Brazil or Argentina.
Though inspired by Pueblo architecture of the American southwest, tradi-
tional Kiva fireplace design has been greatly influenced by the many people of Spanish heritage in the region. From the use of bold colors and decora-
tive detailing . . . to variations of the traditional Kiva shape . . . . elements of Spanish design and style permeate many of these impressive structures.
Intricately detailed and richly colored tiles -- another hallmark of Spanish-inspired design -- are frequently
employed in Spanish style fireplace sur-
rounds. Though not nearly as common, the inside of the firebox pictured below (right) has also been tiled.
Firmly established by the 11th century, ceramics became an integral part of architectural decoration in Spain. The azulejo, or painted and tin-glazed ceramic tile, was introduced to Spain by the Moors, who learned the craft from the undisputed masters of tile decoration . . . the Persians. The term, "azulejo," is derived from an Arab word meaning "polished stone" and reflects the Arab influences often found in the tile such as interlocking geometric, curvilinear, or floral motifs.
From Spain the art was transmitted to Italy, Portugal and Holland . . . . . and from there to England.
querers introduced it to Mexico, where it evolved into its own distinctive style between the 16th and 18th centuries.
The striking Spanish style fireplace at
right, above, is clad with azulejos.
Following are a few more examples of Spanish-influenced fireplace tile designs appropriate for Spanish style fireplace surrounds.
Another popular material used to create Spanish style fireplaces is natural stone . . . . . particularly
limestone and Cantera stone, a
strong and porous, yet light-
weight stone mined primarily from regions of southern Mexico. Found naturally in a wide variety of col-
ors and textures, it is very durable
and has been used on architectur-
al facades all over the world for hundreds of years. Mexican Can-
tera is used in the four elegant de-
The beautiful mantel and overman-
tel at right are made from Yucatan limestone. Note the lovely colora-
tion and markings in the stone.
Please click here to view more Cantera stone fireplaces.
The rich and vibrant culture of Spain has left its imprint on architecture and design around the globe. As a result, the design of important arch- itectural elements such as the fireplace has been significantly influenced in many parts of the world. Though there may be stylistic distinctions or differences from region to region, the infusion of Spanish culture is clearly evident in each . . . . leaving a rich and colorful legacy for generations to come!
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