The Spanish Style Fireplace... A Rich & Colorful Heritage!
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
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
(below left) or a
Mis- sion Revival
inspired design (below right) from the southwestern United States . . . . . . .
or any number of
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
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.
Spanish con- 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 de- signs appropriate for Spanish
style fireplace surrounds.
Another popular material used to create Spanish style fireplaces is natural stone . . . . . particularly
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- signs below.
The beautiful mantel and overman- tel at right are made from Yucatan limestone. Note the lovely colora- tion
and markings in the stone.
to view more Cantera stone fireplaces.
The rich and vibrant culture of Spain has left its imprint on ar- chitecture and design around the globe.
As a result, the de- sign of important architectural elements such as the fireplace has been significantly
influ- enced in many parts of the world. Though there may be stylistic distinctions or differ- ences from region
to region, the infusion of Spanish culture is clearly evident in each . . . . leaving a rich and colorful
lega- cy for generations to come!
Please check back often or subscribe to our
as we fre- quently add new images of Spanish-inspired fireplaces to our site.