Massive stone fireplace images are no longer the exclusive domain of rus-
tic lodges and Adirondack Great Camps, but are becoming more and more common in private homes. If the look you're after in hearth design is "bigger is better," the many examples pictured here will not just inspire you, but will demonstrate that when it comes to monumental fireplace design, only the sky is the limit . . . or is it?
Over the course of the past two or three decades, the prevailing attitude in new home construction has often
been that "bigger is better." Large open floor plans with soaring ceilings and volumes of open space that can
be measured in cubic feet have been the norm, rather than the exception. Anchoring these soaring spaces are
huge stone fireplaces such as the sky-
ward bound, multi-storied extravagan-
za pictured at right!
Architects, designers, builders and stone masons have conceived a host of creative stone fireplace images
to not only match the large size and scale of these homes, but to meet the needs, wishes and dreams of the
homeowners for whom they are built. Monumental fireplaces can be created in virtually any style and tailored
for any setting. The casual design pic-
tured below, left, is accented with a striking copper hood inspired by those
often seen on Craftsman Style fire-
Below right, the symmetrical arrangement of the fireplace and double stair-
case lends a much more formal air to this stylish transitional/contemporary setting.
As you will see in the images below, a monumental look and feel can be achieved in a variety of ways! Most
commonly, the stone type, size and texture used to surround the firebox opening is simply extended to the
ceiling -- typically one and a half to two stories -- as shown in the follow-
ing six examples. Note how the use of boulders for the hearth, as well as the inclusion of several large granite stones in the fireplace surround, en-
hance the monumentality of the design shown in the bottom row on the left.
The following two designs, both of which extend to the ceiling, are crafted from river stone, or, as it's more commonly called, river rock. Available in a rainbow of colors, the river rock used in the vivid example pictured below, left, virtually showcases the entire spectrum! The more subdued coloration of the river rock in the example on the right is enhanced with a stunning carved wooden mantel shelf highlighted with the head of a bison.
The two soaring stone fireplace images that follow differ from most of those shown, thus far, in that
they have been "sculpted" to break up the massing. A
large and prominent arch frames a recessed area be-
neath it and echoes the smaller arch above the firebox opening in the ex-
ample on the left. While that, in conjunction with the "stepped" configura-
tion above the uppermost arch lends a great deal of architectural interest, it somewhat diminishes the monumentality of the design and works exceed-
ingly well in cases where the homeowner wants a large fireplace, but does not want it to overpower the room. Similarly, the recessed area above the mantel shelf in the example on the right helps to keep the fireplace from overpowering the room. In this case, the size, shape and texture of the stones in the recessed area present a pleasing contrast to the smaller, rounder stones that frame it.
Most of the stone fireplaces we have looked at up to this point have been soaring multi-story designs, or,
at a minimum, more than a single story in height. However, even with just a single story to work with, a
monumental fireplace design can be created . . . . . . . one that is solid and substantial, with plenty of massing.
The following two designs are great examples of massive one story designs. By stacking predominately large
slabs of gran-
ite around the firebox opening, and extending the stones from floor to ceil-
ing, a monumental look and feel can be achieved. In addition, the in-
creased depth of a see-through design that is open on both sides (below left) adds to the overall scale and massing, and enhances the monumental-
ity of the design.
Continuing with single story fireplace designs . . . . . another way to make a powerful design statement -- as well as a monumental design -- is to "super-size" the firebox opening. Framed with massive granite slabs, few stone hearth designs are as dramatic as the two pictured below!
And finally, for the ultimate in monumental "rock your world" stone fireplace images, a soaring floor to
ceiling confection crafted entirely of boulders is hard to beat. In the example below, the huge boulder above
the firebox opening almost appears to be suspended in air while simultaneously sup-
porting more than a dozen massive stones above it! Extraordinary designs such as this are a lasting tribute to both the stone workers' incredible art form and the extremely talented individuals with the ability to execute these magnificent works of architectural art!
Please check back often or subscribe to our RSS feed, as we fre- quently add new stone fireplace images to our site.
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