How To Create A Cozy Country Hearth!

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FEBRUARY, 2012 -- ISSUE #04

This month's Fireplace Design Idea Of The Month features the cozy country hearth . . . . and ideas about how to create one for YOUR home. As you will see from the examples shown here, a cozy country hearth is a purely subjective term that means different things to different people.

It can be fairly rugged, rustic and well worn . . . such as the warm and inviting example pictured above inside an old French farmhouse -- now part of Les Lauzes, a chalet hotel near Val D'isere in Southeastern France. It can also be a little less rustic and a bit more "refined," as shown in a few of the examples pictured further down the page.

What is most important is what the term, "cozy country hearth," means to you. What level of rusticity or "refinement" gives you the look and feel that makes YOU most comfortable? And how will that look and feel fit into the style and overall decor of your room? Additionally, as with most of us, there may be budgetary issues that need to be considered.

Though a masonry, or site-built, firebox will give you the most authentic look, it is also the costliest -- and heaviest -- and may require additional structural support beneath it to bear the extra weight. Fortunately, there are now some very good lightweight metal prefabs in the marketplace that can be fairly well concealed to give the illusion of a site-built unit. Better still are some of the precast factory-built modular units made of pumice -- or volcanic rock -- that have virtually all the benefits of a site-built unit without the cost or excessive weight. The country kitchen fireplace pic-
tured below is a masonry modular unit from Isokern, a 70 year old Danish company with manufacturing facilities in Europe and the United States.

Despite its rather rugged appearance, the cozy country hearth pictured here looks "right at home" in its setting. Framing the firebox opening are three large sections or slabs of stone which, in turn, are framed by rustic timbers. The void beneath the timber mantel shelf and above the arched stone slab over the firebox is filled with rubble stone.

In stark contrast to the rustic fire-
place surround is the room's finely crafted millwork and ceiling beams finished in white enamel. Also adding to the contrast and lightness of the room are the "cool blue" fabrics cov-
ering the furniture, as well as the neutral-colored rug on the floor.

The rustic country hearth pictured
at right is also framed with timbers. Larger in size than those in the ex-
ample pictured above, and featuring handcrafted detailing, the timbers enclose a stacked stone firebox sur-
round with an arched opening.

Warm, buttery colored walls lend contrast and brightness to this de-
sign by Atlanta-based Harrison Design Associates. Country style curtains, seat cushions and chandelier lamp shades also pick up on the yellow color scheme used on the walls.

Pictured below is one of my absolutely favorite cozy country hearths! Designed by New York-based Fairfax & Sammons Architects, it features a large, recessed cut stone surround framed by a paneled wall and capped with a beautifully profiled wood mantel shelf, painted to match the panel-
ing and ceiling beams in the room.    Note the interesting, country style Dutch door to the right of the fireplace.    Also note how the chair fabric
and draperies pick up on some of the colors in the stone and mortar joints around the firebox opening.

Designed by Ferguson & Shamamian Architects of New York City, the fireplace that follows is also framed by a paneled wall and crowned with a wood mantel shelf -- all of which are painted a lovely shade of green. A raised hearth and high profile mouldings frame the brickwork surrounding the arched firebox opening. Though a bit more formal in appearance than the other designs featured here, it, nevertheless, has a warm and cozy country feel to it.

And finally, the image that follows presents an interesting study in con-
trasts.   Though the room has a rather casual and comfortable feel, it features a great deal of finely crafted and finished millwork throughout, including a beamed ceiling. In stark contrast to that is the rugged and rustic stone fireplace surround, which really "pops out" in this setting!

See More Cozy Country Hearth Designs & Ideas
By Clicking On The Following Links!

Wood Fireplace Mantel Surrounds -
Rustic To Country Casual!

Wood Fireplace Surround Design -
MORE Country Casual Mantels!

Rustic Rock Fireplace Designs -
The Old West Lives On!


How To Create A More Imposing Fireplace
Surround By Extending It Upward!

See A Sampling Of Fireplace Design Ideas In
Upcoming Issues Of Our Monthly e-Newsletter!

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