The country stone corner fireplace is a design element of curious con-
tradictions. On the one hand, its stature is frequently imposing and of monumental size. On the other hand, by virtue of its neatly "tucked-in-a-corner" positioning -- giving the illusion of diminished size -- it provides
a cozy and casual spot in the home for solace and comfort!
Corner Hearth above by Miller Architects
The rustic fireplace pictured at right is a fine example of this. Though a mas-
sive design that extends from floor to ceiling, note how the large sawn-off log extensions on either side "embrace" the stones and appear to hold them neatly in place. The overall effect is one of a less than imposing, cozy and comforting corner hearth!
Undoubtedly, the cozy corner stone hearth has been around since the fireplace first appeared in history.
Though very early designs and subse-
quent photographs of them are rare, photos of late 19th century corner fireplace designs, as well as actual ex-
isting fireplaces from that period, pro-
vide a unique glimpse into the look and
feel of country stone corner hearths of
an earlier era.
For example, the late 19th century corner fireplace designs pictured below are from the Adirondack Mountain region in upstate New York. Classic examples of the Adirondack "Great Camp" Style, they fuse local stone with local timber or wood to create a rustic and cozy, comfortable look . . . . . complete with taxidermy specimens of native North American wildlife.
More recent incarnations of Adirondack-inspired country stone corner fire-
place designs are pictured below. On the left, the birch bark mantel shelf, legs and overmantel extensions enhance the rustic look and feel of the design. On the right, the rugged stone surround is accented with the natural form of a gnarled wood mantel shelf resting on naturally formed wooden "brackets."
Similarly, the large stone corner fireplace pictured below, left, is flanked by a pair of soaring, floor-to-ceiling wooden poles and has an oversize log mantel shelf attached with metal strapwork. The cut
granite stone fireplace pictured below, left, is also framed by large wooden logs. How-
ever, in this example, the small mantel shelf is crafted from a simple piece of granite with a hand-chiseled edge resting on stone corbels, or brack-
The massive river rock, or river stone corner fireplaces that follow simply ooze nostalgic charm. Note how
each one is built along one wall, only, and simply extends to the corner . . . . . . . rather than being positioned
at an angle across the corner. Though it lacks a typical mantel shelf, the large protruding log "brackets" in
the example below, left, can still be used for displaying certain objects. The full width wooden mantel shelf
on the fire-
place below, right, has a large display area to showcase memorabilia, fa-
vorite photos or works of art.
The rustic green serpentine rock fireplace pictured below has all the charm of a cozy corner stone hearth found on an old Western movie set . . . . . yet it is a relatively recent installation. Crafted by Garcia Masonry of California's Monterey Bay area, it takes us to another time and place and -- albeit temporarily -- brings the Old West back to life!
Not confined solely to the indoors, a country stone corner fireplace is equally at home in the great out-of-
doors . . . . . or in an area, such as
a covered porch, that transitions be-
tween inside and out. In the images
at right and below, note the variety
of stone sizes, shapes, colors and
textures, as well as the differences in stone arrangement from one design
to another. Large, multi-colored river stones are used in the example at right, while granite is arranged in a random mosaic pattern above the framed arch firebox in the example be-
low, left. Below right, the roughly square, roughly rectangular stones
step back from the hearth as they as-
cend the sides of the firebox opening.
And finally, the large stone slabs used in the surround pictured below are a perfect complement to the massive stone hearth rising from the floor. Tucked into the corner of a three season porch, it provides a great place for entertaining family and friends nearly year round!
Please check back often or subscribe to our RSS feed, as we fre- quently add new images of stone corner hearths to our site.
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