Designing Your Custom Fireplace and Mantel
You might live in a traditional log cabin or a modern condominium. Either way, your custom wood-burning fireplace can be a one-of-a-kind creation that highlights your home and your personal style. Put plaster over your existing brick fireplace for an updated look or have the wall around your fireplace tiled over and made to look anew. Choose the size of your firebox so that you can have roaring fires that keep your home toasty all night or a small place to roast marshmallows with friends. A reclaimed wood mantel will look dashing on top of a custom-designed fireplace and give you a bit of an unexpected finish. Design everything from the hearth to the pillars if you want your custom fireplace to be uniquely yours.
Choosing the Mantel
That area over where actual fires burn within a fireplace is called the mantle. In other words, that long solid shelf, which is usually made of wood or stone, is a good place to place family photos, trophies, hang Christmas stockings, and otherwise decorate with personal things. Many mantles are made of wood, such as cherry wood or oak. If you use reclaimed wood for your mantel, you will add a bit of history to your new fireplace design. Learn where your reclaimed wood came from so that you can tell visitors your unique story.
Designing Your Hearth
The hearth is where you and your loved ones will sit around the fires you build in your custom-designed fireplace. Around the hearth may be a bundle of wood logs ready to be burned, as well as tools that you’ll use to stoke and tend your fires. Hearths can be made of many materials and they can also be a range of sizes. Luxury homes may feature wide marble hearths. Your home might feature a brick hearth, or if you have a more modern designed fireplace, there may be a mosaic of tiles all around your fireplace. [All images above from One Bedroom Apartment by Tina Hellberg]
Customizing the Firebox
Some fireplaces are only for decoration, but there’s no use in building a fireplace with a custom-designed hearth and mantel if it is only going to simulate a burning fire. When you’re working with an architect to design your custom fireplace, don’t skimp on the size of your firebox. You want to be able to build a fire that will last for hours but not generate a lot of smoke in your home. The firebox should be far back enough so that children and pets won’t be endangered, but close enough so that you can use your poker and shovel to keep fires burning easily. [Image above from Sirdalen Cabin by Filter Arkitekter]
Having a place within your home where you can create a warm fire on the coldest winter days is a feature that every homeowner wants to experience. If you’re fortunate, your home came with an existing fireplace that only needs minimal updating. Even if you plan to build a custom fireplace from absolute scratch, select a rustic mantel, a comfortable hearth, and a generously sized firebox so that every fire home lasts and lasts. [Image above from McAlpin Loft by Ryan Duebber Architect]