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Fireplace Designs

Fireplaces. In no other department of internal design has so much improvement been effected in recent years as in the design of the fireplace, and as it is the central point of attraction in the room it certainly demands the best efforts of the architect.

Various kinds of grates and stoves are dealt with later and it is only necessary to say that as little iron as possible should be used in the construction of the fireplace, and in many instances iron bars have been omitted altogether and the coals placed direct on the brick hearth. It would be invidious to point to any special manufacturer, as nearly all now recognize the fact that the forms of grate designed by Dr. Pridgin Teale some years ago represent the scientific application of sound principles to the domestic hearth.

The stove itself is frequently surrounded by a frame or is treated in some architectural manner.

The dining room ingle nook shown on plan in picture 233 has a grate which is surrounded by a plain beaten copper frame and hood. On either side recesses are formed in the wall for a tobacco jar or the like, and above are a series of small cupboards and openings for the display of china.


The nook is lined with red bricks, and with its plain low settles on either side forms a really comfortable lounge, with side window for reading.

The dining room shown on plan in picture 226 has a more formal treatment, as seen in picture 230, with tiled surrounds and overmantel, the space over the ingle being utilized for small cupboards for cigars, etc.

The ingle nook in Inner Hall has a "Tilt-fire" grate with a beaten copper hood, the smoke being carried up in the copper flue till it reaches the brick chimney-stack at the first-floor level. This stove has no mantel, and it can be removed during the summer months if desired.

The dining room overmantel in a house at Potters Bar (picture 245) has panels into which various coloured woods are introduced to form a geometrical pattern.

The dining room ingle nook shown in picture 313 has a fire with tiled surround and a plain overmantel carried up to the picture-rail, with small windows on either side.

The drawing room fireplace in picture 236 has a circular raised hearth and hammered steel frame and hood, above which is a simple deal mantelpiece.

The drawing room fireplace in picture 194 is still more formal in character, the overmantel being designed especially as a frame for a picture, the whole being enclosed in an architectural setting, reminiscent of the later Renaissance manner.

The parlour fireplace shown in picture 219 has a recess which takes the place of the overmantel.

Larger houses require a more formal treatment, and the Hall fireplace in picture 188 shows a dog-grate surrounded by a treatment of Ionic pilasters and entablature, and provided with a sitting or club fender, which is certainly a comfortable feature in a hall. The study and drawing room fireplaces are further examples to which some architectural treatment has been given.

We have now stated a few general principles relating to various internal features, and have discussed briefly the general scheme of decoration which may be adopted in each room.

Next: Ceiling Treatment.

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