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Archive for the ‘ancient villas’ Category


Are you having problems coming up with the right design ideas for your outdoor stone fireplace? 

Do you feel like what’s out there on the market looks so cookie cutter and low quality that it could cheapen instead of enrich your backyard experience?

If you are hoping to include a unique looking stone fireplace into your wild outdoors you just might be in luck. 

Installing a real elegant stone fireplace could be a step in the right direction. Tired of the same ole copy paste Slam Depot stacked stone ‘fireplace kits’ that are “so easy you can install them yourself”?!

They are quite frankly the saddest thing to look at and are littered across the dot-com world that import all sorts of substandard goods guaranteed not to impress you nor enrich your outdoor living experience.

Poof! So glad we got that out of our system for a change. So now back to our regular dose of kumbaya and political correctness…

Here are some real Outdoor Stone Fireplace Masterpieces that deserve to be in your Backyard and should be worthy of setting the stage for your upcoming best memories you’ll be creating with your love ones.

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Deck your fireplace during Christmas


A fireplace is often a focal point already, but when holidays come, it takes on added significance —with Santa coming down the chimney and all. Encircle your Christmas stockings with mantel decorations to suit the holiday spirit. Once your fireplace is cheerful, it’s time to light a fire, sit back with a glass of wine and soak up that heart-warming feeling of the holidays at home.
A fireplace is always on display, but this time of year it’s especially under the spot lights, with friends and family warming up in front of a roaring fire or huddling in the living room for an evening of games or movies. The stone mantel, which usually is an added value actor throughout the year, lands a starring role around the holidays, with beautiful, stockings and string lights draped across it.
Here’s few of Ancient surfaces mantel fireplaces decorated in a very stunning way to add Christmas spirit into the room

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A mostly white color palette with pottery, tea lights and snowflakes contrasts dark foliage and garlands. Looks beautifully matched with the Christmas tree. Gives feeling of warmth.

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The stone fireplace shown in here follows a Romanesque Revival or, more specifically, Romanesque style. Located in the home’s formal living room, it has a very robust and masculine look.

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A French Provence Antique Limestone Fireplace adorned by Garlands, flanked by stockings and decorated with Mistletoe, Red Roses and Christmas shrubbery.

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Natural greenery, wreaths, candles, silver, gold and white … white bee lights covers this beautifully cared mantel stone fireplace that sets a truly Christmas spirit for this room.

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Very simple and clean fireplace, very warm yellow lights are dispersed around the fireplace and on the stove along with reindeer and a tiny Christmas tree to create a special mood and get into the Christmas holiday feeling.

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A traditional Southern Italian Fireplace with a Baroque Puglia Style Christmas Decoration focused on Angelic Cherub decoration and Sicilian ceramic in the Majolica Melograno style

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An Authentic French Pyrénée mountains Fireplace carved in the style known locally as the “Cheminee Montagnard Des Pyrénées” finished with a minimalist natural garlands, wine flasks, organic homemade Bees wax candles and an antique Candelabrum.

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Simple vs. Classical Beauties. which fireplaces will you choose?


They say nothing lasts forever, but we all know that one can own a few items that may last for generations to come. No, we’re not talking about a girl’s best friend to quote Marline Monroe. Even though our stones can’t be worn on your wrists or fingers, they still can be a crowd pleaser none the less. Installing an antique limestone fireplace in your family room can be the one design element that everyone in your family agrees with and is comforted by especially when it starts raining or snowing outside.

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Pedigree (History and Provenance) of the fireplace aside, what design elements one should consider when selecting a fireplace that may last you a lifetime in some cases?

You always need to keep in mind that your fireplace selection will have to be a permanent fixture in your home and is supposed to live through any design change your room or home will be going through in the future. What would you rather go for? A well carved fireplace or a simply hand carved one? Let’s consider the positive aspects of both choices and see how they may pertain to your taste buds.

 

Fully carved stone mantles:

 

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When considering a fully hand carved limestone fireplace close your eyes and think of a complex and rich multi-layered ‘Taurasi’ wine blend from ‘Campania’ that’s been well aged in oak barrels.

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What nuances would your eyes savor? Can you envision tasting the Southern Italian Baroque acanthus leaves free flowing on this mantle corbeled sides or the rich and velvety pallet of the sprawling and spiraling vined foliage that can grace the front face of your unique fireplace?

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Can you imagine the glowing heat radiating from inside the stone built firebox of such a captivating mantle? The reflected shadow of the flame dancing on the medieval carved limestone coupled with the intoxicating sound on the flickering burning wood becoming one with the melody of slowly decanted bottle of Barolo from Piedmont…

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If you picture yourself in that frame, allow yourself to be captured by an antique well carved limestone fireplace that’s been salvaged from centuries old Renaissance or Baroque castles by Ancient Surfaces.

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A fully carved fireplace of that era will define the look of your entire room and anchor your whole house with an authentic design persona.

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Simple carved Fireplace:

 

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Simply carved fireplaces allow visual evenhandedness between styles, finish patina and shade of the room and the stone of the fireplace. In a simple fireplace the design focus shifts from the carving to the actual antique limestone itself as it becomes the predominant design feature of the mantel instead of its minimal carved elements.

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When it’s simple it goes with everything else right? Well yes that is true, but one has to be careful that going with everything doesn’t turn into a disappearing act where the mantle itself totally blends with its environment in the same way a window frame blends with the wall.

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Simple architectural fireplaces when realized symmetrically and when created and carved under the golden ratio and the golden mean will carry more of a creative punch than most of its other ornately carved counterparts. Minimalism when portrayed in well-defined and harmonic ratios, guarantees you a powerful visual output and a soothing organic feel that will satisfy your design vision for that space.

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With a simple yet elegant antique hand carved fireplace you’ll be looking more at the architecture, structure and patina of the fireplace and how its various component simply integrate together with your space.

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As a wise man once said: “the simplest explanation is usually the correct one.” William of Ockham (c. 1287–1347)

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Only second to an outdoor limestone fountain, a fireplace is an architectural element that’s guaranteed to make your backyard the place where everyone wants to be. It easily becomes the focal point of an outdoor living space, drawing both friends and family together around its warm glitter.

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An outdoor fireplace that’s hand carved out of limestone can turn a regular yard to an ‘Al Fresco’ living room. Adding a harmonious and exciting space for kids to hover over as they roast marshmallows over a rustic wood burning flame or relaxing with a glass of wine in the evening with friends and loved ones are some of the numerous mood and climate altering applications of any outdoor antique limestone fireplaces you’ll find at Ancient Surfaces.

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Choosing a fireplace may seems like a daunting task until you contact us. It pays to work with a company that has 50 years of field experience in the art of fireplace design, making, reclaiming and installation. So if you’re dreaming of adding an outdoor fireplace to your yard here are the top 5 key things to consider beforehand:

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Increase resale price: Studies like the CV report have shown the RIO or return on investment on both, outdoor and indoor fireplaces are the highest out of all other remodeling projects you can undertake in your home. If you are considering selling your home sometime in the future, an outdoor fireplace can be very beneficial at sale time. Accented with comfy outdoor living furniture, it will help potential buyers to easily imagine themselves in that space.

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Select your burn- fireplace vs. fire pit: Built-in fire pit can be either contemporary or old world looking. Ironically, on many occasions, we’ve converted ancient rounded and rectangular wellheads into fire pits. Their lower height 20 to 22 inches allow them to be placed virtually anywhere in your backyard as they embrace your open space without any visual interruption.IMG_1802 copy

Stone fireplaces are more majestic and monumental in nature. They’ll help you add an architectural presence to any given outdoor location. Offset your fireplace a few feet from a neighbor’s property wall will help you turn a major outdoor design minus into a plus. The fireplaces can be the same as the ones you are used to seeing inside villa style homes in Europe.

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Wood vs Gas burning: You can always purchase a prefabricated firebox that range in price from a couple thousand dollars to brand name boxes that are double that figure. Your other option is to have a mason build you a wood/gas burning box from scratch. In both cases you’ll still need to stone clad or stone tile the return and chimney stack in a stone element that complement the stone fireplace mantle you are after.DSC_6709-2 copy

Without going into your city ordinances and local construction codes on wood vs. gas burning fireplaces or debating the environmental impact of each option, we believe that from an aesthetic and design standpoint a wood burning fireplace offers a unique source of heat that warms people on so many levels while providing you with a mesmerizing audio-visual show that is like no other. In most cases, people settle for a dual Wood/gas burning firebox that offers its users a flexible solution, that is both, romantic and practical as the flames continue to burst out heat long after the logs has turned into cider.

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Built-in versus freestanding: Installing an outdoor fireplace is a big architectural plus no matter how you look at it. However, before settling on a plan, think about how you envision yourself using the space. Do you have an open or roofed patio? Do you have an expanded opened-air space just a few step away from your pool of Jacuzzi that can be complemented with a freestanding fire pit?3724365353_a5d510ed45_o copy

Consider, but don’t be narrowed by your home’s architecture: The fire pit shown here from ancient surfaces has a lustrous, modern look yet fits in charmingly with any traditional old world looking home.DSC_0589 copy

If you are having trouble imagining how a certain fireplace would look with your home, consider taking your search into the digital realm by starting a free Houzz profile and a Houzz idea book. Start piling in some of the hundreds of photo ideas we have parked in our Houzz database.outdoor-living-spaces-with-fireplace-552dcfd98cb79 copy

One good advice we could give you though, is to choose a stone chimney-piece you really enjoy looking at. Whether it’s the focus of your pool patio or centered on a side property wall, chances are you’ll hopefully live with it for a long time.

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At Antique Surfaces we are humbled by one of the most extensive stock of mesmerizing  architectural antiques  ever to be assembled under one roof. As a first tier reclaimer of various stone elements we have been lucky to work directly on unique reclamation and restoration projects from around the world. We help bring into our clientele homes a much needed connoisseur-ship backed by a solid 40 years old field expertise.

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The restoration process of any original carved stone element is undertaken with extreme care and is focused on meticulous attention to details. Salvaging and restoring limestone from privately owned ruined villas, farmhouses, manors and even castles gives us an unobstructed birdseye view and insight into the boutique European stone reclamation business.

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Every time we reclaim a never seen before antique limestone fireplace design, we are quickly reminded of the vast and seemingly unlimited ingenuity of stone carvers and stone designers of past centuries.HAVENS-LAZY-LANE-2010-TERRY-VINE-PHOTOS-014

Being in proximity to antique limestone objects of infinite beauty and character turns anyone into a firm believer in the importance and need to preserve our collective carving traditions from the unforgiving wrecking balls of progress and the unstoppable path of modernization and standardization.

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The patina created by centuries of exposure to natural elemental forces is in its own right an art worthy of preserving and safeguarding. Our Arcane limestone fireplaces don’t even look like they belong to our earthly realm and are considered by many top designers and architects to be the pinnacle of antique fireplaces.

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If you like this current blog entry we invite you to keep on browse the rest of our entries as they contain more images of dreamy, in situ, antique stone fireplaces that are part of our premium Ancient Surfaces stone mantles collection.

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A simple fireplace hand carved in natural stone installed with herringbone brick inlay into the firebox.

A simple fireplace hand carved in natural stone installed with herringbone brick inlay into the firebox.

This simple limestone carved fireplace is Tuscan in design installed with a thick stone hearth ad terracotta bricks. Running bond brick are inlay inside the firebox.

This simple limestone carved fireplace is Tuscan in design installed with a thick stone hearth ad terracotta bricks. Running bond brick are inlay inside the firebox.

A simple French fireplace hand carved in natural stone installed with herringbone firebox bricks.

A simple French fireplace hand carved in natural stone installed with horizontal and vertical running bond firebox bricks.

Another Italian inspired simple fireplace hand carved in natural stone installed with a benched raised stone hearth.

Another Italian inspired simple fireplace hand carved in natural stone installed with an inserted, benched, raised stone hearth.

A simple Tudor fireplace hand carved in natural stone installed with herringbone bricks lining the insides of this gas burning firebox.

A simple Tudor fireplace hand carved in natural stone installed with herringbone bricks, lining the insides of this gas burning firebox.

This Italian countryside fireplace was hand carved out of hard limestone installed with an interesting herringbone firebox and running bond brick lines.

This Italian countryside fireplace was hand carved out of limestone & installed with an interesting crisscross herringbone pattern.

The Mariana Fireplace

A unique hand carved limestone fireplace coupled with its own custom seating bench. Ideal for outdoor settings, and family rooms. The middle Floral is an old European symbol of the Virgin Mary, is carved and mounted on a the middle keystone.

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Side profile of the same hand carved limestone fireplace shown just above.

We still consider ourselves apprentices who are in constantly pursuit of perfecting our craft by learning more and more about our past and how to better merge it with our present contemporary setting because once you stop learning about your roots and origins you stop caring about your future projection and stop growing as a company or as individuals.

To learn more please visit our Website at: http://www.ancientsurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

or call our sales office at: 212-461-0245

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A simple Antique Old World Stone Fireplaces, with the Om yoga sign carved and etched on the center of its keystone by Ancient SurfacesTo learn more please visit our Website at: http://www.ancientsurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html

fb01852d6d8c213182a5880dd62488d98 Our deep knowledge and experience in hand carving, sourcing and installing antique limestone fireplaces isn’t restricted to European style fireplaces.

Fireplace-01 Gothic Tudor style fireplaces that contain very little to no decorative carvings are perfect candidates for any Asiatic, Feng Shui Style home.

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Phone: 212-461-0245 // 212-913-9588

Sales@ancientsurfaces.com

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