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