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Many people outside of the UK think that the Georgian Style refers to one single ‘King George’ mainly ‘George The V’. Georgian style however encompasses a full century long spanning the rule of the 3 consecutive Georges that have helped defined that time period in so many diverse ways. limestone-well-head-pireplace-pit-antique-garden

The entire Georgian period is divided into the Paladin phase, Early Georgian and finally the Late Georgian period. The style started as a Neo-classical rebellion against the ‘gaudiness’ or the previous dominating Baroque and Gothic design styles that the British monarchy saw itself surrounded with. George I despised those styles and embarked on a journey of change that ended up spanning 100 years and several rulers.

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The three phases complete one another stylistically. As the 19th century rolled by and progress ensued, and the style lessened in terms of carving and intensity reflecting the societal change that the world was going through. Near its tail-end, the style morphed completely into the Regency style.

English cottage and French Farmhouse inspired outdoor closed top Pergola with a Stone Fireplace

English cottage and French Farmhouse inspired outdoor closed top Pergola with a Stone Fireplace

The entire Empire took an interest in styling and interior/exterior designs becoming the order of the day; Interiors became more popular as it became somewhat obtainable economically thanks to the new economy of scale and to a booming need to stay ‘stylish’ and ‘up to date’ on matters of design. Georgian became more popular thanks to wide spread of fancy coffee table print books containing architectural rendering and drawings of Decorative Stone Elements that were becoming available to the public for the first time.

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Nothing is more soothing than the sound of water and it’s a plus that it masks street noise! Pool and wall fountains come in so many styles allowing you to bring in the charm of different cities and eras into your garden whether Provincial, Tuscan, Arabesque or Rustic to name a few.antique-limestone-pool-fountain-design-french-provence-farmhouse

Reclaimed limestone flooring, stepping stones and stair steps are slip resistant, need minimal maintenance, withstand extreme climate and heavy use due to their hard molecular structure and are absolutely gorgeous. They are a work of art in themselves with their warm earth tones, striking veins, varying sizes and the possibility of installing them in running bond formation or random ‘Versailles’ patterns.outdoor-biblical-stone-pavers-in-a-gardenbiblical-stone-pavers-garden-outdoor

A swimming pool means you are going to spend a great deal of time outdoors so your pool’s style and personality are key. Using natural limestone coping and flooring for the poolscape spurs superiority and elegance while maintaining a much needed laid back relaxing atmosphere. Their slip-resistant features and earth tone patina are perfect for this setting.

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We at Ancient Surfaces have for many years procured some of the finest and most sought after period Gregorian and Victorian Marble surrounds and limestone hearths from Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales through direct salvaging, estate auction sales and from our trusted network of our local dealers that are eager to barter with us their finds in exchange of our Southern French and Italian masterpieces.Antique-limestone-flooring-Arcane-Stone-024-LAntique-limestone-flooring-Millenium-Plancks-18Lfrench-farmhouse-garden-limestone-well-head

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Isolated and scattered across the fertile Medieval French country side, old farms were built according to two techniques. One mixed clay earth, mud filling between weaving timer and stone to make up its walls, the other was strictly made up of Thick limestone walls.

Lanrivain : Manoir du Gollodic, cheminée de la salle manale

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The famous “Sarrasine” fireplaces (for foreign in French perhaps referring to the Moors or the Normans) common to both types of Medieval French Farmhouses were shrouded in mysteries. This class of ancient limestone fireplaces which sport massive firebox openings, reminds historians of the Gallic fireplaces found although the region of ‘Bresse’.old sarrassine chimney design

Since the 16th century, Bresse cultivates maize which was brought in into Europe from the Newly discovered continent of America. In less than 50 years this plant transformed the French farmland serving as an ideal fuel for both man and beast alike. limestone-over-mantel-fireplace-designFarmers now had somewhere between 30 to 50% more money coming into their pouches every year thanks to corn. The Bress Farmers became the ‘Nouveaux Rich’ of their time and their newly acquired fortunes earned them famous nicknames such as bressans “yellow belly farmers”.Limestone over mantel fireplace

Saracen fireplaces of the Bressan yellow bellies!

The lasting evidence of Bressan flourishing rural past, can still be witnessed by the priceless architectural treasures still found in their surviving farmhouses. The millions of ancient hearthed fireplaces stood the test of time and have become the symbol of the Bressan farm house and formed the basis of its architectural heritage.french-limestone-fireplace

Wealthy farmers splurged real well on massive living room, kitchen and dining room fireplaces. back then a good fireplace could cost the family as much as their entire farm house but corn was plenty and the money kept on flowing.Frech Fireplace medieval kitchen hood

What better way to keep up with the ‘Pierres’ than having a bigger and meaner fireplaces than they did?Fireplace medieval kitchen hood limestone

Consisting of a central hearth, reminiscent of the original hearth, these monumental Fireplace mantles are called “diffusion heated fireplaces”, “wide heated hearths”, “large walk-through fireplaces” or “Bressane style fireplaces”.Biblical Stone Fireplace

The term “Saracen” or “Sarrasine” spreads in the 16th century, perhaps in connection with the mysterious era of the Crusaders when the French fought a prolonged war against the North African Moors, the Turks, The Arabian kingdoms of Andalusia and Egypt, and Saladin’s hoards. Intrigued by these strange architecture that was culturally mixed, the less educated French Farmer started calling their Fireplaces foreign as if they were the fireplaces of a foreign invader or a ‘Saracen’ hence the term “Saracen fireplaces”.beautiful-limestone-fireplace-design-idea

Another Hypotheses on Saracen chimneys can be likened to traditional Aragonese chimneys from the Upper Aragon region, in the Spanish Pyrenees, that were structurally quite similar to the French farmhouse fireplaces.beautiful-limestone-fireplace-design

The academic jury is still out on the true origins of the Sarrasine fireplaces and for now at least these amazing fireplaces retain their shrouded of mystery.antique-restored-limestone-fireplace-design

Here are a few notable Bressian fireplaces worth noting:

– Polygonal (The Planons in Saint-Cyr-sur-Menthon …)
– Square pyramid (The Forest at St Trivier-de-Courtes, The Bresse Field in Romenay …)
– Reliquary (The Mount at Chevroux …)
– Square terminal lantern (The Sougey in Montrevel-en-Bresse …) antique-reclaimed-fireplace

In some cases, monumental fireplace featured a “archebanc” (or the bench-chest raised hearth) that once hosted the regional Lords, the elders of the family or distinguished guests.antique sarrasine fireplace design

By the eighteenth century, these chimneys were already considered of another age; from there, certainly, the name of “sarrasines” felt even more fitting to those pieces far from any Moorish connection.1280px-Cheminée_médiévale

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Let’s imagine a living room without a fireplace, well we can’t! Simply because you can’t have much living going on in any room without a real fireplace! Architects and interior designers have made fireplaces a focal cornerstone in any new home or renovation project that seeks to have an individual persona attributed to it.ancient stone fireplace mantelreclaimed french fireplace They have realized more that ever the need to incorporating all inspiring fireplaces into almost every room of the home. No one design element can tell the story of a room more than a well planned fireplace especially if that fireplace was hand carved in real limestone hundreds of years ago! majestic stone fireplace design

I like in this blog to go all out and showcase some of my favorite antique stone Fireplaces that have both inspired and awed me.
Those impressive antique and reclaimed limestone fireplaces are found everywhere in the home and are shown bellow in no particular order.heavy carved limestone fireplacefrench-country-fireplace-limestone-over-mantel

Living rooms are the natural habitats of grand and impressive fireplace. By impressive I don’t necessarily mean fully carved carved out looking like it came from the workshop of a 15th century Italian Renaissance carver. I personally love this use reclaimed 16th century fireplace as the focal point for this laid back French farmhouse inspired living room like the ones you seen on travel blogs or the pages of top interior design magazines…french farmhouse antique fireplace

For centuries an open roaring hearth was the heart of every kitchen. Modern appliances gradually replaced cooking fires and kitchen fireplaces fell out of favor- but the look is back!fireplace-mantel

Prior to the 19th century, fireplace mantles were frequently positioned at the height of a man’s shoulder. A large hearth allowed for a very large fire, vital as the sole source of a home’s heat. This designer took that large hearth and divided it into 2 parts, setting the hearth at eye level with kitchen diners.farmhouse-french-limestone-antique-fireplace

We love to find pieces that tell the tale of their role in the daily lives of people past. This fireplace set into a French country dining room bears the marks of centuries of fires burning within its hearth. By leaving the fire marks intact, the designer created a more relaxed dining roomdining-room-fireplace-limestonedining room fireplace design

Imagine relaxing in the tub with a fire crackling just a few feet away. Powder room fireplaces add a luxurious element to bathrooms. Prior to modern plumbing, water was boiled over the kitchen fire and carried to a portable bathtub, often positioned near the fireplace within a noble’s private chambers. This delicate fireplace is the ultimate in luxury.countryside-french-limestone-antique-fireplace-carvedantique-stone-fireplace-mantel

Small spaces, such as powder rooms, call for Fireplaces of diminutive scale. This 18th c. Cheminée from a Village House outside of Lyon, France has a width of just 45”, less than half the size of many we see. It’s graceful lines would translate beautifully to a French country spa retreat in your home.
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Inspired to add a fireplace to an unexpected room in your home? Contact us to learn how you can acquire a centuries old limestone firepaces from our collection, or click here to browse even more amazing pieces.antique limestone fireplace

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In a recent discussion with a custom home builder and his client the question of picking the right French style antique limestone fireplace mantle has proven to be much tough to answer than previously though!

There was some focused around whether they should construct all seven full masonry fireplaces or have some antique stone mantle sit on top fire box inserts. As with anything there are pro’s and con’s.  The builder thinks that solid masonry fireplaces will work much better with the antique fireplaces when an insert firebox is his preference for the master bedroom. As the debate went on we shared several past projects photos with the builder and client of both cases and near the end they were able to select that firebox type went where.

In today’s post we want to chow everyone the various design ideas and portfolio of images presented to the couple and their builder. There are so many great choices, but we want to know which firebox options and which fireplace mantle design ideas would be your pick.

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A beautiful majestic limestone fireplace in the center of an old renovated French farmhouse

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Reclaimed limestone fireplace with an over mantel

This limestone fireplace is the focal point of this small cottage living room

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The limestone wall cladding, fireplace and wood beams create an old world look into this living room

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Beautiful mixture between the Old and The new in this French style living room

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Simple carved antique fireplace in an authentic Provencal kitchen

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French country house with an antique limestone fireplace

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Beautiful interior design of an old restored castle with a majestic reclaimed limestone fireplace

Chenonceau-Kitchen-limestone-FireplaceBeautiful-dining-room-with-majestic-antique-limestone-fireplaceAntique-Reclaimed-French-Fireplace-with-a-decorative-over-mantleAntique-limestone-fireplace-over-mantelAntique-limestone-fireplace-mantelAntique-limestone-firepalceOld-farmhouse-cottage-antique-limestone-fireplaceold-fully-carved-limestone-fireplacereclaimed-limestone-fireplace

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A solid stone mantle adds many factors of interest to a house. Providing not only a source of warmth, but style, beauty and value. Ancient surface’s antique custom designed fireplaces are guaranteed to make your home the place where everyone wants to be. It easily becomes the centerpiece of your house, drawing both friends and family together around its warm glare.

These stone fireplace design ideas from our past projects will inspire a space you’ll never want to leave.

French limestone fireplace

Beautiful French Provence living room interior with a French style Limestone Fireplace

Italian Antique Limestone Fireplace

Italian Mediterranean country side bedroom with a majestic Italian limestone fireplace

French Limestone Fireplace

French Country Medieval Limestone Fireplace Style

Italian Limestone Fireplace

Italian Limestone Fireplace to add warmth into this Italian Mediterranean Rustic Bedroom

French Provence Limestone Fireplace

A Very “chic” French Provencal limestone Fireplace Style

Modern French Limestone Fireplace

Modern French Bourgogne Farmhouse Limestone Fireplace

French Louis 16 Limestone Fireplace

A French Louis 16th Limestone Fireplace Style

Antique Limestone Fireplace

French Farmhouse Antique Limestone Fireplace

Limestone Fireplace

Master Bedroom French Limestone Fireplace

French Limestone Fireplace

French Bourgogne Farmhouse Limestone Fireplace Style

Saint Remy Limestone Fireplace

French Medieval Saint Remy Limestone Fireplace

Italian Gothic Limestone Fireplace

Gothic Italian Antique Limestone Fireplace in Puglia

French Medieval Limestone Fireplace

A Beautiful Old French Medieval Ruined Limestone Fireplace as seen in Dordogne Region

Restored Antique Limestone Fireplace

A Restored French Medieval Limestone Fireplace from a ruined Castle in Dordogne

Italian Limestone Fireplace

Italian Mediterranean Limestone Fireplace

 

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There’s nothing quite like a fireplace to curl up next to on a cool night.fireplace-antique-limestone-23

Fireplaces not only add heat in a literal sense, but they also lend warmth and charm to a space.fireplace-antique-limestone-16

This is even true of outdoor spaces.  Adding an outdoor stone fireplace in your backyard or garden is a luxury you will not regret.la-fi-hotprop-laguna-beach-compound-20141209-p-023-2

An antique stone fireplace is elegant, elemental, and everlasting capable of withstanding the perpetual ware and tare of all what nature can throw at it. fireplace-antique-limestone-24

There are many antique stone fireplace designs to choose from when selecting the style that best fits your home style.fireplace-antique-limestone-22

From Italian farmhouse to French provincial or even Greek costal Mediterranean an antique stone fireplace will anchor-in the theme of your house with your outdoors living space guaranteeing you a perfect design that will never need to be remodeled as long as the structure stands.Outdoor Bay Front-039C

An outdoor stone fireplace can be used all year long.  There is nothing like sitting around the fire during a cool night, whether it be winter, spring, summer or fall, and enjoying the warmth and the dancing flames evokes our basic feelings of shelter and protection.fireplace-antique-limestone-19

Your outdoor fireplace will soon become a gathering spot for family and friends, and rather than running indoors as soon as the mercury dips, you will find yourself drawn to sit by your antique stone fireplace ‘Al Fresco’.fireplace-antique-limestone-20

Holiday time is an especially wonderful time to enjoy an outdoor antique stone mantel.  Even though the weather outside may be unforgiving, the glowing warmth of an outdoor stone fireplace is the solution.2996680463_6cac1e1554-2 copy

Grab a mug of hot cocoa or warm apple cider, don a hat and some warm mittens, and enjoy the same feeling our ancestors enjoyed before us while in the company of a wonderful stone fireplace during the holiday season.fireplace-antique-limestone-13

Decorated with the holidays evergreens and outdoor lights, garland and wreaths, they can greatly add to the holiday cheer.  You will quickly find that the memories you make while gathered outdoors around the stone fireplace hearth are ones that you will never forget.fireplace-antique-limestone-15fireplace-antique-limestone-12

If you already have an outdoor fireplace, then you are all set to enjoy some time spent outdoors to unwind. fireplace-antique-limestone-8

If, on the other hand, you only have plans to build an outdoor stone fireplace but have not yet started, you can rest assured that whenever your antique stone fireplace is finished, it will bring enjoyment and warmth to you and your family all year long and for many years to come.fireplace-antique-limestone-11

Still undecided on how you want to build your custom stone fireplace and haven’t narrowed down your choices yet, have no fear!fireplace-antique-limestone-2 

You can find a wealth of antique stone fireplace ideas as well as original stone fireplace pictures and photos in our online database so you can start formulating a clear idea of what you like and how one of our antique stone mantels will fit into your outdoor garden design.fireplace-antique-limestone-4fireplace-antique-limestone-3

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Our Antique Limestone fireplaces can be found in just about any design, size or shape so your only dilemma will be the ability to choose one.fireplace-antique-limestone-10

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Traditional, modern, antique reclaimed or rustic, these fireplaces prove that the hearth remains the heart of the home across border and throughout the centuries.

Ancient Italian Villa Limestone FireplaceA mantel restored from antique French limestone, and fireplace tools from the Hearth Stone in a Beverly Hills Living Room decorated by Philip Hook and Sam Bradbury.

kitch5-3An old Provence style fireplace mantle reminisces of a bygone Napoleonic era of the South of France.

photo 2A New Jersey Client who has enlisted us in helping him orient, position, and install the most suitable 18th Century antique fireplace possible. Furniture was custom in North Carolina by an American Bespoke furniture maker.

photo 3louis-xiv_db2b4182156dA splendid 19th century Directories style limestone fireplace sits in this ‘Negligée’ Dutch-Gustavian Farmhouse ready to be lit up with a relaxing flame inside of its custom firebox hearth. Owners enjoy slouching back in their prized original Chesterfield leather seat.

5029014819_bf25c0fb23_oWith a majestic architectural elements such as this one in your formal living room there would be little need for any other competing focal point or rivaling conversational elements.

025-pokliop- golden ratioIn a quantic world of hyper connectivity we seem to be most disconnected with past history, culture knowledge and tradition that has proceeded us. In our eternal pursuit of enlightenment we’ve neglected cosmic and ancestral wisdom that came before us. “If it’s old it must be obsolete”. If it’s alien to our understanding it must be unreverent to our quotidian bread. Oh how wrong we’ve been, how far from the light we’ve erred. We at Ancient Surfaces have fully embraced the loving ways of what preceded us, we built atop that wisdom with passion, love and foresight in order to provide you, our customers, with past and forgotten marvels that will impact you and your interior design like nothing else would.

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The designer selected this antique Tudor style Limestone Fireplace Mantle by Ancient Surfaces has been surrounded with a tone complementing paneled walnut-clad walls of a Castle restoration in Hound Hall in the UK.

Louis Bruno-2This Reclaimed Stone Surround we selected by Designer Louis Bruno for his personal home in 2008. This lichen filled ancient stone fireplace sits in a minimalistic style home that reminds us of the architecture of Alberto Campo Baeza.

image_thumb49With inspiration drawn from the owner’s love of France and French Architecture, this home design features reminiscent of centuries past, the builder architect and designer  were all mindful of the unique needs of the residents.  Modern amenities juxtaposed with ancient reclaimed and vintage elements are common although this property.

livingroom 3 close upGuests of this home enjoy the serene location on the water where they feel in-tune with nature from the sweeping views from the home’s many large windows and patios. Built in a style reminiscent of early twentieth century Provence, this home is a picturesque escape for anyone looking to get away from the hectic city life.

Guests are greeted at the entryway by a beautifully crafted Ancient Limestone entryway that transports them out of Shady Canyon in Sothern California to the glorious days of Provence.

HAVENS-LAZY-LANE-2010-TERRY-VINE-PHOTOS-014The designers continued this look through the incorporation of classic Brocante chandeliers and other design elements reminiscent of the 1800’s period. The views from every room look out onto the lake or the forests surrounding the home, making it a very private and natural experience.  Other features of this home include a large kitchen with a gas stove and pantry. As well as a bedroom with a walk-in closet, master bath with separate shower and tub, in addition to classic furnishings that complete the look.

IMG_3408-bWith its classic French style and modern amenities, this home is a fantastic example of constructing in tune with nature. Built directly on a hill top overseeing a golf course, it seamlessly blends its style with the natural surroundings of the area. Once inside, guests are never out of sight of the beauty that surrounds them. Combining classic French style with a Provence flair, the designers have created an atmosphere in this home to make this a dream house for anyone who visits it.

Reclaimed Mantle-Castellano-Di-Bravatabrick-outdoor-fireplaces-Ponzio-Colorado-c2Another hard to believe reincarnations of this monumental and especially rare 12th century antique Fireplace Mantle that has a disputed provenance. Like many salvaged elements that have been acquired from other dealers and non-cataloged private estate auctions this 900 years old fireplace (one of the oldest that we’ve handled) had to be restored and reinforced so it can be rendered to code. It now peacefully sits in the private 50 acers estate of an anonymous Coloradoan Billionaire who cherishes family time above all else.

Reclaimed-Mantles-English-Norman-era-2Another 12 to 13th century Mantle piece that has been salvaged from this private ruined manor back in 1985 awaiting with its other sisters the loving home that will house her once more.

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154901_CHROME_1Most probably the most famous home in America after the white house and Hearst Castle! The Doheny Mansion was built in the 1920’s and was home to more than 50 Hollywood blockbusters over the past 90 years. This national landmark (It’s actually a national park run by the California park rangers!) is estimated to be worth 2 Billion US Dollars.

sc00188613This Empire style fireplace in this Italianate kitchen-living room first floor space was custom tailored for this home. The chairs and 1800’s stools are Spanish, and the light fixture was made by Florentine craftsmen.

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For many years now, Ancient Surfaces has been blessed with World renowned stone fireplace commissions that will most definitely  constitute the landmarks of tomorrow. We can only make that possible through the contributions and the patronage of our connoisseurs of clientele that will settle for nothing but the very best.

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