Are you having problems coming up with the right design ideasfor 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 fireplacecould 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.
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)
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This Online catalog selection featuring some of our captivating antique limestone fireplaces were taken from our own printed fireplace catalog from 2011 to 2016.
One of a kind antique limestone fireplace hundreds of years old reclaimed and restored by hand, shipped from Spain to a French castle in the Dordogne region close to the Limousine national forest.
A captivating antique Limestone Fireplace that features an over mantle or a ‘trumeaux’ as its called in French.
A lovely antique stone fireplace with an etched Cross motif on its midsection. This Cross is known as the Maltese Cross.
A finely carved crest of two lions flanking a Medici vase is the main characteristic of this antique 15th century fireplace.
A beige limestone antique fireplace dating back to the 17th century. This lovely stone mantle was restored to its formed glory by the capable hands of our professional artisans who had to change and beef up its top shelf and extend its legs.
This antique Italian beige limestone fireplace was supplied, restored and installed for this charming private Italian Villa. Over the years, the list of our clientele has grown into the thousands and reads like a Forbes 500 list.
Both our clients and competitors admire the rarity and uniqueness of our one of a kind Antique Fireplace Mantles that we salvage and carefully (and sometime painstakingly) restore back to their original splendor without defacing the time honored patina that those pieces have acquired during their temporal journey since their hand carving centuries ago.
We are trying to move with the times by making our entire Yard stocks becoming digitally available for online viewing.
This massive undertaking required tens of thousands of man hours worth of documentation, data entry, archiving and classifications.
We’ll be keeping everyone updated on this herculean undertaking as the months or even maybe years role by!
To learn more about those fascinating and unique architectural gems as well as their hand carved exact replicas feel free to please contact us through our website at Ancient Surfaces.
Antique fireplace mantels are important pieces of furniture. They provide a classic look to the living room, warmth and coziness in the bedroom, or a meditative and unwinding therapy by the poolside patio.
These mantels have stood the test of time unlike their brand new counterparts. Also, a good antique reclaimer might offer an arsenal of refurnish antique accessories to complement the whole antique mantels ambiance that you’re trying to create in your home.
Such items include ancient metal gates, antique herringbone brickletts used to line the insides of the fireboxes, to the simple yet elegant and classic andiron and baskets that are salvaged from the 18 an 17th centuries.
Classic timeless pieces from the Norman medieval, Italian and French Renaissance or Edwardian and Victorian eras are the best options to choose from. While choosing from a variety of ancient hand carved stone mantels, generally, those offered by dealers are mainly simple with the occasional corbeled legs to them like the French countryside fireplaces, or with a nice bolection frame or picture frame looking mantles that were common during the late British Imperial era.
Various kinds of stone such as dolomitic limestone, brachiated marble or even basalt rock in some instances were used by pas carvers to create some of Europe’s most elaborate fireplace mantels for the last ten centuries.
So what is the best kind of stone to carve mantles out of? This stone remains uncontested since it grants mantles an eternal durability while allowing them to age gracefully. It’s a great heat conductor yes soft and textured to the touch.
This stone is seen in the most well preserved fireplaces in the world that were once carved out of. It is called the ‘Oolitic Limestone’ and its raw blocks are highly prized by master stone carvers from around the world.
As for the style of mantles goes, the most popular kind of fireplace mantel today are South European or the Tuscan or French Bastide and Normandy styles that are based on one simple philosophy of simplicity equals beauty, as long as that simplicity didn’t stand for losing the personality and historic characteristic that defines that particular fireplace and help set it apart from its counterparts.
Mostly sculptures realized in this style were a simple way for countryside residents to have functional yet elegant hand carved stone mantle that resonated with the simple countryside way of life.
They still offered a perfect balance of design and proportion based of the utilization the ‘Golden Ratio’ and ‘Golden Mean’ and by utilizing many other carving and visual tricks like the play on the visual perspective, ‘Chiaroscuro’ shade manipulations, ‘Foreshortening’ the play with lines, and ‘Sfumato’ which consist on blurring or not fully carving a section to give it a perception of distance.
All European regions are splendidly depicted in the mantel designs that originated from them. They speak volumes of the old continent past vestige and it’s timeline. When designing a house selecting the style of the fireplace will help you define the overall type of the home you want to build and live in.
The earliest known mantel piece is the one in the Kings House in Southampton. It was carved in the 12th century and is a classic example of splendid old masters craftsmanship.
A very wonderful example of the early Renaissance style fireplaces is the mantelpiece of the ‘Palais de Justice at Burges’. Seventeenth century English era saw the introduction of pure Italian style of fireplace mantel pieces.
These mantels were very simple in style but had an elegant look. It was only in the latter part of the 17th century that bolder and molding styles were introduced. In the 18th century the rise of French style of architecture was seen and the designs of the mantels too were influenced by the French style.
The other different but very elegant styles of fireplace mantels include the Classic Tudor, Jacobean, Victorian, Georgian, Gothic, Louis Style, Pompadour, directories… Antique fireplace mantels of the above mentioned eras and designs have gained a lot of popularity today.
There’s a good chance that most antique fireplaces you purchase on the market today would have originated from France or Italy where a bulk of architectural antique salvaging, acquisition, sale and storage reside.
In recent years a sensational thirst for rare and unique stone elements have surged all around the English spoken world from England to the United States and from Australia to Canada.
This recent spike in demand had put the pressured on supplies of genuine antique stone elements especially on one of a kind antique fireplaces. To learn more about those fascinating and unique architectural gems as well as their hand carved exact replicas feel free to please contact us through our website at Ancient Surfaces.