Wednesday, February 2, 2011
I figured that since we're in the midst of a HUGE Winter storm, I may as well jump into the drama and tell you how it got down into the high 30's overnight here in Palm Springs, and it's only in the 50s today. We are wearing SWEATERS!
So, this also means that many of us had our furnaces on last night (unusual). I am a huge proponent of the fireplace, which heats a localized area. It's great to look at, too. The house I am currently in is a mid-century modern Alexander that was built in the late 50's and has shattered glass in the inner hearth/firebox and a double lined gas jets.
The most important part of a fireplace is the surrounding mantle and outer hearth. I can't say how much I dislike what many builders in the desert do to finish off a fireplace to get it up to code- surrounding the firebox opening with 12 x 12" floor tiles, or whatever crap they have laying around the job site. It really takes so little to create a fantastic fireplace that is welcoming and can be enjoyed by all.
In most contemporary homes here in the desert, there is usually a large, oversized granite hearth and mantle with a built-in niche for art, which I love. I also love the off-center fireboxes of the 50s and 60s with the open corners, as well as the 'upside-down funnel' Scandanavian looks. WhenI've lived in New England and San Francisco, I LOVED the Victorian Cast Iron Surrounds that hold heat and throw it off for hours as it cools.
I hope you're sitting around a fireplace now, keeping warm and enjoying the flames!