Here are some images of fireplaces to help you take a breather — or just plain zone out — during the holiday shopping rush. The flames, not to mention the surround, can be mesmerizing. The Pasadena architects Greene and Greene designed one of the most famous fireplaces for their Gamble house of 1908.
It’s an inglenook in the living room — rather like a very elegant compartment on a train that just happens to have a large fireplace between the bench seats where the window would be (photo courtesy The Gamble House). Frank Lloyd Wright was famous for his fireplaces and an almost ritualistic attitude toward the hearth as the very center and soul of a home.
At Fallingwater in Pennsylvania, of 1937, he created an organic inglenook from boulders on site (photo courtesy About.com). In the late 1940s, ranch house popularizer Cliff May took the fireplace
outside and added a rotisserie/barbecue. The architectural possibilities are vast and have grown substantially with today’s prefab gas units, like these examples from Ortal Heating Solutions. One can extend across an entire wall
So how do the architects and designers at Houseplans.com treat the fireplace? For Sarah Susanka in Plan 454-6, the fireplace becomes part of a multifunctional wall
with space for storage and display as well as a flat screen television. In Plan 491-7 Braxton
Werner and Paul Field treat it more abstractly as part of a stone wall. Lorenzo Spano echoes Cliff May by going outside with it in Plan 473-3,