There's something about curling up in front of a toasty fire during winter that brightens the corners of the soul. The warmth encourages you to relax and maybe snooze a bit, taking the edge off a busy day. Try these ideas to make your own fireplace the center of comfort.
Step 1: Make sure the damper is open. (The damper is inside and up beyond the fireplace opening at the beginning, or throat of the chimney.)
Step 2: Place your kindling or your fire starter under the andirons toward the back of the firebox. Andirons or metal grates are important because they elevate the firewood, providing air circulation underneath.
Step 3: Start off with two or three pieces of firewood and place them on the back of the andirons. Next, crumple a piece of newspaper and place it on top of the logs.
Step 4: Light the newspaper first, and then the kindling. The burning newspaper will help create a draft to draw smoke up the chimney. With the blaze set, replace the fire screen, and sit back and enjoy the glow.
Try these smart room-arranging tips to create a gathering spot around a fireplace.
In cooler months, move furniture around. Create an intimate and cozy group surrounding the fireplace in the fall and winter. In this family room, club chairs dressed in coordinating -- not matching -- fabrics flank the fireplace.
Place seasonal accessories throughout the room to complement your fireplace. Cast a warm glow throughout the room with groupings of candles. Don't forget the mantel. Fill containers with dried flowers or plants for a fresh look during drab months.
Natural stone complements a large fireplace.
Winter and fireside respites go hand in hand, and a fireplace made of stone establishes a natural, earthy connection to the outdoors. This vaulted, two-story family room's design centers around a handsome fireplace made with local fieldstone. Because the chimney is exposed, any heat that radiates through the flue and stone veneer adds to the warmth indoors.
This wall of rock is as beautiful as it is functional. Apart from its attractive construction, the fireplace’s raised hearth was a smart move. It provides seating space and elevates the firebox off the floor, making it easier to see the glowing embers while curled up in a cozy chair or sofa.
Beautiful scrolls accent this fireplace and make an impact in a simple room.
Warm ivory walls paired with rich caramel ceilings make this room feel larger while providing a neutral background. The scrolls on this fireplace mantel were fabricated on an exaggerated scale, helping the firebox seem larger. Minimal accessories maintain a clean palette for the artwork above the mantel.
Country charm and contemporary touches bring a unique look to this fireplace.
The indigenous stone fireplace, a focal point in the living area, stands directly opposite a twin structure in the kitchen. Beams salvaged from an old train station were used to create the floorboards and fireplace mantels. Red cabinets flank each side of the fireplace, setting the stage for many cheerful evenings in front of a warm fire.
Warm wood, lots of brick, and rich furnishings envelope this family room's fireplace.
In this welcoming and cozy den, New Orleans red brick covers the wall from the hearth to the crown molding. An oval arch surrounded by natural stones forms the firebox opening, while a cross-hatch firescreen adds visual play to the brick wall.
Borrow these suggestions to make your outdoor space extra cozy this season.
The fireplace is the star of this patio. It is constructed with an uncommon, thin brick called Roman brick and raised above floor level for maximum impact. The mantel and bench seats are made of cast stone. If you don't have an outdoor fireplace, create a cozy atmosphere by lighting several pillar candles inside jars or lanterns. The key is to cluster them together. You could also place a chiminea in an empty corner.
Think a cozy fire can only be enjoyed indoors? Savor the warmth from an outdoor retreat all through the winter.
Situated just beyond the pool and hot tub accented by a waterfall, an outdoor fireplace with a raised hearth provides an ideal place for roasting marshmallows and drinking hot cocoa. Composed of brick, the new fireplace area has the look of a bygone era. Adding to the illusion are gracefully arched openings on either side of the chimney, along with gas-lit lanterns and a smooth bluestone terrace. Above the arched brick firebox, a rough-hewn cypress mantel supported by brick corbels lends the perfect finishing touch.