Scrolling through Instagram recently I came across two posts featuring beautiful fireplaces. What struck me was how different they are and how fireplaces are actually really versatile features in the home.
Some people have a surround, some don’t. Some people have brick, some marble. Some people like the feature and some people block it in (god forbid!).
Then I started wondering about my fireplaces and realised I’ve had a fireplace in every home I’ve owned. Our first flat in Clapham was a 1960s fireplace which we restored with a cast iron surround and filled with candles.
In our second home, a semi detached Victoria house, we inherited a beautiful fireplace with blue and white tiled interior and a black surround. We also had a little one in our bedroom too. Heaven!
And finally, our current home has a fireplace in the living room which was a bit neglected (and illegal!). It had a random dado rail surround which was super dangerous so we removed the surround and the grate, and put a wood burning burning stove in instead. Our French family come over and lots and they love it.
But how do fires go in France? While the wood burning stove is a sure craze here they are harder to come by across the Channel. For a start, French fireplaces generally seem to be much larger. A wood burning stove would probably look lost on such large backdrop. That’s probably why then, so many French fireplaces cling on to their traditional charm, with very little modernisation.
And while they may all be traditional, they’re definitely different. Picture this: ornately carved gold-gilt-like fireplaces with marble tops (yes these do exist). Compared to wide open country fireplace with a floor-to-ceiling brick surround – picture farmhouse rustic. Or, somewhere in between is the understated fireplaces which are original but simple, very little fancy to them on a backdrop of panelled walls.
Either way, the French do it right and us Brits do it right. Infact you can’t go wrong. A fireplace is a fabulous feature in any home and dressing it up is a whole load of fun, and can be done in so many ways. Here’s just a few examples of inspiration for a fireplace in your home.
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