The article opens with a quote from Edith Wharton and Ogden Codman Jr. 1897 design classic, The Decoration of Houses, “The fireplace must be the focus of every rational scheme of arrangement.” And, if you are fortunate to have one, you are well aware of its dominance in a room and that it cannot be easily ignored. For that reason, transforming the appearance of a fireplace is usually well worth the time and expense. It’s an architectural ornament that’s changeable,” as Thomas states, “if you like your fireplace, you’ll like your whole room a lot better. (Read the full article here.)
Two of our rooms are presented as possible solutions — the one at top in the library of an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan where we removed the existing “pseudo Georgian Revival” mantel and clad the wall around the fireplace in colorful mosaic tile — a design loosely inspired by a fireplace in a dining room designed by Stanford White at Kingscote, a 19th-century house in Newport, R.I. The second (below) is for a house in Oyster Bay, N.Y. where we placed antique Delft tiles on the face of the fireplace and then applied a thin metal frame around it. Thomas explains the reason for the juxtaposition — “rather than just having a fireplace with a row of Delft tiles and a pretty 19th-century wood molding around it, we tried to modernize it and make it more contemporary.” Achieving in the process just the right blend of old and new that the room required.