Whether it will hold a roaring open fire, a tidy wood burner, a gas fire or simply a few decorative candles, the fireplace is the focal point in any room, so it’s important to get it right.
There’s also French style fireplaces, often referred to as Rococo, Louis XIV or Louis XV style, characterised by serpentine shelves and organic, curving lintels, that would often have been found in grand mansions. Later, Louis XVI styles have a slightly more geometric shape with a wide opening and scrolled jambs decorated with acanthus leaf carvings.
Besides the style, it’s also very important to think about the size and scale of the room, to make sure that you install a fireplace that will be the correct scale. It is, of course, also key to think about the purpose of the room; commonly, bedrooms would have had smaller, thinner fireplaces, in particular, cast iron combination fireplaces as above.
In terms of fitting, it can be useful for us to see what state the chimney is in at the current moment; a photo can be very helpful. Often fireplaces that were refurbished during the fifties and sixties have had the opening made smaller. If this is the case, you can usually return the opening to its original size without much trouble, making it possible to fit in an insert or grate of the right period. Measurements of your chimney are essential too. The measurements that are helpful to us are:
The height, width and depth of the opening
The width of the chimney-breast
The ceiling height
General dimensions of the room
If your opening is off centre on the chimney breast (as is common in upstairs rooms), you also need to take the shortest measurement from the opening to the edge of the chimney breast. Understandably, the fireplace shelf must never go beyond the chimney breast. Aesthetically, it looks best to have the shelf at least an inch from each edge of the chimney breast.
If you’re at all unsure if your chimney is fit for use, it is essential to get it checked out and swept by a professional. It is also important to get an experience and professional fitter to install the fireplace. We can recommend specialists for both these jobs.
Many of our fireplaces are on our website, but we always have a great deal more than what makes it online. We have fireplaces on display at our Essex Road showroom, as well as an overwhelming number at our yard in Hertfordshire, many of which are unrestored, but can be restored for you within two weeks.
If you have any questions or queries about our fireplaces, or would like some advice on what to choose for your home, contact us on 0207 704 0982 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Essex Road showroom is open 10.30am to 5pm from Tuesday to Saturday. Pop in anytime to browse our fireplaces and ask advice or make an appointment to visit us at our yard in Ware, Hertfordshire.