Daylight Savings has begun and the winter days here in New Hampshire have also begun to wrap their darkened wings around us. The warmth of a fire, a candle and a welcoming porch light are intertwined with our needs of a warm winter home. As the dark lengthens and we are inside more throughout these winter months, I think our winter home dreams really need to be nurtured. What do I mean by this? I think that winter is depressing and in this economy sometimes it's hard to find ways to cheer and nurture ourselves and our families. One of the ways humans have always cheered and warmed their families is by fire. The gas fireplace in my kitchen is the source of so much comfort ... I find myself ensconced beside it in the mornings with Max the dog and a morning coffee- then again in the late afternoon with - natch, Max and a cup of hot chocolate. What is it about fire? It has a glow - warmth and if it's real, wonderful sounds and reassuring pops and crackles.....and we decorate around it for our increased pleasure.
I actually did not mean to sound off about fireplaces and the comfort of fire in our lives but,now that we are on the subject,I will further say that, if you have a fireplace,use it. Here is a photo of a very large fireplace in an historic home with very cheerfully painted yellow/gold walls.This color acts as a second warming agent and is a delicious to add a glow to your room. I have often used a color I call "egg yolk" on walls- divine with a black and white floor- to cheerfully anchor a room.
This photo is a double whammy - fire and candles. Notice the herringbone brick design of the fireplace's interior. This is a very French look and achieves interest whether the fireplace is in use or not. This mantle is by Old World Stoneworks and is beautiful in and of itself. Mantles and the decoration of will be another blog post but for now let's look inside the fireplace. The nest fireplace does not have a fire -but that empty look of a blank has been mitigated by beautiful birch logs. Birch is so textural and practical (it burns quickly) but any logs placed in a fireplace will at least give the feeling that you are only a match strike away from a glorious blaze.
This is the fireplace in my kitchen where we gather. It is alas propane (yeah! )and I think that it is a great way to go. I really love being able to stumble- and I do- down in pj's, grab a coffee and start the day before a comforting and cheery fire...not to mention that it can go away at the flip of a remote switch. Luxurious and worth every penny. It is one of my pleasures. A kitchen fireplace and room to gather around it is very convivial...maybe even required.