Home Is Where the Hearth Is

An ode to America’s handsomest fireplaces

By The Editors
November 18, 2015 9:00 am

Home is where the heart is.

And the heart of every home — assuming it has one — is its fireplace.

As Ruard Veltman, a Charlotte-based architect, puts it, “The total purpose was to heat a home, but now it creates this great ambience. It doesn’t have to be on; you can imagine what it’s like.” Veltman’s fireplaces play on a romantic notion of space; they provide not only warmth, but a hearthstone around which to gather, toast, converse and regale.

Here are three examples of his work, along with five more you’ve gotta see.

The Craftsman Lodge
Linville, NC

This craftsman lodge in the Blue Ridge Mountains was mostly framed when Veltman stepped in for a redesign. He kept the fireplace, but it was small for the size of the room, so he framed it with a little nook to make it appear more prominent. It also provides residents a spot to curl up with a book or have an intimate conversation.

The Jacobean Tudor
Charlotte, NC

A thin, vertical window highlights the fireplace of this Jacobean Tudor home in Charlotte. When you’re driving up, you’ll notice the flicker in the window; upon entering, you find its source: a sprawling hearth with stone fireballs for added ambience.

The Mountain Retreat
Roaring Gap, NC

Sometimes Veltman amplifies a fireplace’s presence by recessing it in the wall, like he did with this mountain retreat in Roaring Gap, NC.

The Hotel Condo
Beverly Hills, CA

Micah Heimlich, of UnHeim, went Frank Lloyd Wright on this rig in the penthouse condo of the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills. The tiles are licensed reproductions that he sandblasted and cut, and in a few parts, mica tiles are backlit for an added pop.

The Country Barn

Kelly and Co Design outfitted this barn in Connecticut to house the family’s bar and music room. Here, the fireplace is an add-on, but like the rug in The Dude’s apartment, it really ties the room together.

The Midcentury Manse
Kansas City, Kansas

Clean lines and understated elegance are king in a midcentury modern estate. John Maniscalco Architects opted for a gas fireplace in the living room of this Kansas City home. By keeping the furniture and the fireplace low to the ground, they allow for the sunlight to filter in through the big windows and work its magic.

The Contemporary City Dweller
San Francisco, CA

The black brick used by Hufft Projects gives this modern home a more contemporary vibe. The gas setup is easy to use and provides an interesting point of separation between the rooms.

The Texas-Sized Ranch
Dallas, Texas

Thompson Custom Homes built this ranch outside of Dallas and included a massive stone, wood-burning fireplace that produces heat and divides the family room from the dining room and kitchen.

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