Sometimes, creating a cozy place to curl up to requires nothing more than snuggling under a blanket. And other times an entire space must be created in order to find the desired cove to dock for the night. Before electricity was invented, the fireplace was the center of the home. It provided warmth, light and a place to cook food. To the contemporary home, however, a fireplace is often considered a luxury. Not every home has one, and those that do are sometimes so poorly designed they just don't function as intended.
In the accompanying slide show you'll see the beginning phases of a fireplace being reborn. The original living room had a fireplace, but the wood burning insert prevented it from being used efficiently. The plan was to install a new gas burning insert, along with American-Craftsman inspired cabinetry and tile slip. A deeper niche by the fireplace was needed to make the cabinetry more functional. In order to accomplish that requirement, the fireplace masonry was extended an additional 6” into the room. As you journey through the photographic process, you'll see how this project literally began brick by brick.
For more information about masonry, visit the Masonry Contractors Association of America (MCAA). And if you are planning a project involving your fireplace, bear in mind there are codes in place to safely keep combustibles away from the heat source. To get a better understanding of fireplace codes and standards, visit the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) website.