With Valentine’s Day approaching, I thought it would be fun to write about an interior design feature that is unfailingly romantic in any room of the home: the fireplace.
A roaring fire provides us with an almost primitive sense of comfort, inspired by warmth and safety. It relaxes us and fills our senses. Once upon a time, it was the only way to heat your home; the wealthiest home owners built fireplaces in every room. Today, the fireplace has become an attractive architectural feature that lends presence and simple elegance to every room it graces.
There are few things in this world as enchanting as the mellow glow of a real, crackling fire. And nothing is more conducive to romance. Imagine slipping into something saucy, pouring a glass of wine and curling up with your lover in front of… a space heater. Or a radiator. No. Only a fireplace will do.
Now, I should clarify that I am in fact talking about authentic, bona fide, wood-burning fireplaces. Yes, there are beautiful gas fireplaces out there, and yes, they’re modern and attractive and convenient, and you don’t have to clean up any ash or wood chips and all of that practical stuff. But since when has romance ever been practical? Whoever said falling in love was about being tidy? Gas fireplaces have all the benefits of convenience, but none of the sensory experience. When I’m sitting in front of the fire with the one I love, I want to hear the snapping of the logs, and breathe the scent of wood-burnt smoke. I want to smell it in my hair, even after the fire has died to embers, long after I’ve drunk my wine, and had my kisses, and gone to bed.
This is a romantic fireplace:
Conversely, this fireplace is where romance comes to die. Or waits miserably in a sterile office space until the divorce papers come through, and then dies:
OK, yes… the flame in a bowl thing is a pretty cool design in some ways, but let’s face it, there is absolutely nothing sexy happening here.
For me, a fireplace in the bedroom is the height of indulgence and romance. Bedrooms are a place for dreaming, sleeping, relaxing, and finally indulging in some alone time with your partner at the end of a long day, or after the kids have gone to bed. All of these things are greatly facilitated by the flickering of firelight. (You can trust me on this.)
Personally, I have always been bewitched by the Victorian tradition of having a fireplace in my bathroom. It may seem a bit extravagant, but oh, so justified!
In today’s contemporary home, an attractive fireplace is a luxury item, and should always be the focal point of the space. A lovely gathering place for family and guests, it also provides charm and intimacy for (ahem) smaller parties of two.
The benefits of a hearth extend well beyond the winter months when a roaring fire is at its most welcome. Having a beautiful mantel to decorate in and out of season is just another sweet perk. (And an entirely different blog post!)
If you want to create an atmosphere in which you feel utterly enveloped by love and old-fashioned comfort, it’s all about the fireplace. I believe a truly romantic home will always include at least one.
Warm up with these cozy pics and enjoy. Happy Valentine’s Day! Love where you love!