Monday, September 27, 2010

Listening to the fire crackle and the cat purr...

Design by William Hodgins

Just kidding. I have neither a cat, nor a fireplace, but this cool September morning is making me wish for the latter. I love, love, love lighting a fire on cool days, not just for the warmth, but for the glow and the ambiance it creates.

Design by Jay Jeffers

A fireplace, to me, epitomizes luxury and lounging (two of my favorite things!) and creates a cozy (or opulent) focal point in the room.

Steven Gambrel added this amazing deco fireplace surround in a bathroom. Oh, the extravagance! It is so unexpected and so perfect with that marble. Classic Gambrel style.

Alessandra Branca keeps it traditional in this lovely living room. Notice the way she manages the monumental scale of the room: accenting it with a tall mirror, bringing it down to residential scale with the large vases and floral arrangements, and arriving at human scale with the cozy seating surrounding the fireplace. 

Eric Cohler illustrates here, in his Charleston home, that he also knows how to manipulate scale in a room. I love the huge etageres standing guard on either side of the hearth. I also love the way he casually leaned the photos and artwork on the mantel, as opposed to hanging them, giving the room a more modern, breezy feel.

As usual, Melissa Rufty wows us with bold, playful colors that, here, act as a perfect contrast to the classic marble mantel.

As you can imagine, I love the color of this room in the home of Jared Goss, a curator for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. I also love how the room, designed by Bill Brockschmidt and Courtney Coleman, has a fabulous blend of styles: the traditional portrait, the dark - almost Victorian - mantel, the antique mirrors, and don't miss those lucite "ghost" chairs!

Love the wallpaper, love the ikat, love the tiny lamps, and LOVE that roaring fire! Contemporary cozy at its best!

Of course, Charlotte Moss knows how to pull off cozy elegance. This room is so classic and even grand, yet, as always, Moss manages to make it a comfortable retreat, perfect for curling up by the fire.

Another fabulous example of the work of Eric Cohler. This room seems soothing to me, perhaps because of the muted blue and green palette, but there is really a lot going on: the checkered floor, the tufted settee, the ornate mantel, the collection of sunburst mirrors. I find his work is truly a treat for the eyes!

Well, the sun has come out, the temperature is back in the 70s, and so my fireplace fantasies must be put on hold for now. But I will leave you with one last superbly cozy fireplace....

Unknown from House Beautiful

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