Heather Hall Victorian Fireplace Restoration Project
Restoration Project For The Heather Hall Fireplaces. Some of these Victorian fires were broken with lots of missing parts. The scope of the project included modernising the burning method by adding Two Bio Ethanol Burners.
The specification from the client included Remote control use and high safety features . We supplied a certified 2.7 kW 100% efficient Bio Ethanol Environmental Friendly fire to European and USA Standards fabricating the metal fire backs to fit the fires.
Should you have an antique fireplace that needs restoring and repairing, call our team of experts on 0116 251 9592 for free advice.
Fireplaces are the heart of living rooms in historic houses. Before the middle of the 20th century, almost all the rooms of a house, including bedrooms, were heated by open fires. Even though gas fires and central heating are now used for heating, many houses still have antique fireplaces.
Note: Listed Building Consent may be required to remove or alter your fireplace if your house is a listed building, and you should seek advice on this before carrying out any changes.
Listed Building Consent Advice for Replacing Antique Fireplaces
If you want to alter or extend a listed building in a way that affects its character or appearance as a building of special architectural or historic interest, or even demolish it, you must first apply for listed building consent from your local planning authority.
You should check first with your local authority Conservation Officer whether or not consent will be needed for what you plan to do. You should also get an outline of what might be acceptable and find out whether ideas need to be adapted to make them more likely to succeed. This simple step could save a lot of time and money.
When the planning authority considers whether to grant or to refuse an application, it must give particular attention to the desirability of preserving the building, its setting and those features which make it special. These are the things you should think about when you are planning your proposed changes.
Unauthorised work is a criminal offence
You need to be aware that carrying out unauthorised works to a listed building is a criminal offence and individuals can be prosecuted.
A planning authority can insist that all work carried out without consent is reversed. You should therefore always talk to the local planning authority before any work is carried out to a listed building.
An owner will have trouble selling a property which has not been granted Listed Building Consent for work carried out.
Changes to the way listed building consent can be granted have been introduced, and are explained in our web page on the effects of the Enterprise and Regulatory Act 2013. Source: Historical England.
Antique Fireplace Anatomy for Replacing The Grate and Hearth
Fireplaces have three main parts. The chimneybreast contains the flue and often projects into the room.
The hearth is the opening that contains the grate where the fuel is burnt: this is usually iron and may have tiled sides. The chimneypiece is the ornamental surround to the hearth opening, and is often made of stone or wood. Normally there is also a stone slab in front of the fireplace: this is the hearth slab.
The chimneybreast is part of the structure of your house and you should think very carefully before planning to remove it. You may think that the chimneybreast takes up too much useful space, but it almost certainly helps to strengthen the wall it belongs to.
It also contains flues and if these are not blocked, they help to ventilate your home. Blocked flues can also create damp problems. You should seek structural advice before removing a chimney breast, and will need Building Regulations approval, as well as Listed Building Consent (if your house is listed).
Antique Fireplace Design
Whether it’s plain or ornamental, a chimneypiece is part of the history and design of the room. It helps to tell the story about how the room was used. Quite often the chimneypiece is one of the original fittings and a deliberate visual focus.
You will first need to find out whether or not the fireplace is an important part of the house. You may feel that your present chimneypiece is the wrong date or style for the room; it’s not unusual for chimney pieces to have been altered to fit in with changing taste. It may also have been adapted from a larger opening with the insertion of a smaller fireplace.
If you need more advice, call our team of experts on 0116 251 9592. It will help your discussion with your local authority if you can find a picture of the kind of chimneypiece that you want to install.
Changing an Antique Fireplace Grate
The grate is the functional part of a fireplace. You may want to install a different kind of grate, or convert it to gas or electricity. Or you may want to install a wood-burning stove.
You will usually be able to make the changes you want, unless the grate is of special historic interest. Wherever possible you should make sure that the installation is reversible, meaning that you or a future owner can undo the change without causing damage to the original building.
You should keep the hearth slab if you are going to have any kind of live fire. The purpose of the slab is to keep fragments of burning wood or coal away from the timber floorboards or the carpet. Source: Historical England
Britains Heritage, UK Nationwide Delivery and Restoration
From energy efficiency through to seasoning and storing fuel, this article answers the most common questions about woodburners
Looking for a stylish, sustainable way to heat your home? Then a woodburning stove could be the answer. Whether you’re after a traditional-looking version to warm a cosy sitting room or a cool contemporary design to sit at the heart of an open-plan living space, you’re sure to find something to suit. But how do you select the right appliance for your needs? Our Q&A will help you decide.
You can buy online and take delivery to your door, additionally we offer a fitting and delivery service combined. Give us a call on 0116 251 9592 with your location in the UK and we will happily provide a competitive quote. Alternatively, send us a message via our website Contact Form.
These stoves offer a great combination of aesthetic appeal and eco credentials that few heating appliances can match. From classic cast iron models to designer versions in steel or ceramic, they make for a captivating focal point. And with technology allowing for ever-larger viewing panes, the beauty of a real log fire can be enjoyed to its fullest.
Add to that the fact that responsibly-sourced, well-seasoned timber is a carbon neutral and energy-efficient fuel, and these stoves stand a class apart as attractive, practical heaters.
2) What are the style options?
The traditional matt black firebox set atop four solid legs has enduring appeal for both period-style homes and contemporary spaces – but these days there’s a huge array of statement designs to choose from.
Switching the enamel to a different colour – from sleek whites to eye-popping pinks – can help to ensure your stove adds an extra dimension to your home’s decor. Then there are wall-mounted and pedestal versions, or even models that appear to be suspended in the centre of a room.
The classic double-aspect stove is another great choice; and has now been taken a step further with the introduction of show-stopping 360° designs. If you prefer a clean look, then a cassette model that fits flush with the wall – perhaps integrated into a log store – could be an ideal option.
3) How much heat can I get?
The vast majority of stoves are sold as individual appliances designed to provide a cosy atmosphere in a single room. You can get a general idea of the size of room heater you need by measuring the space in cubic metres (L x W x H) and dividing this figure by 14 to reveal a rough estimate of the kilowatt (kW) output required. For example, a 7m (L) x 5m (W) x 2.4m (H) living room might need a 6kW stove – but you should always use a qualified heating engineer to determine the exact output required.
Some appliances can be hooked up to radiator-based central heating and even supply domestic hot water for taps and other outlets. Typically, these boiler stoves can run around 12 radiators either as the primary heat source or in tandem with a conventional gas or oil-fired boiler (in which case the stove works to reduce your reliance on fossil fuels). Stovax’s Stockton 14HB is a 14kW model able to supply enough hot water for a network of 19 standard-size radiators.
Double Sided Wood Burning Stove
We love this style and it’s a popular choice when you want to heat a large room effectively, the double sided door design is a great feature to have on those cold winter days. Click here to view the stove in our shop.
4) How efficient are woodburning stoves?
There’s really no comparison between stoves, which burn at between 70%-85% efficiency, and open fires that waste about 90% of the warmth they generate by blowing it straight up the chimney. But how do woodburners size up to conventional boiler-powered central heating systems?
According to the Energy Saving Trust, a log-fuelled boiler stove hooked up to radiators should cost around £90 less to run every year than gas-fired heating. However, unlike some types of biomass, log burners aren’t eligible for payments under the Renewable Heat Incentive. If you’re interested in taking advantage of this scheme, then you’ll need to invest in either a wood pellet stove or a full-blown biomass boiler.
5) What features should I look out for?
Modern stoves offer a plethora of advantages over older models – mainly aimed at either boosting efficiency or improving views of the flames. Airwash technology, which is fairly standard these days, draws air down the inside of the window to help keep it clean and get rid of performance-impairing residues. This air will also act as the primary supply for combustion of the wood.
To further improve performance, cleanburn systems introduce secondary and tertiary air into the chamber. By combusting the excess hydrocarbons in the smoke, this boosts thermal efficiency and ensures a cleaner burn – reducing the amount of unpleasant particles that go up the chimney.
If you live in a smoke control area, you can still have a stove. Many models offer a smokeless burn – check whether the product you’re interest in carries a Defra exemption certificate.
6) Who can install my stove?
Heritage Fireplaces offer installation – Call us on 0116 251 9592 with your location for an accurate cost proposal.
Fitting a woodburner is notifiable work, so your installation must conform to the Building Regulations. The most straightforward route to compliance is to use a suitably-qualified HETAS engineer, who will be able to self-certify the job as a competent person.
This isn’t just a case of nestling an appliance into an existing chimney. All woodburners need a flue to channel the expelled emissions out of the home.
This will usually be run up your chimney, which may need to be re-lined at a cost of around £900-£1,100. Typically, your installer will also deal with calculating the right size of stove and, once it’s commissioned, run you through how to operate the appliance effectively.
7) Which woods work best?
As a rule, hardwood is your best bet for fuelling a stove. Its density means a cubic metre of this fuel can weigh up to 50% more than the same volume of softwood. So if you’re buying by volume (which is pretty common) you’ll get more fuel, a longer lasting burn and have less need for storage space by opting for hardwoods such as ash, oak and beech.
If there’s any excess moisture in the timber, it will take time to boil away in your stove – producing steam rather than heat and reducing its efficiency. In the worst case scenario, the wood may even produce tars that could damage the stove lining. So it’s important to only use properly seasoned products – and most stove manufacturers recommend wood that’s been taken down to a moisture content of 25% or less.
With hardwoods, this will generally mean using logs that have been cut and split well before they’re to be used and that have gone through at least two summers’ worth of air-drying before buying. It is possible to purchase green wood for home drying, but bear in mind you’ll need a significant amount of storage space for this, and will probably need to split the logs yourself.
8) Where can I store the fuel?
It’s vital that you keep your seasoned wood in a suitably dry place; a well-ventilated shed with one open end is a good option for long-term storage. Logs should always be kept off the ground – typically by stacking them on top of the biggest lengths, with gaps for air to circulate. The firewood should always be cut to the right length at least six months before it’s to be burned to ensure that it dries out properly. Splitting it to expose a greater surface area will help, too.
You can buy pre-seasoned fuel from the likes of Log Delivery and Certainly Wood; both offer kiln-dried hardwoods, too, which should be ready-to-use within two weeks of delivery. The Forestry Commission recommends you bring wood indoors for a few days prior to use.
9) What about stove maintenance?
Provided you stay on top of basic upkeep, such as clearing out the ashes and removing any stubborn soot from the glass and internal surfaces, you should get 20+ years of life out of your new woodburning stove (though most warranties stretch to just five years).
It’s worth keeping an eye out for signs of potential problems – such as holes in the ash pan, cracks or spots of rust in the finish. If you notice any of these, it’s time to call in a specialist. Most manufacturers strongly recommend a professional annual service (at around £70-£100) both of the stove and, importantly, of the chimney and flue.
10) How much do woodburning stoves cost?
A small room-heating woodburner can start from as little as £600 – but even with this kind of installation, you may be looking at upwards of £1,500 once you’ve factored in professional fitting and a new flue. A constructional hearth (which can be required for the setup to meet Building Regulations) will cost at least £350. If you’ve set your heart on a high-end product or you’re opting for a boiler model that requires new pipework, you can expect to pay significantly more – typically anything from £3,000 to £7,000 in total.
The Alpha 1 4.9 kW Multi Fuel Stove
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Before the permanent shift in energy use and the way homes were heated, the fireplace was the key component in most rooms. Some historical homes have many different fireplaces, and even though they might be beautiful, many are no longer functional.
For those who love the idea of restoring an antique fireplace the center of the room once more, they are faced with many logistical roadblocks. Has the fireplace been renovated before? It is safe for burning wood? Would a gas insert be a better option? Can the fireplace itself be restored?
Our friendly and experienced team are happy to answer all of your queries over the telephone on 0116 251 9592.
Here’s what you need to know about fireplace restoration and use in old historical homes.
Retrofitting Antique Fireplaces
Not all fireplaces in older homes were made to burn wood. Sometimes new developments in fuel sources meant the previous homeowners had to change the fireplaces to be connected to the first central heating systems or that the space for burning logs was changed to hold a space for a coal stove.
If you truly want to restore the fireplace to be wood burning once more, it’s important to know if the space was ever retrofitted previously. The soot from burning coal may coat stone or brick and weaken it, so a few decades of coal burning in the past might mean an old chimney will need some additional TLC.
For fireplaces that had at one point been connected to antique central air systems, there might be holes in the brick or old pipes running through the chimney that will need to be removed. These holes can sometimes be plastered over, so it’s important to carefully strip the chimney and fireplace down to bricks to assess its condition.
Fireplace Structural Enforcements and Safety
After you’ve successfully gutted and prepped the old fireplace, it’s time to make repairs and get it ready for actively burning again.
Choose Your Fuel or Insert Type
If you want to burn wood again, consider a wood burning insert with doors to go in the fireplace opening. These are much more energy efficient than open wood fires that actually draw heat from the room, and they still provide the ambiance of a fire with glass doors.
You can also buy Victorian fireplace inserts that keep the original style of the fireplace. Not all fireplaces in old houses were open flame. Many had cast iron faces with decorative plates that were much more effective at heating the home. These stove styles are still available today, with modern updates to improve effectiveness even more.
Gas fireplace inserts are also a popular choice as they are low maintenance; there is no ashtray to clear or doors to clean. If you really want the old, open-fire look (no doors in the way), you might also consider gas logs. These logs can be remote controlled so you don’t need to light them, and they produce realistically cheery flames.
The type of burning or fuel you hope to use will inform the type or extent of repairs you need to make. For older brick chimneys, you may need to repoint crumbling mortar and get the chimney lined and insulated before it is safe to burn wood or any other fuel. Without fixing structurally compromised brick, you risk the safety of your home.
Lining and insulating are essential because they provide a heat barrier and a heat-resistant surface to reduce the dangerous buildup of creosote and other harmful burning byproducts. Chimneys are easier to clean and maintain if they are lined.
Older chimneys may be unlined or they may be lined with clay tiles and smooth mortar. Usually, these tiles are cracked with age and the mortar is no longer effective. Without the liner, the brick and mortar of old chimneys gets weaker with each fire, simply because of the intense heat and corrosive creosote.
New liners are made with new clay tiles (the most traditional option), cast-in-place concrete (just as effective as tiles, but less costly to install), or inserted metal liners (common with gas and alternative fuel inserts). The type of flue liner you need depends on the state and shape of your old chimney.
It’s much easier to install gas inserts in a fireplace space because these simply need to be vented with a metal flu liner instead of a fully restored chimney, which can be less costly. Be sure the insert is installed properly so that you don’t experience drafts from the outdoor venting when the fireplace is not running.
After restoration and installation, you should make sure that you run several safety tests. Ask your fireplace professional to check for flue leaks and heat loss. You’ll also want to measure emissions in the room to make sure you’re not at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning or smoke inhalation.
To keep a newly restored fireplace in good shape, you should be committed to cleaning. Wood burning fireplaces need the most attention, since creosote can build up quickly, especially if your fire is not burning hot and your wood fuel is not as dry or clean. Have your fireplace inspected and checked for safety annually.
When it comes to modern fireplace design, a lot of people are selecting options that give the look and ambience of a standard log fire, but with the added convenience of being gas fired. Of course, this isn’t going to be a suitable solution for everybody, as rural locations are often without a gas connection, but for anybody living in a more urban setting, a gas fire is a terrific idea.
Gas Fireplaces and Mantel Surrounds
All the gorgeous good looks of a working fireplace, but with none of the mess. What could be better or more modern? Nothing, when natural slate trims and a slimline mantle is included to finish the whole installation. Our Epsom Slate Mantel Surround is a great example of how homely yet contemporary a fireplace can look.
Fireplace Restoration UK Nationwide
Do you already own an antique fireplace and want to breathe new life into it? You may already have a room in mind that you would like to to feature.
Britain’s Heritage are renowned experts at restoring and repairing fireplaces and aga cookers, our door to door service means that even if you aren’t local to us in Leicester we can arrange to pick up your fireplace and carry out the restoration and respraying in our workshops and deliver it right back to your doorstep.
When an extremely contemporary fireplace design is the only thing that will do, flush-fitting inset options are absolutely the way to go and because they look so incredibly beautiful, they are often mounted in such a way as to replace a television as well. We certainly don’t think there’s a TV programme that can compete with the good looks of a style such as this one!
In terms of fireplace ideas, modern inset boxes are really rising in popularity right now and though they will incur specialist fitting fees, they are more than worth the investment. Negating nothing in the way of heating potential, while creating an absolutely incredible focal point, these long, lean and dramatic designs are adaptable enough to work in a new build home or even a rustic property that could use a little updating.
Original Edwardian Cast Iron Fireplaces with Tiles
Any modern living room with fireplace potential can be brought to life and warmed up no end, even if the space seems a little awkward or weirdly shaped. A great example of original an Edwardian fireplace will be the centre of attention in the room. This example features original green and white tiles.
So many people seem to be labouring under the misconception that to have a fireplace, a proper hearth and central position is needed, however even the most unusual walls and rooms can be made to accommodate a terrific statement fireplace such as this.
Luxury Fireplace Mantels Antique Reproductions
Fireplace mantels are a fantastically traditional motif that heritage homes love to showcase but they are in no way mandatory! Here, we see a Georgian period marble contemporary fireplace, the overarching sense of luxury and showmanship isn’t lost at all, thanks to a decadent marble surround being included.
Fitting flush to the wall, the marble here adds in a sense of traditional glamour and really frames the fire itself, just without a shelf for displaying trinkets and accessories. By using a small coffee table as a display stand instead, the fireplace itself has been kept simple and sleek, which allows the functionality to shine through. We feel warmer just looking at it, so who actually needs a mantle these days?
Rustic Meets Modern Fire Baskets
No rustic or country home is complete without a gorgeous fireplace, but that doesn’t have to mean that a dirty hearth and messy grate have to be tolerated. Modern Fire Basket designs are absolutely mastering the art of combining effective heating with stylish aesthetics and, as an extra touch of genius, can even be likened to hearty woodburner styling too.
This amazing fireplace has all the charm of a woodburner but has been finished in such a way as to offer a contemporary feel that really livens up what looks to be a lovely country property. Set into a dedicated chimney breast, this steel or brass basket creates such a neat and ordered aesthetic but still manages to be the cosy heart of the home. Contemporary meets rustic; who knew that such a thing could exist and work so well?
Antique Room Accessories Of Interest
While the installation here is not a fireplace per se, adding an original wall light fitting does give a good idea of how stylishrooms can be elavated with accessories.
Things have come a long way since old fashioned designs, but sometimes only the original retro feel of a Georgian, Edwardian or Victorian fire surround, brass lamps or grate will do.
How to choose the right style of antique stone fireplaces.
Some customers are looking to reinstate original features in their period property, so we take time to ask questions about the overall style and era of the home, whether it’s Georgian, a Victorian town house or a listed Regency or Louis mansion – we have extensive experience to give great advice.
Then there’s the homeowners who are looking for a reproduction fireplace with a variety of features that will blend perfectly with modern colour schemes.
What Year Was Your House Built? Is it Victorian or Georgian?
When we speak to our customers over the phone or in person at our Leicester showroom helping them to choose a fireplace for their property, our first question to them is usually “How old is your house?”
Our Boscombe Surround and Hearth limestone fireplace (below) impresses with a timeless classic design and superior quality workmanship, plus it features a chamber inner hearth and stove or a panel for gas fires.
Antique Marble Fireplace Surrounds
We have an extensive range of genuine antique marble fireplaces which you can buy online. Here we showcase a fireplace which is of breathtaking beauty.
Antique Edwardian Carrara Marble Chimney Piece
Heritage Fireplaces acquired this Edwardian beauty and carefully restored to it’s former glory. It’s a large piece – the dimensions are as follows: Opening Width: 37.76″ (959mm), Opening Height: 37.28″ (947mm), Opening Rebate: 0.98″ (25mm), Shelf Width: 68.11″ (1730mm), Shelf Depth: 10″ (254mm), Height: 47.01″ (1194mm) and the width across the legs is 61.77″
Choosing the right size of a fireplace for your room
Get out your tape measure and find out the following measurements before you start shopping for your fireplace:
The height, width and depth of the fireplace opening
The entire width of the chimney breast in total
Dimensions of the room and the wall chosen for installation
The ceiling height from the floorboards upwards
Choosing the right size fireplace
Should the fireplace opening be slightly off centre on the chimney breast simply take the shortest measurement from the opening to the edge of the chimney breast. Tip: The fireplace shelf should not go beyond the chimney breast, it’s considered to look better when the shelf is at least one inch from each opposite edge of the chimney breast.
Send a message via our Contact Form should you need help with this.
Victorian and Edwardian Antique Fireplace Tiles
In the latter periods of the Victorian and Edwardian era, the fireplaces often had tiled inserts. Tiled inserts require a larger opening so be vigilant when measuring up for your room to allow for this. Here at Britain’s Heritage we always have stock featuring a diverse range of original antique and reproduction tiles available.
ANTIQUE Victorian MAJOLICA LEAF Fireplace TILE SET
This Majolica Leaf Antique Fireplace Tile set includes both sides to suit a cast iron tiled fireplace. Unusual rare set date unknown prob. around 1890s.
Antique Fireplace Restoration Services UK Nationwide
How much does it cost to restore a fireplace or old Aga? Every project is unique so therefore every price is unique and dependent on the materials required and the amount of hours’ labour that’s needed to bring back a fireplace to near original condition.
Do you have an old Aga that is in need of restoration? Perhaps you are in the property clearing industry, or have come across a forgotten Aga in a relatives abode that’s not been able to finction for decades?
Here at Heritage Fireplaces we pickup, restore and redeliver Aga Ranges UK Nationwide and have outstanding experience in our field.
Timeline of events to restore an Aga Cooker Range
Contact us and send as many photos as you can with background information – has it been working recently? Has it been stored in a garage? Is it a barn find you have purchased?
Once the Aga has been transported to our workshop then we can begin. The Aga will be expertly stripped and cleaned in preparation for a highly thorough examination of its condition and repair potential. We document the steps required to restore the Aga to pristine condition and communicate with you of our findings and also to confirm the repair cost.
All cast iron parts are cleaned and treated against corrosion, with worn and broken parts being replaced.
Should there be any chrome parts we will replace with new shiny parts.
We will replace all door linings, seals, and side panels of the range.
Our team of retoration experts then examine all enamel surfaces to double checked for issues then the vitreous enamelling can be applied in the colour of your choice.
Once the chrome parts, door linings and side panels are in place and the enamel surface coating has dried, we then carefully rebuild ensuring that all of the Aga surfaces are prepared and new seals applied.
In the workshop enamel parts are reconstructed up with the doors being refitted to the front plate, the Aga door linings are replaced and the lids reconstructed.
A telephone call to the client will be made for approval, and either collection or redelivery.
Aga Cooker and Fireplace Restoration Services UK Nationwide
To create a garland (like the one here), use a length of rope and cover with greenery, securing it with gardener’s twine in individual bunches. Continue all down the length of rope, working in one direction until densely covered.
One trick is to use a mix of fresh foliage and combine it with artificial hips and berries. This garland combines evergreen foliage, holly, myrtle and ivy, combined with artificial berried sprays, pussy willow and hellebores. Using a combination like this means it becomes very hard to spot the faux elements.
Secure the garland with hooks or nails at intervals, or you can lay it along the mantel shelf so that it falls down in swags.
Photo: Tara Fisher
Paper garlands – Beware The Naked Flame
Use a paper decoration to create an attractive sweep along the mantel. Amazon have a good selection of cut paper decorations including honeycomb garlands. Remember these would be best suited to a high mantle of an electric fire so take caution should you consider a real fire!
Another unusual garland for a fireplace is one incorporating letters or pom poms, you can also have a personalised paper garland, which spell out a message. Try eBay or notonthehighstreet.
You could work Christmas decorations into your garland to make it feel more festive or dress the mantle itself with decs.
Photo: Nassima Rothacker Styling: Ben Kendrick
How to use candles on a Christmas fireplace
Candles lend atmosphere to any setting. They work particularly well in combination with metallic elements. Gilt picture frames, metallic decorations and accessories such as brass, pewter or silver look especially lovely in flickering candlelight.
Traditional hand-rolled beeswax candles look and smell wonderful, more expensive and faster-burning than solid wax candles, they are lovely for a special occasion when they scent the house with honey
Photo: Peter Cassidy Styling: Ben Kendrick
How to decorate with seasonal flowers
Forced winter bulbs such as scarlet amaryllis, scented paper white narcissus or hyacinths are a good choice for dressing a mantle and last well indoors. We have found these and similar bulbs in Wiko’s, large supermarket and department stores.
Winter bulbs often get ‘leggy’ and spindly growing in the warmth inside so cut the flowers short and place in low vases or a mug, cup or tankard.
Photo: Claire Richardson
Styling: Ben Kendrick with Quince Flowers Brighton
Mas de Notre Dame de Vie in Mougins, on the Côte d’Azur was bought by the Spanish artist in 1961, and he lived and worked there until his death in 1973, aged 91.
The 15-bedroom property was left empty after the death of Picasso’s wife, Jacqueline Roque, in 1986, but went up for auction on October 12th 2017 following a two-year refurbishment project, with bids starting at 20.2 million euros (£18.7million). Source
Restored Original Fireplace
One of its living rooms leads out to a terrace with a fireplace, adjacent to the kitted-out kitchen with a utility, prepping kitchen, two cold storage areas, and a wine cellar with space for 5,000 bottles.
Originally, the estate had 24 rooms, but the legendary artist extended several areas of the house to turn it into his dream home, including building a large studio with a terrace in the main building.
Property Sells At Auction – Twice – To The Same Man
There was only one bidder in the courtroom in the southern French town of Grasse and his name is Rayo Withanage.
Mr. Withanage had bought the house just four months before in June 2017, when it sold at a previous auction for just over €20 million, bidding up from €18.3 million.
After that sale, though, he failed to arrange financing and lost the house to the bank. Source
With a starting price of €20.2 million, and nobody else competing it was picked up on October 12th 2017, by Mr. Withanage again.
Bank lawyer Maxime Van Rolleghem told AFP that the selling price was a disappointing bargain because “it is worth at least €30 million.”
The long saga of the 15-bedroom property and three-hectare estate started long before the Spanish painter bought it, when for decades it belonged to the Anglo-Irish Guinness brewing family.
Illustrious celebrities were frequent visitors, among them Winston Churchill, who liked to paint on the grounds of the sprawling villa.
The property dates from the 18th century and has extensive views on the massif of Estérel and the Bay of Cannes It’s composed of various dwellings and during the most recent remodeling was enlarged with a number of sophisticated additions.
These included a renovated fireplace, new glass windows, a pool house, swimming pool, elevator, air conditioning, spa, garages, house for caretakers and various other annexes.
The only original space from the Picasso period is the studio in the main house that the legendary artist had created by opening several spaces and which still bears traces of paint but none of his works.
Owners of contemporary or older period properties often wish to re-introduce or retain the centrepiece of a fireplace in their chosen style or on the style of their original home. It is always worth putting a little bit of extra effort into researching the origins of the aspired style or original house and matching the new purchase or revamp of an old fireplace, stove, gas or electric fire, in keeping with or alternatively in direct contrast to the homes other decor and architectural features.
To do this sympathetically in a new build or in an older house, it is necessary to have a firm grasp and understanding of the historical style of the fireplace that would once have graced your chosen style or original period home. This article will outline a number of important historical periods and styles of fireplaces and briefly talk you through the differing styles and designs of fireplaces found in the market today either as originals or as accurate reproductions. Your local fireplace showrooms and suppliers can always be found using the search facilities at Fireplace.co.uk who will always be willing to offer expert and considered advice.
King Louis Fireplaces
The Louis or King Louis fireplace is named after the nineteen French Monarchs who ruled from the 1300s until the French Revolution of 1789. The Louis fireplace we are familiar with today should more correctly be referred to as Louis Revival fireplaces as they are the product of the efforts of 19th Century architects and designers to re-introduce styles which mimicked rather than faithfully reproduced the original designs of Louis XIV. XV and XVI reigns. The Louis Revival fireplaces popularised in the 19th Century and Victorian period were in general made in England and France and are a lot less elaborate in design than their original predecessors.
A typical Louis revival fireplace projects nine inches or so from the wall. The front is flat and box like with a wide rectangular opening for the fire dogs, grate or basket. The designs of the Louis Revival fireplaces were more elegant than their counterpart British marble fireplaces often being made by Italian craftsmen with additional detailing and finishing completed by French artisans. The Louis XV fire surrounds which are ever increasingly popular today with their graceful curves and swag designs are much more reminiscent of the revivalist period of the 19th Century than their original forbearers. In comparison with a Louis XI fireplace a Louis XVI fireplaces is squarer and more masculine in design striking a close resemblance to their English counterpart marble designs which have been popular for over two hundred years or more.
The Georgian period 1714 to 1820 although technically the latter years of the period should be referred to as the Regency period marked a transformative period of economic and socio political change in English history. If those of us old enough care to remember our GCSE ‘O’ level history this period is marked by the agricultural revolution of which George III was a great proponent. It was a time where many of our great stately homes were built or remodelled and renovated from the newly found wealth of improved agricultural techniques and methods.
This period is littered with the great names of architecture as Cohen Campbell, William Kent and James Paine whilst John Nash will forever be associated with the late Georgian period we call the Regency style.
From the overtly ornate fireplaces of the Louis period the tradition was to carry on in the early Georgian period (1714-1760) with inspiration drawn from the earlier works of Inigo Jones influenced by the imagery of classic Greek Mythology. As with the architecture of the time Georgian fireplace designs were governed by strict rules of proportion and elaborately decorated with the images and styles borrowed straight from classic history. Designers’ like William Kent were commissioned to provide very grand and sumptuous fireplaces to form the centre pieces of grand stately rooms in the Palladian style.
Very conveniently for us the history of fireplace design falls neatly into two halves. The first half of the century characterised by immense huge, grandiose, and overtly ornate designs, whilst the second part of the century witnessed a transition to more subtle and classic designs which will forever be associated with Robert Adams and the fireplaces which still bear his name today. Adams introduced with some going as far as to say revolutionised fireplace design with a new more subtle elegance. Fireplaces became lighter and not so burly and heavily ornate in their design displaying finer and sharper low relief carving accompanied with the use of inlaid coloured marble in contrast to the statuary marble of the main body of the fireplace.
By the 1800s fire surrounds began to include roundels where the jambs and entablature met below the mantelshelf. The combination of reeding and roundels very quickly progressed into the late classic Georgian design which is so easily recognisable today. The next forty years of the Georgian period saw a more eclectic approach in design styles evolve. Fireplace surrounds in the better off homes began to reflect the new found interest in neo-Greek, Gothic, new-Egyptian and Jacobean styles of architecture. This could include gold-leaf Etruscan motifs or even Wedgwood ceramic plaques with swags, ribbons, lyres and urns. The end of the Georgian period is denoted by a return back to the more classical but equally more simplistic styles often characterised by Chinois Erie designs preferred by the then Prince Regent George IV.
The ornate and classic designs of the Georgian period did not necessarily percolate down through the social classes or more correctly stands. The land based farmers and yeoman who made up the bulk of the population at that time stayed true to the very much more rustic looking fireplaces which, were traditionally inglenook in design with large oak beams and are still very evident and commonly seen in older cottages of today.
The Regency period witnessed a much more austere approach to architecture and consequently fireplace design. Gone were the overtly ornate fireplaces of the Louis revival and Georgian period so beloved by the previous generation. To be replaced by much more rectilinear designs characterised by flatter leg with reeding as an insert or a singular or double Greek Colum supporting the fireplace header. The reeding decoration was often continued across the header or substituted with twin parallel lines or the ever popular Acanthus leaves or images from Greek and Roman mythology or history. Not only did designs change but fireplace proportions changed with the height becoming lower with the replacement of the corniced shelf with the rectilinear shelf.
Marble and in particular Statuary marble was a much sought after material and the material of the day for fireplace design and manufacture. However the onset of the Napoleonic wars and the prohibitive cost restricted its use to high status public rooms whilst other reception and less grand spaces relied on the innovative skills of highly skilled artisans to replicate a faux marble finish from cheaper and more readily available materials such as plaster.
The Regency period design has remained ever popular and influences many fireplace designs today from contemporary interpretations to faithful reproductions for restoration projects. The Regency period fireplace has proved to be easier to reproduce that it’s more elaborately decorated predecessors.
Victoria’s reigned from 1837 until her death in 1901 and it is impossible in design terms consider this time as a single unified period. Up until the death of her Consort Prince Albert in 1861 designs were still heavily influenced by the classical features so prominent in Georgian and Regency designs. There was resurgence in Louis fireplaces at this time partially due to the availability of original fireplaces removed from the châteaux’s of the French nobility during the French Revolution.
The improvements in iron working techniques and ever increasing industrialisation and urban living created a need for a standardised fireplace that could be easily and cheaply manufactured. A niche cast iron was easily able to fill. It is also worth noting as a direct backlash to modernisation and industrialisation that the mid to late Victorian period was heavily influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement and the emergence of Art Deco designs.
Arts & Crafts Movement – Brick Fireplaces
The Arts and Crafts movement drew its inspiration from the 1450’s when fireplaces were only just beginning to be situated on the sidewall of Great Halls with the advent of the chimney. Fireplace designs were often constructed of brick or other locally sourced stone, large, well rounded and had an inglenook appearance. Bricks were often laid vertically, conventionally or in a herringbone pattern. Later designs included tiles arranged in a flowing pattern similar to those associated with the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the later Art Nouveau movement. Tiles often showed a pastoral scene or complex floral motifs. Rockwood Pottery who produced the early Arts and Crafts tile designs shared a close association with William Morris the founder of Morris & Co. We still live with the Arts and Crafts legacy often seen in mock Tudor houses, reproduction wall panelling and old brick fire surrounds.
Art Nouveau and Art Deco design
The work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh is either viewed as a modernist in style or providing the bridge between Art Nouveau and Art Deco design styles. Either way Mackintosh fused classical shapes with new industrial art and his work was in interior and fireplace design was exclusive to the particular design of a specific building in his believe the interior should complement the exterior. As a result most of his work was commissioned on a one off individual basis. Fireplaces were in is opinion, the “glowing focus with decorative symbolic interest” and should relate to the room and meet the individual personal needs of the owner. Due to the highly personalised nature of Mackintosh’s fireplaces today’s replicas tend to imitate his graphic style rather than personify his overall design style.
20th Century Modern Fireplaces
The turn of the 20th Century marked a period of an emergence of a plethora of fireplace designs. Still popular were the heavy neo Gothic styles of the mid – Victorian period but the emergent new industrial middle classes were turning to the more modernist powerful design form of the Art Nouveau movement. This new art form and design style lifted the mass produced and until then more utilitarian cast iron fireplace closely associated with the growth of town living and industrialisation into the modern era by adding sinuous relief designs and introducing the now so familiar tile sliders. This yearning for modernist designs which unified the twin aspects of work and leisure within the new social fabric spilled over into Art Deco design which became prominent in the mid 1920’s. The traditional middle class sought to gentrify their homes with mock Tudor influences and inglenook fireplaces in the William Morris style often introducing over mantles which would never have been part of the original Tudor design. Whilst the intelligentsia and more artistically inspired new middle classes were drawn to the Art Deco influences of the rejection of history for modernity, the sacrifice of decorative detail for function, and the adoption and adaptation of industry in its design.
Art Deco relied on traditional fireplace materials but the materials were used in a much more spectacular way. Avant garde was the order of the day Art Deco characterised by simple understated lines were highlighted by the use of reflective chrome, highly lacquered woods and tiles to create a thoroughly modern sense of design.
The austerity after the 2nd World War and the need to build houses to replace war damaged properties and the slum clearance program forestalled the fireplace industry as conventional fireplaces were replaced with their electrical counterparts. It wasn’t until the more affluent MacMillan period of the 1950’s that there was resurgence in the installation of the traditional fireplace in new build properties. Gone were the ornate Art Deco, Art and Craft designs replaced by tiled slab designs produced by National Fireplace Manufacturer’s Association founded in 1945. These new fireplaces were made to specification rather than design by the middle of the decade even the wooden fire surround had disappeared. The later advent of central heating saw many fireplaces ripped out and consigned to the landfill site. It is only since the late 1970’s onwards people have decided to or re-install the original design features back into period properties or reinstate the fireplace back into their homes as the heart of the home or as a much missed design feature.
When it comes to installing or renovating a closed off fireplace the options are endless, there are countless contemporary, and traditional designs for you to choose from. Read the original article here.
However, there are number of fundamental questions you need to ask:
What style fits in with property?
What is the interior design finish you want to achieve to complement your home?
Is the fire going to be a primary or secondary heat source?
Either way what heat output (BTU) do you require?
Not unrelated to the last question what fuel would suit the household and your individual lifestyle, wood, solid fuel, gas, oil, electric or a gel fire?
What external limitations affect your choice e.g. available flu or chimney, smokeless zone etc?