.}

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Inglenook Fireplaces





A few weeks ago, I heard a term that was new to me: inglenook fireplace. Not only was the term new to me, but I wasn’t sure I had ever seen one either. According to wisegeek.com, an inglenook fireplace is recessed into the wall, creating a space that is small, sheltered, and cozy – a room within a room. The deliberately designed recessed area is often used for seating. Architects like Frank Lloyd Wright used spaces like these to deliberately elicit psychological feelings from the architecture; in the case of inglenook fireplaces, Wright used them to create a warm and cozy feeling in a room, a place of family togetherness.
I found very few images of inglenook fireplaces on the internet, but the examples I did find reminded me of Tudor architecture I have seen in England. In particular, the Wolsey fireplace in Hampton Court came to mind. Certainly, fireplaces like this were appropriate for the times given their dual function for cooking and warmth.
Tudors14
I seemed to recall seeing an inglenook fireplace on ‘The Tudors’, but this was the only image I could find of a fireplace; it is certainly large, but I don’t think it is an inglenook because it is not a ‘room within a room’.
An example of an inglenook fireplace from a home in England. Most of the inglenook fireplace images I found were from homes in England, interestingly enough.
This was perhaps the best inglenook fireplace image I found. Interestingly, this space is tucked under the stairs and is off a hall. The paneling gives the space an great third dimension, and the bench seating to each side of the fireplace looks like the perfect place to read a book on a cold winter’s day. Image via the Classic Group, architecture by Meyer & Meyer.
This inglenook fireplace is from a vacation rental in Portugal. The seating area near the fireplace looks particularly cozy.

This image is via a real estate listing in California. It was one of the few images I could find of inglenook fireplaces with a seating area; this whole set up is not really my style, but interesting nonetheless.

This is from a country bed and breakfast in England. I love this image.

Lake Martin Inglenook
As I wasn’t really coming up with many interesting pictures for this post, I emailed my friend Doug from Tracery Interiors. His blog is one of my favorites (email readers, click here to view); no surprise given that Tracery Interiors is known for adeptly mixing the old and the new, and creating nuanced interiors that are both beautiful and livable. Tracery Interiors works on a lot of beautiful new homes and historical renovations, and Doug always seems to be in the know about this kind of thing. Within an hour Doug was kind enough to send me several amazing examples of inglenook fireplaces from his firm’s body of work. Here is one (pictured above), from a house built on Lake Martin in Alabama.
LakeMartin2
A sideview of the recessed area shows the bookcases that line the nook. The Lake Martin home is one that Tracery Interiors designed and furnished; the alcove is vertically planked in wormy oak, the stone on the hearth and surround is Jura Stone, a type of limestone. The piece over the fireplace is by Santa Rosa Beach artist Teresa Cline, whose work Tracery Interiors carry in their Rosemary Beach shop.
Spanish Inglenook
This is perhaps the most stunning example of an inglenook fireplace that I have seen, in a Spanish Revival home in the Hollywood district of Homewood, Alabama. The architect on the renovation was Louis Nequette of Dungan Neguette Architects (their portfolio is breathtaking – I highly recommend a visit to their site) and the interiors are by Tracery Interiors. The fireplace was existing to the 1927 home, as was the Moorish arch; Doug from Tracery Interiors designed the walnut paneling for the formerly stuccoed back wall to add some contrast to the composition. The home was furnished by the homeowner, well known designer, blogger and internet personality JB Hopkins (The Foodimentary Guy). Photo credit: Colleen Duffley.
16[1]
Doug also pointed me to this beautiful home in Rosemary Beach (image via Krumdieck Architecture and Interior Design). Doug said this home was published in Southern Living a few years ago. I love the asymmetrical inglenook fireplace – it works so beautifully in this space.
Readers, do you have any pictures or examples of inglenook fireplaces? If you have seen one, what did you think of it? I am quite fascinated by the idea of an inglenook fireplace precisely because it is not very common, and am very interested to know what all of you think of them.

To subscribe to my blog by email, click here. 
To follow my blog on Facebook, click here. 
Twitter: @TTIBlog 
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/ttiblog/ 
Visit my online store, Quatrefoil Designwww.quatrefoildesign.bigcartel.com 
To see design, architecture, art, and decorative books that I recommend, please visit the Things That Inspire Amazon store.

61 comments:

  1. I'm not familiar with Inglenook Fireplaces either - now I think I have to see more. They look so fabulously cozy and romantic.
    Have a wonderful week!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You've found such pretty examples! I've been in a house with an Inglenook Fireplace and I remember thinking how nice and cozy it felt, but I had no idea what it was called prior to reading your post. I'm going to keep an eye out for them now.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Very interesting! I've never heard of this before but it looks gorgeous! Tracey xx

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have heard of Inglenook Fireplaces and I LOVE THEM!! I am so glad you assembled so many great inspiration photos!

    Holiday blessings!!

    Melissa

    ReplyDelete
  5. They are absolutely breathtaking, no doubt about that.

    But I notice they are all placed at the very "edge" of the house, there must me a lot of heat loss to the outside, right?
    I wonder how the room-within-a-room placement affects the motion of heat across the room and house.

    It would be most practical to design a fireplace in the center of a house, and on the first floor as heat travels up. Right?

    --> Maybe I'm just being too practical here..

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love this post! I love architecture and old homes and I always like to learn new terms. I had seen fireplaces like this before and loved them but I didn't know what they were called..thanks! I really liked the third image, after the one from the Tudors, and the one from the bed and breakfast that you said you liked. They're so cozy!!! I live in NE Ohio and there's a mansion here, Stan Hywett that's open for tours. It was built in the English Tudor style and one of the bedrooms has on Inglenook fireplace. I have always wanted to sneek off the tour, grab a book and some coffe, and curl up in there!
    Thanks for this super interesting post! Happy Holidays!

    ReplyDelete
  7. These are all amazing! Great detail and style, very special for any home!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have loved inglenooks for years. Most of the ones I have seen have been in large old homes and are in the entry hall. I always thought how wonderful these would be for visitors to quickly warm up after coming in from the cold. I would love to have one to cozy up in with a book and cup of tea.

    ReplyDelete
  9. How Interesting! I had no idea this is called an inglenook; What is the origin of the word? a current client of mine had 1908 house that we have been renovating for 2 years and the paneled library is half sitting area and half inglenook. I'll try to take a photo and send it over. My family has had a 1535 fortified house in Britanny in Fance an all 4 stone fireplaces are inglenooks. I am going to see if someone can take a picture of one and
    i'll send that also. Thank you for the great post.

    ReplyDelete
  10. So interesting and I love knowing the term Inglenook. These are all so unique and architecturally beautiful, great post.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have never known the background of the Inglenook fireplace.
    Great looking, love the idea, espescially now a days, a lovely cozy nook!
    Thanks for the enlightening!
    Leslie

    ReplyDelete
  12. Very pleased to learn a new term. I've seen examples of these over the years but didn't know the term for them. Thanks, Holly, for the education.

    ReplyDelete
  13. great topic! having spent so much time in england they are very common in older manor homes. in many cases they are in the center of the home and are the epitome of cozy. one architect here that has built them in new construction is robert a.m. stern.
    a dream come true would someday have a home with an inglenook!
    thanks for inspiring!
    debra

    ReplyDelete
  14. The movie 'Garden State'(2004) features an old mansion with an inglenookfireplace -the only photograph I could find is rather dark -but you can see the characters sitting within it with a firelit
    http://media.photobucket.com/image/garden%20state%20fireplace/theportmaniac/vlcsnap-304611.png
    Always loved these!
    Also -I believe a few of the earlier Frank Lloyd Wright homes feature inglenooks.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Doug is awesome. Excuse me while I drool over the Lake Martin images.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I thoroughly enjoyed this post...I have seen a few but didn't know the name.
    Well, thanks to you, now I do.
    Lee

    ReplyDelete
  17. As soon as I saw your topic I quickly scrolled down to see if you had included my favorite picture and you had not. For years I have kept in my head a picture of an Inglenook in the beautiful book by Roger Banks-Pye, Interior Inspirations. I hope you have this book available to you, it remains one of my favorites after all these years. So sad to loose such a great talent.

    ReplyDelete
  18. McAlpine had a gorgeous one that I recall. they have several. you might want to check their web site. and think of kathryn ireland's family room in opai. the former owners actually set up a table in the fireplace!!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Inglenook fireplaces are very popular in the Pacific Northwest in homes built around the late 1800s to early 1920s or so. The englenooks around here are featuring in homes that are typically either Victorian or Arts and Craft/Craftsman styled homes and the fireplace were used for warmth and shelter from drafty doorways. Many have stained glass or leaded glass windows on either side of the fireplace with built-ins below. Personally, I am not a fan of an inglenook. They always feel heavy to me and I immediately think of Arts and Crafts homes. Also, I prefer a more open feeling. I think you can achieve coziness with furnishings, window treatments, etc.

    ~Angela

    ReplyDelete
  20. Here in the Pacific Northest Inglenook fireplaces are very popular in many of Victorian and Arts and Craft styled homes built between the late 1800s and 1920s or so. Typically they were used for warmth away from drafty doorways. Often times they have leaded glass or stained glass windows on either side of the fireplace with built ins cabinetry below and then the built-in seating on the sides. I have been to parties with homes that have these, and they never seem to get used. Always sort of an ackward space, and rather private. Personally, I don't like englenook fireplaces. I prefer something more open and use furnishings and window treatments, etc to achieve coziness.

    ~Angela

    ReplyDelete
  21. Beautiful and very educational! Great post.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thanks for this post -- browsing thru it was a wonderful interlude for a winter's day!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I love the images that your friend Doug sent - the style of that bedroom... *sigh*
    Also, that Portugese rental home looks like heaven.

    Thanks for sharing and for teaching me something new - the term was new to me as well.

    xCharlotta

    ReplyDelete
  24. Excellent post as usual! Thank you for continuing to expand my horizons. I wasn't aware of these types of fireplaces or that they had their own name.

    I actually have a related fireplace post I'm in the middle of and hope to finish soon. It will tie in nicely with yours.

    ReplyDelete
  25. What an interesting and educational post! I've seen these fireplaces before but didn't know that's what they were called. Around this time of the year I can't think of a cozier place to hang out - especially this week in Atlanta! :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. I was never a fan of inglenook fireplaces until now!
    Leave it to Tracery Interiors and Dungan Neguette to change my mind.
    I also love Doug's blog!

    xo
    Brooke

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'm wondering about the practical origins. My parents always harped on how dangerous fireplaces have always been. Rich folks' kitchens were in a separate building. At least in the south you wouldn't put a cooking fireplace in the interior. Instead maybe you'd bump it out in a nook. The nook itself might be your cooking space for dealing with your hot cookery and for keeping stuff warm yet away from the fire. It would help keep the heat from the cooking fire away from the rest of the house. I don't know...some historian must know this stuff.

    I don't think I'd do an inglenook in my southern dream house. Not a very efficient use of space and we spend most of the year trying to keep cool. You get the same effect with a cozy grouping at the hearth.

    ReplyDelete
  28. i am not familiar with them either. i have seen them but never knew that they had a name.
    i love the idea of a cozy, warm room to read in, or have very deep conversation in.

    nice post!!!!

    xxx

    ReplyDelete
  29. Oh I love Inglenook Fireplaces! Even though I am currently sitting in 30 deg heat this summer evening... I still want one! Ax

    ReplyDelete
  30. I have been lucky enough to sit inside one of these beautiful fireplaces in Scotland. It is the most amazing warmth and feeling. They are wonderful details.
    Ness xx

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thank you for the comments everyone! Readers have emailed me some wonderful pictures of inglenook fireplaces.

    It's interesting, after researching them I came to the conclusion that they were often found in English country manors or arts and craft style houses. My architect proposed having one in the family room of the house we are designing - as the fireplace is a major focal point for two rooms. I had no idea what they looked like before writing this post, and the images that Doug sent reassured me that it would be a cool feature. Maybe it is unusual in Atlanta because we only have 3 months of fireplace weather.

    ReplyDelete
  32. ok now i WANT something. Just when I think I'm done!!!

    These are just amazing & can't you just imagine sipping hot cocoa or a glass of wine in there?!!! oh my gosh they are just SO AMAZING!!!!!

    I want one badly!!! And there is NO WAY one's fitting in this house.... hmmmmmmmm... wow they are just really special... I'm just thinking & thinking of how I could do something similar here.

    (and I'd also never heard of them!)

    beautiful beautiful. thanks HOlly!!!
    xoxo,
    -lauren

    ReplyDelete
  33. Two rooms with one fireplace - sounds good to me.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I can only imagine what kind of magic Stan Dixon is cooking up for you. I think an inglenook fireplace would be an excellent and unique feature of your home.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Lovely architectural aspect! I haven't seen this before, or stopped to ponder it at the very least. What great images too!

    ReplyDelete
  36. I lived in England many many years ago -- and just adore nooks of all sorts and kinds -- especially inglenook fireplaces! Very cozy indeed! How wonderful it would be to win the lottery and design a living space with the inglenook seating. Especially in an area off the kitchen!! Just a dream! Thanks for such a GREAT posting!


    Jan at Rosemary Cottage

    ReplyDelete
  37. Simply gorgeous! Love all the pics.

    ReplyDelete
  38. There's one on p.182 of Susanka's book, Inside the Not So Big House. You can see it on Google books preview, and the floor plan is available on Susanka's website. I don't care for them, as the depth seems to make for a dark space. I prefer a shallow window seat nook.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Great post. Love all of the images. And I just adore Doug and Tracery!

    ReplyDelete
  40. simply gorgeous!! I love the 2nd to last picture!!

    ReplyDelete
  41. How have I lived without one? I have my doubts that I'll ever be completely content with my fireplace again!

    ReplyDelete
  42. One other thought--are inglenooks best for looking out of? See pp. 52-53 of Saladino's book, Style. If so, maybe it doesn't make sense to have a fireplace in there, where you would sit inside and look in toward the fireplace instead of out...

    ReplyDelete
  43. TTI....thanks for teaching me what Inglenook fireplaces are! Beautiful!
    Merry Christmas to you and your family!
    xx

    ReplyDelete
  44. What an illuminating post -- in more ways than one. I enjoyed this and loved the ones you posted from California and Portugal. I don't think I've ever seen Inglenook fireplaces. Now, watch, I will probably notice them. Lovely, cozy idea of having the bookcase within reach of one, too....cheers,-susan

    ReplyDelete
  45. I just love a fire place in the bedroom.never heard of inglenook.
    I have lenox Thinking of getting another for sunroom.

    Thanks for interesting post.
    Seasons Greetings and HO HO HO!

    ReplyDelete
  46. The most recent William Morris book out has lots of lovely Inglenooks in it - check it out
    :o)

    ~ Soj

    ReplyDelete
  47. I just happen to have written and illustrated a "Drawing Board" design column to be published in the next issue of Fine Homebuilding about inglenooks for today. Look for it on newsstands in January 2010. Meanwhile, keep toasty and cozy over the holidays. Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
  48. This is one of the most interesting and inspirational posts I have ever seen!!!!
    Thank you so much for that!
    You have a wonderful blog!!!!

    I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year!!!

    xx
    Greet

    ReplyDelete
  49. What a wonderful post! I learned something new today. I had never seen these either, but I will have to look out for them. My favorite was the white space under the stairs. So cozy and functional. Thanks for the heads up!

    ReplyDelete
  50. That pix of the Tudors actors makes me laugh. They are WAY too serious.

    Love this post.

    xo,
    cristin

    ReplyDelete
  51. These are fabulous! The one from the English B and B! Swoon worthy,

    ReplyDelete
  52. Inglenook Fireplace - Old-House Journal

    I love the way they look, but wouldn't a bench be uncomfortable to read a book on? The one in the Old-House Journal article looks like there'd be plenty of room to hang out in with a bunch of friends though.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Bringing Inglenooks back! Its about the best way to engage yourself with a fireplace. Great post. Thanks, Daniel

    ReplyDelete
  54. Well now I know what they are called!! This is such a great signature post - thank you for such wonderful, well researched posts!
    Merry Christmas!!
    xo
    Maria

    ReplyDelete
  55. Don't know much about Inglenook - but I wish you a Merry Christmas!
    xo xo

    ReplyDelete
  56. Thank you for introducing me to Inglenook fireplaces. This is a new term to me. My favorite is the one in the Spanish Revival home in the Hollywood district of Homewood, Alabama. I'd include one of these if I were building a home. This is my idea of a perfectly cozy spot! ~ Sarah

    ReplyDelete
  57. Oh, the primer on curtains was great! I learned so much- thank you for putting this wonderful list together- very informative, inspiring and helpful posts!

    ReplyDelete
  58. A year late maybe - but your readers might like to know the history from an English Architect and owner of a medieval hall house.
    In the 13th and 14th centuries fires were in open hearths in the middle of the floor, with benches to either side and a high bench for the house owners at the end. The smoke dissipated through the thatched roofs high above. As space became valuable these high halls were floored over, and an end or smoke bay was introduced. As the fire moved to one side there were problems of houses burning down, so the inglenook, with a proper stone or brick flue was developed. We have one that is a modern addition to our house, being only 500 years old! Many inglenooks were never used for seating as they were used for cooking - sometimes for landlord and servants. The seats have mostly come much later as people cooked on ranges and smaller fireplaces were inserted in the larger ones for fuel economy.

    ReplyDelete
  59. I read that an inglenook fireplace was the welsh custom of building an opening or window into the back of the fireplace.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Very interesting! I've never heard of this before but it looks gorgeous! Tracey xx

    ReplyDelete
  61. This is an old post to be writing on, but I live in a home built in 1915 that has a massive inglenook. I had no idea what it was called until an older woman from my church who attended our housewarming party said to someone, "Look at the gorgeous inglenook!" A Google search of the word led me here. Ours is seperated only by a few foot drop down from the cieling. A massive brick fireplace is in the middle, flanked by two windows and two pews with built-in shelves above them. It's a very cool sight. Though somewhat...pointless and space consuming, I must say.

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails