Warming up by the fire is one of winter’s little luxuries. True to form, fireplaces themselves have evolved as homeowners’ tastes— coupled with modern interior aesthetics—move away from the hulking stone hearths of great rooms past to more purposeful architectural forms. Here, we share four of our favorite examples by some of our favorite local firms. We think you’ll warm up to them.
A unique hearth by Rowland Broughton Architecture provides a gorgeous centerpiece in this Roaring Fork Valley home.
Rowland Broughton also designed smaller renditions of the modern hearth to play off of the one in the great room.
Dancing figurines add a playful touch above the hearth.
ROWLAND+BROUGHTON ARCHITECTURE (rowlandbroughton.com)
For architect Sarah Broughton, restoring the four wood-burning fireplaces grandfathered into the ground-up rebuild of Stein Eriksen’s former Starwood home was a major priority. “In order to maintain them as wood-burning, we were required to keep them in their original locations,” she shares. “Replacing the rugged stone surrounds and hearths with polished pewter limestone was in keeping with the home’s new modern aesthetic and the owners’ sensibilities. It was a valiant, worthwhile undertaking.”
A detail of the steel-meets-stone sliding fireplace door.
COTTLE CARR YAW (ccyarchitects.com)
“It’s a defining element,” says architect Todd Kennedy, about the nearly 21-foot-long wood-burning fireplace in this Old Snowmass home. “It anchors the house to the site and blurs the lines between indoors and out as it moves through the glass.” Meticulously crafted, the fireplace features a stacked limestone base topped with shou sugi ban cedar. A 2-foot-wide granite hearth doubles as one of the owner’s favorite spots for a fireside nap.
FORUM PHI (forumphi.com)
More than designing a fireplace that simply accentuated the living room of this mountainside triplex, architect Andrew Dillon strove to bring it down to human scale. Aligning the linear “fire ribbon” with adjoining quartz countertops—plus creating the floating hearth of quartz—had a grounding effect and positioned the masterpiece at seat level. “We wanted the room to be comfortable and inviting, a place where people could gather and enjoy the fire,” he says. “It gave it a more livable feel.”
A custom steel surround fireplace and Andy Warhol’s art warm the entry of this Aspen residence on Red Mountain.
CHARLES CUNNIFFE ARCHITECTS (cunniffe.com)
The idea that every picture tells a story is duly represented by this fireplace, which pays homage to its setting. “The house went from a heavy log structure to a home that’s [now] contemporary,” says principal and architect Charles Cunniffe. The blackened steel surround and shou sugi ban flooring represent details found throughout the home. The museum-quality wall finish is the perfect backdrop for an Andy Warhol painting from his cat-and-dog Cuba series from the 1970s.
Photography by: Photo courtesy of Brent Moss Photography; CCY Architects; by Draper White; by Aaron Leitz.