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The inglenook idea rediscovered.

The inglenook idea . . . rediscovered

Rain on the roof, wind at the windows, darkness falling fast: these signal time to curl up beside a crackling fire, absorb its warmth, and watch the flames dance. An inglenook, or fireplace alcove, makes a ready retreat--a cozy place where activities focus on the fire.

Though not a new idea, as the illustration at left shows, the inglenook is being rediscovered. Here and on page 120, we show five ways Westerners are using it today.

A romantic sense of tradition

Two examples capture the feeling of an old-fashioned inglenook without copying any particular early design. In Oakland, architect John Campbell of Agora Architects flanked a freestanding cast-iron stove with built-in benches and bookshelves. This alcove is a focal point for the rest of the living room.

Wayne Nichols created a warm and whimsical Southwestern beehive fireplace and banco near Santa Fe, New Mexico, taking advantage of the sculptural qualities of hand-formed plaster.

A modern sense of drama

The other three inglenooks are less traditional, more theatrical.

In Los Angeles, architect Stephen D. Ehrlich used glass and brick for a setting that seems to extend into the garden.

Architect Scott Glendinning put a boldly designed fireplace platform in the living room of his new house in Richmond, California, dramatizing the intersection of several overhead beams.

In Phoenix, architect William P. Bruder created a very simple, streamlined alcove for Doris and Michael Lawson by wrapping a concrete-block partition around the back of a circular fireplace. The curving backdrop defines a seating area in front of the fire.

Photo: Wainscoting, bench, bookshelves give old-fashioned coziness to Oakland alcove announced by wooden lintel

Photo: Glass backdrop brings garden indoors, giving Los Angeles inglenook a leafy look

Photo: Tiled hearth becomes a table in unusual alcove in Richmond, California. Steps serve as fireside seats. Cutaway walls create a sculptural frame and help disperse heat through house

Photo: In 1905, Craftsman Magazine suggested this inglenook design

Photo: Curving wall of concrete block swings around circular fireplace to define conversation alcove within a larger space

Photo: Beehive fireplace seems to flow into bench and around cabinet in variation on traditional Southwestern treatment. Wood storage is under the banco. The opening of this fireplace and seat are highlighted with paint, creating another visual link--and hiding smoke smudges
COPYRIGHT 1984 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Date:Mar 1, 1984
Words:384
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