It goes without saying that the fireplace is a common fixture in timber frame homes. It’s virtually impossible to find a photo of a great room that doesn’t prominently feature a grand stone fireplace! In a timber frame great room, it may seem coincidental that the fireplace is staged as a focal point – after all, why would you want to take attention away from a timber frame structure? In reality, where your designer locates the fireplace should be completely intertwined with the development of the overall timber frame design. Today, we’re going to learn why.
The question of the fireplace in general comes up during the planning phase. You may not know how you want it to look or where you want it placed at this point, but that’s okay – all you know is that you want one, and that’s a big help to your design team. When designing a timber frame great room for a client who desires a fireplace, the timber frame and the fireplace should complement the other. Timbers can be used to accent the fireplace or let the fireplace be the focal point with the timber frame in the background. Designing a timber frame great room around the fireplace is the best thing for both the functionality of your fireplace and the aesthetic of your room.
You’re probably asking yourself what kinds of design mistakes could result from incorporating the fireplace later – there’s one in particular that you may not think of as a mistake, given how commonplace it may seem in photos of timber frame great rooms with fireplaces. There are plenty of images out there featuring fireplaces with heavy timbers running through them, which is incredibly unsightly. Making the fireplace the starting point of your great room design allows your designer to create the timber frame design to avoid running heavy timbers through your fireplace chimney. It also allows us to create interaction between your fireplace and your heavy timbers in a way that fits aesthetically with the overall design of your home.
Once we enter the design phase, placement of your fireplace becomes the foremost concern. Will you be looking to place your fireplace on an outside wall or an inside wall? Perhaps you’ll want to mix things up and place it in the center of your room. No matter where your fireplace may sit, we’ve got many ways to put it to good use in your timber frame home. A stone fireplace with a high-reaching chimney placed on an outside wall with a handsome heavy timber truss in front of it makes a perfect centerpiece that will tie your room together, whereas a nice stone or Craftsman style fireplace could make a nice ‘wall’ to locate a stairwell behind to a second level loft. A centrally-located fireplace can also create a great transitional point between your great room and your dining room or kitchen. Another reminder is that locating your chimney on the inside an exterior wall may be less costly than having the stone covering the chimney located on the outside. Inside your home, the chimney can be built with the stone/brick showing as much as your budget allows while finishing out the flue with conventional walls.
A well-positioned fireplace will lend atmosphere, warmth and a wonderful focal point to your timber frame home no matter how modern or rustic it may be. If you’re looking to start building your timber frame home, call or visit us today. We’ll be looking for you!