The Fireplace – An Essential Part of the Colonial-Era Home

 

Fireplace  pic

Fireplace
Image: oldhouseonline.com

Wyoming-based Hampton Luzak is a creative professional with experience in fields such as interior design, film, television, and fashion. Hampton Luzak now restores homes in the Southern part of the United States.

One common feature of homes from the late 1700s is a centrally located fireplace. A necessity at the time, a fireplace provided heat for the house and was used for all of the daily cooking. Usually located near the center of the home, the continually burning fires provided warmth to multiple levels of the structure.

On the lower level, the fireplace served as a place to cook the day’s meals. It was a large work of masonry, and often so large that two people could easily stand inside it. The mantel, if one was added, was utilitarian in nature and functioned as a storage place for cooking equipment. The hearth was level with the floor and provided easy access for those who were cooking.

As the 18th century progressed, fireplaces became more decorative in nature. They were often set within floor-to-ceiling paneling and sometimes featured delftware tiles. Later, the surrounding paneling became more ornate and included cupboards and design motifs such as reeding, swags, stars, or shells.

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