Yesterday The San Francisco Chronicle published an article on fireplaces:
Winter and the holidays often evoke images of cozying up fireside with a mug of hot cocoa and reading material in hand. From November through February, however, on days when the Bay Area Air Quality Management District issues a winter Spare the Air alert for the Bay Area, the burning of wood, fire logs or any other solid fuels in a fireplace is illegal.
An empty fireplace just doesn't have that same charm, does it?
But the lack of a crackling blaze doesn't mean you can't create an attractive fireplace scene. We've culled inspiration from four local interior designers, all of whom have addressed nonfunctioning fireplaces in their line of work.
These ideas will help keep things merry and bright in your home, without releasing particulates and soot. (And Santa will appreciate not having to contend with flames!)
GRANT K. GIBSON
In a residence occupied by a young family, Grant K. Gibson designed the fireplace - composed of a limestone surround and a custom-carved wood frame silver-leafed by decorative painter- Katherine Jacobus - as well as the vignette inside of it.
"Because the clients have two children, they didn't want the fireplace to work, so we made it more of a decorative feature in the space," says Gibson.
"I love the look of quartz and its reflective qualities," says the interior designer. "By using a mix of larger quartz pieces with candleholders, it offers a bit of sparkle and a fire-like quality. Adding in the small white orchids, maidenhair ferns and moss gives it a finished look, and I love layering in plant life in the room in a totally unexpected way."
Special thanks to my clients for letting us photograph in their space, Richard Finch for his amazing quartz collection and Anh-Minh Le and Deb Wandell at The Chronicle.