Your Chimneypiece - A Blessing or Havoc?
In the majority of London properties, fireplaces are a feature in the home. Placed in the front, where the living room is situated and also above on the first floor, normally where a bedroom is placed, the fireplace is a feature.
Photo: Pinterest: roomerve
Looking charming on display, lots of fireplaces have been boxed up to stop drafts coming into the home. I think it is lovely when the fireplace and mantle is still on display adding some period features to the property.
Whether boxed up or not, a fireplace creates an indent in the room due to the chimney running up the wall to the roof. The spaces on either side of the chimney piece can be, for some, rather problematic to come up with what to do in those spaces.
If you want a flat wall, then the whole chimney breast can be removed, but this takes time and costs money. It is also always advisable to ask building control for help with any building propositions that could affect the structure of the home. Party wall agreements would usually be needed as well as the chimney breast in the loft then having to be supported by a small RSJ or concrete lintel depending on the load from the chimney. Due to this, it is harder and takes longer to remove the chimney block than it is to keep the layout and add something like a bookshelf or keep empty the space.
Having indents in your living room can also be very beneficial. Used for storage, you can either have beautifully bespoke cabinets made with decorational mouldings incorporated into it, either modern or traditional in style.
Photo: Etons of Bath
If you are really keen for a flat wall, invisible hidden cabinets can be made, making the wall smooth and seamless.
If your budget does not stretch to create built in cabinets, but you would like to make more of a feature of that area of your room, wallpapering the chimney breast or painting it in a contrasting colour can look very smart.
If you are wanting to do something with your fireplace, but not use it for heat, you can still keep your mantel, block the chimney and create an art installation. Fill the fireplace with wood, vases, plants, decoration pieces.
Photo: Thomas Loof
The fireplace is normally part of the home when you buy the property, so don’t disregard it. Make it the statement piece of the room. In most cases, the furniture is assembled around the fireplace so it should be a nice centrepiece to base everything else off of.
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