Monday, January 21, 2013

Let's Talk about Fireplaces

It all started a couple of months ago...when my son accidentally knocked over our fireplace tool set shattering a tile by our fireplace. Now, we did not select the tiles when our home was built. They weren't ugly, but they aren't super pretty or expensive either. So instead of just replacing the one tile...we decided to complicated things and replace all of the tile surrounding the fireplace with a nicer, larger tile!

It has been a really fun project, and we have learned a lot. I can't wait to share it all with soon as we are done with it. But I wanted to take this opportunity, while I am thinking about my fireplace to talk to you about fireplaces and hearths.

For centuries, families have referred to the fireplace as the hearth and sometimes even the "heart of the home." Before kitchens became the gathering place, the fireplace (where the food was cooked) was the heart of the home where everyone gathered to eat, talk about their days and tell stories.

Today, since we cook in the kitchen and flip a switch to turn on the fireplace our customs have changed. My family always make a point to have family dinner together as often as possible and chat about our days and we are always looking for new activities to do together as a family.

In a recent article called "10 Ways to Improve Family Communication" by LDS.ORG, the author gives advice on how families can build better communication. The article encourages parents to make the home a haven and sites a survey in which men were asked what they wanted in their homes. The results showed that they preferred tranquility at home to an expensive home or lavish home decor. The author concludes by saying the home should foster peace, and that creating a peaceful climate in the home is vital to the family’s ability to grow together as a unit.

One of the reasons I love designing, decorating and creating is because I feel like it is one way to help create a beautiful home. I know that a beautiful home can feel more comfortable and provide a wonderful atmosphere for families to grow closer together. My home isn't filled with expensive things: I love fixing up a piece of furniture I found on Craigslist, but I am slowly working to make it OUR home. And a place where love, peace and beauty are present.

I am always looking for ways to bring my family closer together, to give us those bonding experiences and one day, we would love to install a fire pit outside. Like a fireplace of old inside, fire pits outside can become the new center of family activities during nice weather. A place for family and friends to gather, talk and bond.


From a designer's point of view, fire pits can be beautiful focal pieces to your outdoor landscaping. They can provide a hearth to gather family and friends around and they can create a warm and inviting atmosphere. And one of the things I think about most when envisioning my one-day fire pit, is the style of it. I want to be sure to pick a fire pit style that matches my home's interior style so that the interior and exterior design styles match and flow.

If you are a DIYer or an avid researcher, you can probably come up with a lot of great designs that would be a perfect compliment to your backyard. You can also find great ideas and resources from sites like etc to find great fire pits, fire place inserts and other accessories. 

So while I continue to work on setting our tile and leveling it tonight I hope you will take a moment to think about what the center and the heart of your home is and please take a moment to leave me a comment and tell me what family activities you do to bond your family together!

And don't forget to join me tomorrow for a giveaway so HUGE you aren't going to want to miss it!!  Over $3,000 in prizes to makeover your home!

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