Since our first visit to Fonthill, in Doylestown, PA, with my Dad years ago, Paul and I have been enamored with the beauty and science of the Rumford fireplace. In contrast to other designs, the taller shallow firebox proportions and narrow exhaust, the Rumford directs more heat into the room. There was never any doubt that we would put one in our home.
One year for Christmas I bought Paul a book called Stone by Design, the Artistry of Lew French, a Nantucket-based classical stone mason, which further feuled our collective imagination.
A large piece of metamorphic rock from the Acadian orogeny was selected and delivered. Using age-old masonry stone splitting technics book-matched pieces were cut for each side; a third piece to form the mantle.
Forming a fireplace surround was a hands-on learning experience for the family. "Paul does love his stone." Our neighbor, Mike, was fond of announcing with each delivery that arrived.
A structural ceiling timber was used to create a temorary pulley system to hoist the enormous boulders into place. Relief of stone cutter marks on either side are traditional evidence of handcraft.
Danish chairs by Selig belonged to my parents, and Mom gave them to us. The large recliner (below) had been Paul's Grandfather's. We had it recovered in a cream leather with lugage tan contrast piping. You can tell I like moving the furniture around frequently.
Being in Maryland, just outside DC -- a mostly warm climate -- I selected light window treatments and area rugs. Nothing too serious or heavy. I favor natural materials. The jute rug is from overstock.com. The window panels from West Elm.
My Mom also gave me the Eames chair in the corner, and the teak lamps with inset ceramic tile. I had new linen shades made. It's comforting in a way to have pieces that I had in my home since I was small.
My favorite furniture in the living room is the sheer key and spline joinery in the frame itself. Wood flooring throughout the home is American Cherry.