About a year ago, I wrote “Trees, Wood, and Fire
” and mentioned how our perspective on the fireplace had changed after living on Orcas for a while:
We had a natural gas fireplace in the city which ignited with the push of a button, and planned to have a similar model in the new house. It was so clean and easy.
Having burned wood for the winter on Orcas, gas just didn’t seem right. I started to feel the new house needed a wood burning fireplace instead. Sure, it would be more maintenance and take time to manage, but that was part of the experience.
This decision turned out to be the first of a hundred decisions about the fireplace “unit” for the house. The story of getting it right provides a real-world look at home design and what it takes to create a one-of-a-kind feature.
The Big Idea
Early in the design process, we saw an opportunity to have a two-sided wall (interior and exterior) that serves as a home for cooking, heating, and entertainment. Inside, we would have a fireplace and TV. The outside would have a second fireplace and grill.