La cheminée, le cœur de la pièce- or, why the fireplace is key

linen-lavender-lifestyleI’m not dictating what you should do Chez Vous, but for me, the fireplace in any room is key.

Left-  from linen & lavender – lifestyle

I have two woodburning stoves to fit at the French village house; but if I was in the market for an open fire, these are the type of stone or wood  surrounds I would look for.

Below left – from

Below right- from the

If you aren’t lucky enough to have beautiful originals in place, or can’t find a complete old fireplace , the one below left has been put together from an old carved mantel with reclaimed wood pillars to each side.

The one below right is simply a wood panel cut to size with a decorative moulding along the top. Painted and gilded, it looks amazing. You can do it!



About coteetcampagne

Artist, period home maker, renovator, restorer, Francophile. My mission is to save the old stuff, one beautiful piece at a time
This entry was posted in Antique and Vintage finds, Art, design and inspiration blog, Renovation and restoration diary- France and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to La cheminée, le cœur de la pièce- or, why the fireplace is key

  1. zipfslaw1 says:

    So, the other day I’m chatting with a friend, and I wonder aloud whether or not the fireplaces in my ancient apartment work. “The what???” I repeat my question, pointing at a fireplace. “Oh–that’s a cheminée, not manure.” Cheminée/fumée/fumier–shit. (No pun intended.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. MELewis says:

    Our fireplace is thoroughly modern – like the rest of our house. But the fireplace guy that installed it was reluctant to put it where we had planned – literally in the centre of our open-plan living area (against the wall half-way between front door and windows) because it would not be the centrepiece of the room. He said, in French: “A fireplace is like a woman – you have to look her in the eye.” I found this horribly sexist but took his point. The end result is a bit of a compromise but works for us. Still, I love the style of these beautiful old hearths!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. francetaste says:

    We almost put a mantel in our house to jazz up a boring wall. But we got a piano instead.
    I am always mystified by decorating photos that show a beautiful fireplace but the seating is arranged around the TV instead. Or the TV is above the fireplace. I don’t want to see the TV.


    • Oh, that was a contentious issue for us. Trev wants big tv on wall that you can see from Space. I don’t , and I don’t want it over the fireplace of course!!!
      So tv will go on the front wall; and there are two solutions to conceal, one expensive and we’ll have to wait for it, one easy to do (i.e. will hide behind a heavy panel of 17th c Jacobean needlework)
      TV aside, I have arranged salon so everyone will be sitting around the wood burner. If we have more than six folks in and all want to watch tv, we just have to flip the os de mouton chair around.
      Sadly neither of us play the piano, wish we did

      Liked by 1 person

      • francetaste says:

        It’s fairly common in the U.S. to have people over to watch TV (usually a football game) but I’ve never seen it here. Our TV is in a cupboard and is husband’s thing.


      • We don’t currently have a tv in France, and personally I don’t miss it, but Trev can’t imagine life without one. He also wanted a projector and cine screen but I vetoed that. We don’t have the space and we did that whole film cinema sound thing in the big UK house we sold in 2007.
        I know we will have a different lifestyle in France

        Liked by 1 person

  4. poshbirdy says:

    Very nice. I adore my simple thirties brick fireplace in the UK and we are a bit spoilt in France too, aren’t we! Having said that, I still drool all over other peoples ones too, and these are wonderful. Especially as they are so inventive.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Nadia says:

    Aren’t they beautiful? We have 3 lovely fireplaces but never use them. My husband is not a fan of the dust and smoke and cleaning etc.


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