J Rotherham and the French style
Our craftsmen use a combination of modern technology and time-honoured techniques to produce unique designs for your home. Our French Fireplaces are only French in style. They made in the UK from British limestone, but their French design will make it easy for you to introduce some continental flair into your interior design.
Despite England’s geographic isolation from the continent, artists and designers have been influenced enormously by their continental cousins over the last 500 years. In the 19th century, despite fierce Anglo-French rivalry in the political and military worlds, the rococo style of ornamentation popular in the Gallic country became an important part of many English homes.
Many wealthy Englishmen undertook a ‘Grand Tour’ of Italy and France, meaning their were able to import European ideas about interior design, fireplaces and furniture, as well as art and culture.
In France, especially in Paris, rococo developed as a response to the strict, rather pompous dictates of the Baroque style instigated by the Catholic Church and other powerful institutions.
As a more playful, lighter approach to design, it is arguably easier to fit into the confines of a modern home, utilising asymmetrical designs and bright colours to produce relatively accessible pieces of furniture and fittings.
Its French origins did not prevent it from influencing designers elsewhere – many German properties were fitted in a Rococo style from the 1720s onwards and fashionable English noblemen attempted to decorate their homes in line with the latest continental mores.
In the second half of the 18th century, a neo-classical approach began to supplant rococo designs. Louis XIV, hoping to draw parallels between himself and great historic leaders, encouraged artists and decorators to look to ancient wonders for inspiration – an approach most famously evident in the Palace of Versailles.
Fittings and fire surrounds inspired by this approach are also available and can lend a touch of grandeur to any property.
Although they are less exuberant than their rococo counterparts, their adherence to classical norms has an undeniable appeal and symmetry.
Specifically, French fireplaces are characterised by being both lower and deeper than its English equivalent, making it an imposing and impressive presence in any living room.
When drawing on the rococo period, it will stand out thanks to its elegant and witty decorations, as well as exuberant and striking design.
Characterised by carved serpentine friezes and angled jambs, these fittings remain extremely striking and can make wonderful conversation pieces for your home.
However, the neo-classical approach also has its adherents – while fireplaces in this style may lack the unusual ornamentation of those inspired by rococo design, they can offer a slightly more understated appeal without compromising on the undeniable wow-factor of the French style.
Why not take a look at the fireplaces we have to offer and decide which one would be the right fit for you own home?