Embracing Georgian fireplaces
Any type of home with any type of design scheme would benefit from the addition of a Georgian-style fireplace as a finishing touch. The simpler varieties would look great against linear, minimalist decor, while the more carved and ornate types will set off an opulent, Regency look perfectly.
At J Rotherham, we can offer a range of styles that reproduce typical designs from this era, yet also provide all the benefits of modern craftsmanship and manufacturing using the very latest stonemasonry technology.
Give us a call or visit one of our retail partners to discuss which J Rotherham fireplace would suit you.
The Georgian era and its architecture
The 18th and early 19th centuries may be far in our distant past as we enjoy life in the 21st century, but it’s fair to say that our Georgian ancestors had a big impact upon the way we design our homes today.
This was the era from 1714-1830 when Britain emerged from the primitive medieval period and the tumult of the 1600s into a time we would recognise as being much more modern.
For instance, the Georgians enjoyed celebrity scandals and read magazines, as well as visiting coffee houses in their spare time. They also liked to travel – or at least, those who were privileged with enough money did – all things that influenced them when they were back within their own four walls.
The Georgian era is also viewed by many as a purer time, before the Industrial Revolution started to darken the landscape and produce much more utilitarian buildings and features. However, although we might be able to identify architecture we perceive as typically Georgian, this era was also influenced by what went before it.
For instance, the Georgians incorporated many Classical Grecian and Roman features within their homes, as well as nods to Egyptian, Chinese and European designs because of what they had seen overseas or in publications.
This is something we can see clearly in fireplaces, which acted as a microcosm of all the latest fashions.
Fireplace evolution in the Georgian era
In the early 18th century, Georgian architecture was hugely influenced by the Palladian school of design and Classicism following the Italian Renaissance. During this time, we can see how construction and design became more sophisticated as technology improved and techniques from other craftsmen were emulated.
For fireplaces, the designs of Inigo Jones were particularly prominent – we tended to see a heavy yet narrow shelf and very sturdy jambs, scrolled brackets or consoles. There were also mouldings and carvings on the lintels and jambs to add flourish and that touch of Classicism.
By the latter Georgian period, tastes were leaning towards a simpler and more rectilinear form, as demonstrated in the designs of Robert and James Adam and Sir John Soane. However, it is still possible to pick out ornamentation such as ribbons, masks, lyres, foliage, urns and corner patrae from examples dating back from this time.
Marble was the primary construction material and could be seen in both grand and modest abodes – although those in the latter category sometimes requested carved timber to get the marble look without the higher price.
And here’s something the Georgians had in common with us: they could visit showrooms and workshops to choose their fireplaces, rather than inheriting them as part of the house, resulting in unique designs that catered for all tastes.