As we head into what are set to be some of the coldest days in recent history (Brrrrrr!), we can't help but want to curl up somewhere warm, and what better place to do it than in front of an amazing mid-century modern fireplace. We've been lucky enough to live in two houses with great fireplaces so we always keep our eyes out for others. Here are 9 mid-century modern fireplaces to inspire you or just make you jealous!
1. Reid Residence by Lee Stuart Darrow, Mill Valley, CA.
Feast your eyes on this epic conversation pit centered around an 8-foot metal fireplace set into a natural stone wall. By sinking the seating position the architect emphasizes the massiveness of the MCM fireplace in this double height room.
2. Maximum Horizontality at the Paul Schweikher house, Schaumburg, IL.
Nothing makes a statement more than an entire wall of horizontal mass like this one in the home of architect Paul Schweikher. Note the sliver of a window at right to give it that floating in space effect. This remarkable house is open to the public for tours and you can find out more here.
Photo by Leslie Schwartz. (Source)
3. Stacked Block Fireplace by J. Bruce Spencer, Lakeland, FL.
This was the feature that sealed the deal on us buying this unique home in Lakeland back in 2014. Architect Bruce Spencer's ingenious use of jamb blocks (concrete blocks with a groove for door jambs to be installed) in an alternating pattern was simple yet stunning and the shadows cast across it were mesmerizing. Read more about our old home in our blog post here.
4. Fireplace by Ralph Erskine from the Borgafjall Hotel, Sweden.
Featured in a 1956 Domus Magazine article this unique fireplace entices you to gather round and the built in log holder below is a great design feature.
5. Fallingwater Living Room Fireplace, Frank Lloyd Wright, Bear Run, PA.
While Fallingwater was designed and built in the 1930s , its groundbreaking modernism is more than enough reason for it to be included here. We love the cauldron that can swing into the fire and back into its perfectly shaped alcove. Epic.
6. Mystery Room Fireplace at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel, Phoenix, AZ designed by Albert Chase McArthur.
Looking for a mid-century modern fireplace to wow and also kinda scare you? Well, then this is the one for you. Built in the Mayan Revival style pioneered by Frank Lloyd Wright in his L.A. homes, the mystery room was once home to smokers and drinkers during the days of prohibition. If the fear of being caught illegally indulging in some of your favorite vices wasn't enough then lets throw in an 18 foot fireplace that looks like the gaping maw of a masonry monster. That'll do it.
7. Craig Ellwood's Hunt House in Malibu, CA.
In stark contrast is Craig Ellwood's modest and minimalist steel box fireplace perfectly in keeping with the ethos of the entire house. Check out the onging restoration of this beautiful house here.
8. Architect Unknown, 1961 Asian-Influenced Modern in San Rafael, CA.
Fireplaces and conversation pits were made to be together and this example in a stunning house is a great example. We love how the white pleated detail echoes the shoji panels throughout the house and the elevated pedestal maintains a modern look. Check out the other photos in the old listing here.
9. Silverstone House, Anshen & Allen, near Taxco, Mexico.
Just like everything else in this extraordinary house, the fireplace is a showstopper. With its angled front and floating base, this fireplace is the center of attention in a cosy corner of an otherwise open plan house. Check out our blogpost on how we rediscovered the location of this iconic house here.