Even if you live in a temperate climate, cosiness is one of the best attributes a home can offer. And there is nothing that is more cosy, in a domestic setting, than a snug fireside which offers warmth and comfort. Inglenooks have for centuries provided an extra level of cosiness in homes. As opposed to a simple fireplace, inglenooks almost create the sensation a room within a room.
Inglenooks began in homes as a partially enclosed hearth area, part of a larger room, usually in the central living space. This hearth would be used for cooking, heating water and providing warmth in the days before central heating.
As such, the enclosing alcove of an inglenook became a natural place to gather and seek some cosiness on a cold day. As cooking is nowadays rarely done in the same room as the living quarters inglenooks survive in modern homes mostly in lounges and kitchens.
Well known architects, such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Richard Shaw, have been known to use inglenooks well into periods beyond their original functional usefulness. Whether we need them for heat or not, inglenooks still retain their aesthetic appeal because the look so warm and cosy. Update your living space with the addition of an inglenook to your hearth, or consider one for your kitchen to compliment a new range cooker installation.
Old World charm can be instantly achieved by the construction of an alcove around your home’s fireplace. A hearth and a grate look good in any living room, providing a focal point to the space even if the fire is never lit. There is something psychological about the fireplace that seems to attract us to it.
For the cosy look to be extended, create an inglenook around the fireside. Extend walls on either side of the fireplace. These can be easily constructed from bricks to provide a seating area on each side, but other materials, such as wood, do just as well.
For an old fashioned feel run a false beam between each side to create the third open-side of the alcove. Decorate your inglenook recess with a few rugs, cushions and bookshelves to make it the cosiest part of the living room that you will want to curl up in on a rainy day.
The traditional looking fireside alcove is not the only design option when it comes to inglenooks. For a more up-to-date feel, firstly choose a hearth that has a contemporary design and use that as the center piece of your inglenook. Set the fireplace in a corner of the room that lends itself to a small recess.
Remember that a contemporarily styled inglenook doe not need to the central feature of a living room and can be tucked away in a cranny that the room already has. Fit out the area in front of the hearth with low level banquette seating. Use an L-shaped design for the seats for a modern twist.Modern tiled chimney breasts offer the opportunity for further contemporary designs.
Connecting To Other Rooms.
Inglenooks don’t need to be only in the living room nowadays. They also work as a room within a room in more open plan contexts. Indeed, an inglenook would work well in a reception hall or a family room.
Use wood panelling that is also applied in the neighboring spaces to connect the alcove to the rest of the room. Alternatively, use a similar rug that sits in the inglenook running into the next room to bring them together with a coherent design. To close off your inglenook, making it even more cosy, hang a drape across the front, to shut it off.
Inglenook recesses are ideal in kitchens, too. Use one to add depth to a kitchen design, particularly if you have a range style cooker installed. Back lighting the inglenook really adds to the effect and brings an inglenook out as the dominant feature of a traditionally styled kitchen.