It’s now September which means autumn is right around the corner. As much as I love summer, there is something comforting about the damp mornings. The smell that reminds most of us of childhood. A time for crumbles, conkers and cosy knits. It won’t be long until the first fire of this season and renovating our fireplace is still one of our top home improvements.
We’ve attempted to mix old with new, a modern sleek stove with a rustic wooden mantel. It’s a look I love and that seems to suit our 1930’s property. But what if our home was older, grander? A country mansion instead of a modest south-east London semi? We do actually have another fireplace in the dining room which definitely has delusions of grandeur. When we renovate that space, I’m tempted to maintain the facade.
After all, antique fireplaces needn’t just be for huge living rooms or rural retreats. In fact, it never occurred to me that as our house was built more than 80 years ago it falls into the ‘art deco’ period and therefore is technically antique! Who knew?! In London, Westland Antiques are the go-to specialists for anyone looking for wow-factor from a bygone era.
Established in 1969 (almost antique themselves these days!), the company is now housed in beautiful St Michael’s Church in Shoreditch, a space they have carefully renovated in a stunning vaulted interior to showcase their incredible collection of historical artefacts. Everything from Jacobean to Rococo, right up to the ‘modern’ day Art Noveau and Arts and Crafts.
Also stocking fireplace accessories, as well as sculptures, home decor and pieces for the garden, it’s a treasure trove of beauty. In fact, forget even being in the market for antique fireplaces, it’s worth a visit alone just to experience styles ranging across so many hundreds of years. After all, it’s rare for us interiors lovers to find museums dedicated to our passions, isn’t it?
The Gothic-styled church is so extensive that it’s considered one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of antique fireplaces anywhere in the world. They also have on-site craftsmen specialising in restoration using 18th and 19th century techniques. If that’s not a reason to invest in a new-but-old fireplace, I don’t know what is!
Do you have a fireplace? What’s your style, old or new?
Post in collaboration.