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Steamboat Magazine

Yampa Living W0203

12/01/2002 01:00AM ● By Anonymous

Winter 2002:

Yampa Living W0203

Hearth and home: a netwist to an ancient amenity     Fireplaces add romance and warmth to a home – and they are no longer confined to living rooms, either.   A natural focal point, hearths are becoming popular in local kitchens. “We’ve done several fireplaces in kitchen areas,” says Chris Haight of Kitchen Perfection. “We hear time and time again hoa fireplace adds to the character of a room.”  To call a kitchen fireplace a “new” trend may be a misnomer, as Chris points out. In centuries past, the term fireplace and cooking space were synonymous. “People cooked on an open fire. Today, we’re going back to that old style,” he says.   A truly “country” or “ranch” kitchen features a hearth, and perhaps an old farmer’s style sink and big cooking island, Chris says. The rock masonry does not necessarily have to house a working fireplace, either. “Surrounds,” another option, feature rock hearths that contain a barbecue, cooktop and/or cabinetry. “The key is in the rock work, which adds warmth and aesthetic value to a kitchen,” he says.  “You spend half your time in the kitchen,” says Steamboat Springs contractor Tom Dover, who recently installed a gas fireplace in the kitchen of a home he built at Catamount Lake & Ranch. “A fireplace is great to have in a kitchen.”   What’s good for the cook may work just as well for bone-weary skiers at the end of a long day. At least that’s the way Steamboat resident Lisa Smalley reasoned. For her nehome in the Sanctuary, she designed a two-sided fireplace, inset in the wall between the master bedroom and bath. The front of the fireplace was fauxed by Sue Zantal; the bathroom side is rock. “I can sit in my bathtub and have the fire going,” Lisa says. What could be more soothing than a relaxing soak by firelight?   In a locale that may be best described as a winter wonderland, a fireplace is an integral element of a cozy hideaway.