Construction in Sussex custom built this masonry fireplace in
Chenequa. A large piece of limestone was used for the hearth, and
custom-cut limestone on the fireplace veneer from the mantel down
was by Halquist Stone. Forston Construction hand cut the limestone
from the mantel up on the veneer to the ceiling. A dry-laid
appearance was used, eliminating the mortar from being seen.
Come gather around
you ever sat in front of a fire in the morning on a cold winter
day?" asked Dennis Forston, owner of Forston Construction in
Sussex. His company has rebuilt and reconditioned fireplaces since 1983.
"Itís hard to put into words. Itís the feeling of home and
hearth. The act of starting the fire and seeing it flourish, and you
stare into it ó it has a hypnotic effect."
Forston and other
contractors, including Jim Boelter, co-owner of The Fireplace Ltd., in
Milwaukee since 1970, and Craig Podlesnik, owner of Stone Craft Studios
in Wauwatosa, emphasize technology and imagination that enhance a
fireplaceís focal point attraction for any room.
fire boxes using natural gas instead of wood ease making and managing a
fire. That formal living room fireplace now adorns informal family and
great rooms, lower levels, master bedrooms and outdoor patios.
elements include flat-screen televisions hung above the mantel,
pattern-enhancing stone veneers, fireproof concrete mantels that look
like rustic barn wood, crystals and other media replacing logs and
hearth benches framed by adjoining cabinetry.
Itís clear the
fireplace has changed. "People are looking for a modern, more
contemporary styling," Boelter says. "The younger crowd doesnít
want what their grandparents had," adds Podlesnik. M