After a record-breaking snowfall in Portland this year, it’s a blessing to have modern day heating in our homes. But after nearly a foot of snow on the ground, it’s also easy to yearn for the inherent coziness of a warm crackling fire.

Back when most of Portland was being built, a fireplace or wood stove was essential to keeping houses warm – and they are still present in most houses we work on today. Having a handsome fireplace can help raise the aesthetic look of your home – and raise the coziness factor as well! Here are some essential things to look for when renovating your fireplace:


There are two primary methods of heat when it comes to fireplaces: gas or wood burning. Gas by far is the more favored due to its ease of use. Gas inserts typically come with a glass screen to help protect the homeowner from the flames; however, there is also a rising popularity with open gas log sets for a more traditional look.

Wood burning, on the other hand, is a lifestyle choice. Typically, most wood burning fireplaces are left open, but did you know you can insert an energy efficient wood stove in your firebox as well? The most important thing to note with wood burning fireplaces is that in order to get a good enough draw from your chimney flue, you need to make a big enough fire to warm up the flue first. This will allow you to actually warm up your home versus causing a draft.


Craftsman style homes are known for their beautiful mantels. Here in Portland, the most common wood species used for these mantels was Fir. They look gorgeous in darker stains but can also be painted to give a lighter look.


A staple of a Craftsman fireplace is the tile used. Typically a glazed ceramic, the tile patterns vary wildly from one to the next – from structured squares to an array of different shapes and sizes. Relief tiles are also a common feature that help break up the field tile and make your fireplace the talking point of your living room.


Bookcases or some sort of storage is also typically common amongst Craftsman homes – though not standard with all. Glass paned doors are often present to keep dust off of your books and other trinkets. These storage solutions are usually made out of the same material as the mantel and help solidify the fireplace as the focal point.

If you would like to work with us on one of your home projects, consider adding a fireplace makeover to your scope of work! We would love to help make your home ultra-cozy for the next snowstorm. You can reach us by filling out our online form (under Contact Us)!