Decorating your antique fireplace for Christmas

An antique fireplace gives you a real advantage when it comes to decorating your home for Christmas. You have a ready-made focal point, which is just asking to be decked with holly and filled with lights. Just a few simple touches can create a beautiful festive display – and here are a few suggestions… Be natural Christmas doesn’t […]

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Festive hot chocolate and biscuits

Winter warmers – our favourite fireside treats

Winter’s here, and as you can imagine, the team at Thornhill likes to gather around the fireside of a cold evening. There’s nothing like indulging in some cosy comfort food (and drink) around the fire, so we’ve put our heads together and come up with a few favourite festive and winter fireside treats. Chestnuts roasting […]

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Louis XVI Carrara

Antique fireplaces for natural decorative schemes

It’s wonderful to come home to a relaxing, natural-feeling space. A natural design scheme is subtle and understated. The palette uses gentle tones which calmly combine cool whites and greys with warmer beiges and creams. We’ve spoken a lot recently about dramatic fireplaces, accent colours, and contrasting walls. However, the lovely natural materials used in […]

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Marvellous marble fireplaces

We’ve just written about our beautiful Breche Violette fireplace’s adventures at Olympia, so we thought we’d introduce you to some of our other stunning marbles. It’s incredible how many different marble fireplaces we have in our collection at any time: marble comes in an extraordinary variety of colours and patterns. From the classic white of statuary […]

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Breche Violette Fireplace in a showroom by Studio Duggan at House & Gardens Festival, Olympia 2017

An antique marble fireplace at Olympia

Our beautiful Breche Violette fireplace has just returned from an Olympian adventure! London interior design house Studio Duggan was creating a bedroom for the “Decorated Spaces” feature at the House & Garden Festival at Olympia London. They already had a fireplace in mind from our collection when they contacted us: a stunning Louis XVI style fireplace in beautiful Breche Violette […]

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How to choose the right antique fireplace

Are you looking for the right antique fireplace for your home? Here’s a checklist of things to think about during your search. What style of antique fireplace do you like? As a fireplace is such a focal part of the room, it’s so important that you find the right one. There are so many types […]

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Simply perfect

Simple is beautiful.  An antique fireplace with clean lines and an unfussy design can really enhance a room without overpowering it. A plain fire surround is far from unadventurous: it’s the graceful single lily rather than the bouquet… Cool, calm marbles are effortlessly elegant; and an unadorned stone fireplace gives a sense of the simplicity of great workmanship. […]

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A piece of art: inlays in antique fireplaces

If you’re looking for a bespoke, reproduction or antique fireplace that’s eye-catching without being too distracting, a surround made from two-toned inlaid marbles is worth considering. We love sourcing, designing and making these elegant pieces, and nothing brings the beauty of a marble fireplace to life than a splash of contrasting colour.  Inlays also feature in wooden fireplaces; […]

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Detail from brass firedogs

Fantastic beasts – found on the fireplace!

This Easter, we’re glued to the newly-released DVD of J K Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; and it’s inspired us to search for some beasts of our own! Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a spin-off from the Harry Potter series, where it’s mentioned a few times as a text book. Starring Eddie Redmayne […]

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Houses with chimneys

What’s the right age of antique fireplace for your home?

The idea of finding an antique fireplace that’s contemporary with your home is an appealing one. The fireplace is such an integral part of the design of a building that installing one from the same period can give a room a real sense of integrity. If you have other original features, finding the right vintage fireplace would be the […]

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French chateau and town with flowers in the foreground

Antique French fireplaces – from chateau style to vintage chic

Disney’s live action remake of Beauty and the Beast is released this month, and we’re looking forward to seeing the fabulous château interiors! Antique French fireplaces can be among some of the most beautiful: along with the famous songs, charismatic performances and sheer spectacle expected from a Disney production, we’ll also be keeping an eye on […]

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1759 painting by William Hogarth, entitled The Lady's Last Stake

Our romantic Georgian fireplaces

Along with sharing Champagne by candlelight, the warm, welcoming glow of a real fire is one of the essential ingredients for a romantic Valentine’s night in. However, looking closely at Thornhill Galleries collection, it seems that there’s more romance to a fireplace than the flickering flames… Our forebears added a touch of romance into the designs of […]

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Dulux’s 2017 palette: team your stone fireplace with denim blue

At Thornhill Galleries, we’re always excited to find out what Dulux’s Colour of the Year will be. For 2017, they’ve chosen a cool blue called “Denim Drift”. Despite its contemporary-sounding name, this is actually a very traditional shade which looks wonderful with an antique fireplace. Denim Drift, along with its “family colour palette” of other blue tones, […]

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Photo Andrew Twort/Alamy

Fireplaces in the bathroom

It feels like the last word in luxury – a fireplace in the bathroom. Imagine soaking in the tub, while dancing flames reflect against the cool white surface of the bath, warming your toes… This level of decadence may not be possible in every bathroom; however those of us who live in older houses may […]

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Go Gothic with a Revival fireplace

The Gothic Revival style is having another revival! The combination of dramatic fireplaces, deep rich colours, and medieval motifs looks extremely striking in the contemporary home. You don’t have to live in a mountain-top castle to capture at least a few elements of this romantic look… Although the Gothic Revival initially started in the mid seventeenth century, it was the Victorians that […]

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What can I put above my mantelpiece?

You have a beautiful antique fireplace, complete with fireplace accessories such as a grate, fender, and firetools. However, it still doesn’t feel quite complete – and most times, this is because the chimney breast or the wall space above the mantelpiece is empty. The fireplace is the room’s focal point, the heart of the home. […]

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sits with British Prime Minister Theresa May in the White Room, No. 10 Downing Street 19 July 19, 2016. Photo: US Dept of State

Two famous fireplaces: the White House and Number 10

When our new Prime Minister, Theresa May, met US Secretary of State John Kerry a few days ago, they were photographed in front of a fireplace in Number 10.  Across the Atlantic, important meetings also often end with a photo call in front of a White House fireplace. Here we take a closer look at two of […]

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Faces in the fire – caryatids and other carvings

We see several recurring motifs in our fireplaces, and one of the most fascinating and compelling designs is that of the human face. Caryatids, putti, and masks are popular neoclassical features – and here are a few of our favourites. A caryatid is a supporting column in the shape of a woman, seen most famously […]

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Chelsea Gardender 2

A fireplace for a Chelsea garden orangery

It’s that time of year when all gardeners’ thoughts turn to Chelsea. More surprisingly, Thornhill Galleries has also been busy in a Chelsea garden this week, as we’ve been installing a fireplace in a stunning new orangery. The Chelsea Gardener is a gorgeous, destination garden centre, just round the corner from Royal Hospital Chelsea, home […]

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A focus on firedogs

What are firedogs, and why do we need them? Traditionally, a pair of firedogs were used to hold up the andiron, the horizontal bar that supports the logs in an open fire. The andiron is held above the ground to allow the air to circulate around the fire. So, they’re an essential item if you’re planning […]

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Definitely different: unusual antique fireplaces

When many people choose their antique or reproduction fireplace, they go for a style that complements their decor, or perhaps the period of their house. Warm stone or cool marble are always popular, as is a natural-looking wooden finish. But perhaps you’re looking for a real statement piece? If you want a fireplace that truly […]

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Fireplaces in the workplace

When we say that a fireplace can enhance your space, we’re usually talking about your home.  However, a fireplace can work very well in a workplace too. It doesn’t have to be as magnificent as the one used in the picture above –  after all, that is a meeting room in The White House! – […]

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Dark and handsome – dramatic marble antique fireplaces

We’re all used to thinking of marble as a glowing, white stone. When asked to picture marble, most of us probably picture Classical temples, Renaissance statues, and cool tiled floors – all in white. Think of a marble fireplace, and an elegant Georgian-style Statuary marble comes to mind.  However, why not explore some of the other […]

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The rich warmth of Bath stone

We love the richness of Bath stone. It’s what gives the City of Bath its memorable, honey-hued beauty, and adds a gleaming creaminess to cathedrals and other magnificent buildings across England. It’s also a wonderful stone for antique fireplaces. What is Bath stone? It’s an oolitic limestone, meaning that it’s made up from ooliths, sand-sized particles […]

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Marble LXVI Front On

Antique marble fireplaces in the contemporary home

A cool marble antique fireplace looks superb in a contemporary space. The marble itself has a timeless beauty that transcends interior trends; while the elegant Georgian, Regency, and Louis XVI styles sit very comfortably with contemporary decor. Here are just a few samples from our collection of antique marble fire surrounds that would work wonderfully […]

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Irons in the fire: a look at antique fire tools

Ever since our ancestors first lit fires, these fires have needed tending. Tough branches or bones provided the first pokers, which eventually evolved into the simple, fireproof metal tool we still use today. With the development of the fireplace, fire tongs for handling coal and logs were introduced; and along with a small shovel for […]

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Louis XVI Carrara

Filling the gap: how to dress the fireplace

You don’t need to have an open fire to make the most of your antique fireplace. Many homes have beautiful fireplaces with a purely decorative function. However let’s be honest – an empty fireplace can look uninviting. Whether the fireplace is never used, or you want to make it look more attractive in the summer months, […]

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How the fireplace made the modern home

The development of the fireplace changed our lives in more ways than we can imagine. As well as making the home safer, warmer, more comfortable, and much less smoky, the twelfth century invention of the chimney and fireplace changed the very structure of our houses. Here are some examples of the way the fireplace revolutionised […]

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Finding inspiration for your fireplace

How do you find inspiration for your new fireplace? We asked our clients, and these are some of their suggestions… Television and Film Television and cinema, especially period drama, can be a great source of inspiration for antique and reproduction fireplaces. We’ve just written about the gorgeous fireplaces in Downton Abbey  – and translating screen […]

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Highclere Castle

The fireplaces of Downton Abbey

The final series of Downton Abbey came to a close last night, with the nation collectively gasping “Lady Mary!” on more than one occasion. We’re all going to miss it. As well as the stories, and the characters we’ve all come to know and root for, the house itself (played by beautiful Highclere Castle) has […]

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At Bond’s Service – Fireplaces on Film

As big Bond fans, we were delighted when Eon Productions asked us to lend them some fireplace accessories for the latest 007 film, Spectre. Were we nervous about sending our antiques out on loan? After all, few buildings in Bond films escape unscathed! However, Bond films have a tradition of fabulous interiors, and we were very […]

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