Fireside Dining at Home


One of New England’s great pleasures is cozying up to a fire on a chilly winter night. While many of us cherish this comfort in our living rooms and dens, the fireside experience need not be limited to those spaces.

Some high-end restaurants tout fireside dining as a unique and desirable reason to visit. But, the truth is, it does not have to be a dining-out novelty. Incorporating (or designing) a fireplace within a home’s dining room is a wonderful way to add warmth and ambiance to the at-home dining experience.

Dining by a fire was once the standard before boilers and furnaces warmed our homes. Today, while not a heating necessity, many of our clients appreciate the romance a fireplace adds to their dining room area. There is something marvelously appealing about lingering over dessert beside a fire’s warm glow. And, what better way to add a magical feel to a holiday dinner celebration?

From a design perspective, adding a fireplace to the dining room provides an instant focal point for the room. When designing a fireplace for our clients, we first consider the home’s character and what sort of statement it should make. As a decorative element, the fireplace often adds symmetry to a room and provides an opportunity to create a wall of millwork that supports the fit and finish of the house.

The fireplace, flanked by glass china cabinets, provides visual symmetry to the space.

Another important consideration is whether a gas or wood-burning fireplace is most appropriate for dining. While some homeowners still prefer the sensory experience of a wood fire, many of our clients choose the ease of gas. Because gas offers the flexibility to turn the fire on and off as needed, requires no stoking during dinner, and no “post-fire” cleanup, it is the favored design option for many dining rooms.

Today, when designing a home, the fireplace is no longer viewed as a statement piece relegated to a home’s lounging areas. Including a fireplace within a home’s dining room adds character to the space, warms the atmosphere on cold nights, and encourages guests to linger over holiday meals.

Cheers to fireside dining!