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It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly three years since I put a call out for information on Arts & Crafts fireplaces that I could use as inspiration for the fireplaces in my living room and dining/kitchen area. Three years hence and I’ve barely moved an inch. As of now the black walnut remans on stickers in the garage, ostensibly “drying” until they’re ready for use. Ahem… riiiight. 5 years after they were put up in the garage, you can bet there’s a pretty good chance that they’re dry by now.

There is hope on the horizon though. For Christmas my mother sent two books, one that’s sure to light a fire under my buttocks and hopefully move me down the road toward the completion of the fireplaces. (pun intended)

The first book, Bungalow Basics: Fireplaces by Paul Duchscherer and Douglas Keiser and The Bungalow: America’s Arts and Crafts Home, authored by the same pair, are both chock full of photos that are sure to help me along. The former has more than enough to guide us on our final journey, while the latter is a history of the Arts & Crafts home in America, and includes photos of houses in Alameda, CA, where I grew up.

I’ve already found two or three fireplace mantels that I’d like to mimic in our house, which, to me, seems like a good beginning.

So, with any luck, and the courage to move ahead, we may see two finished fireplaces by this time next year.

Duchscherer & Keiser have several other books on Craftsman architecture, which, if these two books are any indication, should be equally inspirational:

Bungalow Basics: Porches

Bungalow Basics: Living Rooms

Bungalow Basics: Bathrooms

Craftsman Fireplace