Home & Hearth

Our clients approached us with an unusable living space at the center of their home. The sunken living room sits two steps below the first floor level and at the center of the home’s main artery. It is adjacent to the dining area, the landing for the home’s main stairway, and is in front of the home's mudroom and primary entry.

This living room’s challenging linear proportions and existing offset masonry fireplace made it impossible to organize an functional seating arrangement that would facilitate social gathering and / or the owner’s enjoyment of the fireplace. For these reasons, the large, bright space in this contemporary family home sat empty and unused by the young professional couple and their three school-age children.

Jenn and Bobby came to Cultivation D/B hoping we could give them a clean and modern living space.

While the owners knew that moving the existing fireplace and chimney was not impossible, they understood that it would come at a significant expense, which, if possible, they wanted to avoid. At Cultivation D/B, we were excited by this room's challenging geometry and began work to solve the puzzle.

To help balance out the awkward proportions of the room, Cultivation D/B created a plan to install a volumetric vertical fireplace around the existing firebox, which sits offset against to room’s longest and most prominent wall. We then laid out an interlacing grid of 24” x 36” Equinunck Bluestone with a flamed and brushed finish on both the floor and new fireplace. By using the same stone on the floor and fireplace, the fireplace became a natural extrusion of the floor that tied together the vertical and horizontal planes of the room and helped to ground the open space. 

To further help balance out the proportions of the room, we used timeless modern furniture pieces, a long Herman Miller sofa and two barcelona arm chairs, as architectural elements to create a central and enclosed gathering space around the elaborate hearth. A Fireplace Xtrodinair gas insert was fitted into the existing masonry fireplace, which not only allowed us to remove the room’s unsightly baseboard heaters, it also gently warmed the stone of the hearth and aided in the creation of a warm and cozy place for the family to entertain and relax.