CATEGORY: PORT TOWNSEND HOUSE
PHOTOS: FINISHED INGLENOOK AND INGLENOOK CONSTRUCTION
As stated before, I turned the original six foot wide back porch into a kitchen inglenook with a fireplace in the middle and upholstered sofas on each side. The sofas had a ledge behind them topped by bookcases. There was a narrow window at their outer ends, one on each side of the fireplace. The upholstery fabric was heavy blue denim that I got on sale for $7.00 a yard. The fireplace was built by Ernie Rasmussen, an almost non English speaking Scandinavian mason from Hadlock. It was a Rumford which , unlike the unit fireplace, kept the whole house warm most of the time. Even summer days in Port Townsend are cool so there was almost always a fire in the fireplace. I transferred the façade from the first fireplace, slightly shortened, to the inglenook fireplace, the only real difference being that above the mantel was a thirty inch by forty inch panel of yellow cedar. It was from one single piece of wood purchased at a local mill.
Burning wood is messy; therefore I covered the floor of the ingle nook with quarry tile, making it one big hearth so the wood crumbs could be swept into the fire box. The skirts of the sofas flipped up and there were sliding trays underneath for kindling and newspapers. Matches were in a holder on the mantel. There was also a ledge for wood storage on the glassed-in part of the back porch. It was a fireplace that, unlike most fireplaces, was designed to be used.
I say, “unlike most fireplaces” because one of my pet peeves was “most fireplaces.” I had seen too many houses with fireplaces in the living rooms, where the hearth was eighteen inches deep surrounded by carpeting; I had yet to see a fire in any of them. As I said, “burning wood is messy,” and these fireplaces, although fully functional, were not designed to be used on a regular basis. Who wants to be constantly cleaning the wood crumbs off the carpet? Sparks sometimes get through a fire screen. Who wants burn marks on that same living room carpet?