The kitchen fireplace

DSC_0017 cropIt used to be that every kitchen had a fireplace. It was what you cooked on, after all! It’s unusual these days, but we are blessed to have a fireplace in our modern kitchen.

When we gutted the kitchen years ago, we talked about tearing out the fireplace. It’s an open fire, and very small (originally for burning coal), so it really only serves to make the house draftier. It is a superhighway for mice from under the house to the kitchen. The beige tile around it is, frankly, ugly. And we could use the space for more cupboards, or countertop.

But it’s a fireplace in the kitchen! What is more romantic and cosy than that?

The fireplace stayed.

Most of the time, it remains covered with a mouse-proof, draft-proof board that I painted with a fake fire in which the flames are fire-related quotes and sayings.

But there are times when you just need a fire in the kitchen. On those rainy nights when the kids have friends over, it’s a great place to make s’mores. On crisp autumn evenings with a party in progress, when you want the atmosphere of an open fire. When the hot water cylinder has been off for days (because we’ve been away, or the power has been out) and the quickest way to heat up all that cold water is the wetback behind the kitchen fireplace.

Or when we just feel like it.

So, though there is absolutely no practical reason to have the kitchen fireplace, I am happy it’s there.

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