Each soft, smooth rock in the walls of these river rock fireplaces is small enough to hold in your hand. When I was a teenager, the mall store sold small polished versions called “wishing rocks.” By simply rubbing between your thumb and finger while reciting a wish, it was to come true. I always found the repetitive action an instant stress reliever. Their flat sides also make them great skipping stones, but it would be a shame to waste these natural beauties on the bottom of a lake. River rocks are most often used as decorative accents in gardens, water features and walkways, and were the material of choice for this free flowing fireplace wall. The unusual circular firebox is a calming visual in itself, and caused me to have a chicken/egg moment. Which came first — the idea to use river rocks or the round opening? No matter, as the result is nothing short of Zen.
If the thought of covering a large area is overwhelming or over budget, the stones can be used on a smaller scale. This outdoor river rock fireplace is framed with slate. The dry stacked stones are mortared into place, sans apparent grout. The naturally tumbled stones will transform the ordinary into extraordinary.
Don’t miss Interior Firewood Storage for more creative wall ideas.
(Sources: Fine Home Building, Studio H Landscape Architecture)
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