HOUSE: Newburgh

The other side of the living room.


So really, it was this huge Black Forest fireplace that sold us on the house. When we walked in with our realtor, I immediately gasped and smacked Evan in the arm to make sure he saw it (it’s kind of hard to miss). It’s fantastic. I love the proportions of the tiles on the inside—so much more elegant than standard subway tile, and with grout lines so tiny I could cry. The marble is cool and creamy and smooth, with winding oak leaves and acorns.

It’s things like the fireplace that make me feel honored to own this house. It’s nothing I could ever buy or that I would ever even think of putting in the house myself, but here it is, and it’s mine. The fireplace has been here along with the rest of the house for over 100 years, and nobody has ever painted it or sold it or hit it with a hammer or drilled holes in it or tagged it with graffiti or replaced it with fiberboard (things I can’t say about much of the rest of the house). I like to think it had the respect of everyone who has lived here, but especially me.

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  • Reply nathalie November 14, 2007 at 6:42 am

    it is really stunning ! i can understand your pride for it 🙂 and that Ikea rug you mentioned on HomeBug would really fit well there, and it would match the pillows you have there on the sofa … its a really beautiful black & white living room.

  • Reply Jennifer November 14, 2007 at 10:37 am

    Wow. That is an awesome fireplace. I would cry, too, if it were in my house!

  • Reply Jaimie November 14, 2007 at 10:45 am

    The fireplace is beautiful, and your respect and admiration for it are well placed. Not quite the same as a marble fireplace, but our bathroom has what I believe is the original 1930s tile (soft golden yellow trimmed in black, extending up three-quarters of the walls). It’s quirky and unique and I love it, but I know it wouldn’t be to everyone’s taste, so I’m glad that it has survived this long.

  • Reply katie November 14, 2007 at 11:26 am

    The fireplace is stunning!! Drop Dead Gorgeously stunning!!!!!!!

  • Reply priscilla November 14, 2007 at 1:07 pm

    It is a miracle that it was left untouched. Do you plan to make it a working fireplace?

  • Reply Anna at D16 November 14, 2007 at 2:14 pm

    Nathalie: That’s funny that the room reads as black and white. To me, it seems like it’s a study in mid-tone neutrality! I always feel like I need more highs and lows in the living room, so I’ll take it as a good sign that you see so much contrast. 🙂

    Jaimie: Ohhhh, that sounds gorgeous. I love old tile work, you can never get that same look with new tile. And I love yellow!

    Priscilla: It’s a gas fireplace (see that little thing on the right, next to the basket? That’s an old gas pipe), and was never used for burning wood. The gas isn’t hooked up anymore, but it would be easy to connect it to our main gas line and put in a gas stove if we wanted to.

  • Reply Tara November 14, 2007 at 2:35 pm

    Your apartment is lovely and inspiring. I really enjoy reading your blog and seeing what great changes you’ve made to your home. Thanks! –Tara 🙂

  • Reply November 14, 2007 at 6:13 pm

    amazing fireplace. you are a lucky and well deserving woman.

  • Reply jennifer in sf November 14, 2007 at 6:49 pm

    Is it just me, or is there a gorgeous (although this one is extra-super-gorgeous) fireplace in every room in your house?

  • Reply lena November 14, 2007 at 8:30 pm


    i just re-discovered your blog, and looked through your entire archives. my husband and i bought a row house in brooklyn two years, so i can really relate to so many of your posts. your place looks wonderful!


  • Reply nina November 15, 2007 at 6:24 am

    Your fireplace is definitely beautiful indeed. And it’s always funny to think about the history of your house, the parts that have survived during the years and the parts that have become ‘victim’ of some kind of modernisation. Sometimes it’s almost a miracle that certain pieces have survived.
    Btw I really like your lamp, who made it?

  • Reply zee November 15, 2007 at 6:34 am

    WOW! Anna, I think you’re living in my dream home. If you should post pictures of the rest of your (four?) fireplaces any time soon, I think *I* could cry.

  • Reply lesley November 15, 2007 at 11:15 am

    Fabulous room, Anna! I would have done some partner-arm-smacking with that fireplace, too. yummy.

  • Reply Anna at D16 November 15, 2007 at 11:37 am

    Thank you for all the nice comments, everyone! It makes me happy to show of some my home’s “natural” assets. I like that not everything in the house is the result of my taste or creation.

    Jennifer: We have four fireplaces (two bedrooms, living room, dining room) and one hearth (kitchen). They are all lovely, but this one is spectacular! They make it difficult to arrange furniture as they cut the wall space in half, but I really can’t complain too much.

    Nina: The lamp is from West Elm (oh look, it’s on sale now!). I don’t like the design or quality of their furniture, but I they do have great lamps and accessories. This lamp is the most contemporary thing in the house, but I think it fits in well.

  • Reply Debi van Zyl November 15, 2007 at 3:37 pm

    i love your living room… and your blog!

  • Reply Patrice November 24, 2007 at 1:08 am

    For your consideration: May I recommend a heavier chair in the corner beside your fireplace? It would add balance and proportion to your room, at least in this corner. It would be nice to see the other corners. Even a “heavier” piece of artwork on the wall (one which wouldn’t compete with the fireplace but would compliment it) would add a little “weight” in this corner and be less distracting than the “skinny” chair and the skinny lamp (which I do love by the way). As for the gorgeous fireplace…there are no words! It’s marvelous. Just a thought…

  • Reply maryam in marrakesh November 25, 2007 at 9:03 am

    Your fireplace looks so beautiful all in white like that. Do you use it?

    We are building a place with 7 fireplaces in Marrakech. There is little heating here and so they are really essential.

  • Reply Sarah November 28, 2007 at 3:42 pm

    Gorgeous! I’m reading through all the fireplace entries on Houseblogs, and drooling. (We’re still uncovering ours, so it’s in a shambles, and there’s no heat yet…but on the plus side we found the remains of a Dutch Beehive oven!)It’s a treat to see such a stunning fireplace! It ould look great with a little bird’s nest n it….enjoy!

  • Reply cloud9 design July 28, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    I LOVE this photo. Your fireplace is amazing!! the placement of your design elements in the room is simple yet charmingly elegant. Kudos!

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