When you buy a period property, you usually want some period features. Estate agents are desperate to point out even a whiff of these features if they exist. Maybe some cornicing or corbels not yet destroyed or original panelled doors not yet replaced by ghastly mdf. Oh - wooden floors - yes please.
What we really hope for of course, is a fireplace. We don't even seem to mind if it doesn't work. We just want the idea that our room has a central point to gather around and somewhere to celebrate our existence. We want somewhere to put precious items on and somewhere to hang our 'good' art or mirrors. We also want a proud place for birthday cards and party invitations, ticket stubs and favourite photos. It's never really just a fireplace, but more a central focus of our home and family. If we can light it up and truly gather round the hearth while it crackles away - well life would be pretty good.
So imagine our delight when we found our home - We have six!
Our living room has two marble fireplaces - that work. They straddle either end of the bookshelves and hold our favourite things.
Our bedroom fireplace holds Ed's treasured pots and a favourite photograph of my sister and I as a child.
F's bedroom fireplace holds the first piece of 'proper' pottery she bought for herself - she has good taste - and a special jug from New Zealand.
The fireplace in Ed's study is in a state of - well a state really - but we love it just like it is.
And the kitchen fireplace - we still can't quite believe that it was still here - well that has the very important job of storing wine and hiding Mr Darcy's tennis balls.....