The term “hearth” has often been used to define the heart of a home. In days of yore, fireplaces – and their wide hearths or firesides – provided warmth, an outlet for cooking, a clothes dryer of sorts, a spot for the dog and a forum for storytelling. A lot of history in a bricked opening. Today, a crackling fire still has the ability to warm our rooms, our bodies and souls and our wet socks, but we accept a lighter workload. The mantel piece has become a focus for displaying treasured objects, and we can accessorize the fireplace with an assortment of decorative andirons, screens, tools and inserts. See our fireplace fundamentals listed below to learn more about updating the look of your home’s focal point!