Design Through the Decades – Part 32
Phoenix homes built in the 1990s could have cared less about fireplaces. But with the surge in the use of natural “green” building materials (e.g., natural stone) in the 2000s, suddenly fireplaces came back in vogue. The fireplaces of the 2000s became works of art.
Natural stone was a very trendy choice in fireplace design in the 1950s and then again in the 2000s, this time with darker stone. Because of the stacked stone, homeowners were able to showcase their fireplaces.
This 2002 Phoenix home’s fireplace looks similar to fireplaces from the 1950s.
You could use large stones as seen in this 2002 Phoenix home.
The size of the fireplace was toned down in this 2008 Phoenix home, but stacked stone remained a popular design element.
Another trendy fireplace design of the 2000s was to have other natural materials such as canterra stone, marble, travertine, or concrete that resembles these previous materials. This carved concrete fireplace is from 2007.
Canterra stone fireplace in Glendale, Arizona.
Marble-like concrete fireplace in a Peoria, Arizona home. We actually saw mantels return in the 2000s. And the mantel to hearth ratio was usually 1:1.
A more economical fireplace was one surrounded by large ceramic tile as seen in this 2008 Phoenix home.
When mortgage interest rates were low and creative financing was readily available, many homebuyers in the 2000s added as many upgrades as they could. Such as having a fireplace in the master bathroom.
It was very chic in the 2000s to have a front courtyard with a fireplace.
Another outdoor fireplace.
The beehive fireplace from the 1980s made a rare return in this 2002 Chandler, Arizona home.
What will fireplaces be like in Phoenix in the 2010s? Probably minimalistic, smaller, and not that common. With the real estate market in decline and new home construction at a standstill, it will be several years before new home sales pick up again. Add to that tighter lending restrictions and slightly higher mortgage interest rates plus a new trend toward smaller (ie., more affordable) homes, and we’ll probably see homebuyers opting out of fireplaces and/or not willing to pay for fancy fireplace upgrades. Unless homebuilders are desperate for sales and throw in the fireplaces for free.
Homeowners of older homes will probably remodel their existing fireplaces in the 2010s with stacked natural stone, since the price of stone is not budget-busting.