Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

“The Summer Fireplace” by Square with Flair™

[Editor’s note: After nursing the family through pneumonia, strep throat and bronchitis, I’m a bit under the weather myself today. Thankfully, Square with Flair™ had a couple of things on his mind. Here is the first of two articles. I’m saving the other in the event that I am not up to speed tomorrow. In the meantime, enjoy! This is a very easy and elegant solution for those of us whose summer doors were sacrificed to the scrap metal drives of various wars.]


The heart of the home is the hearth of the home, and when warm weather arrives, it is time to update this focal point in a seasonally appropriate manner.

It is a simple procedure that looks charming and impressive at the same time, and costs little or nothing.


After carefully cleaning the fireplace of ashes and burnt debris, the andirons should be impeccably polished. Then place a large, plain white or ivory paper fan the cleaned grate. The crisp, clean whiteness adds light and freshness for the warm days, and signals that cold days are over.

It is easy to make. Buy two large sheets of art paper, measure lines at two inch intervals, and pleat and fold it.


Glue or tape two sheets together to give it more fullness. Experience chart paper used in schools is good for this purpose, because one side has fine lines on it so that it doesn’t have to be measured. (SWF has secured the end with a simple rubber band. I could see a bit of raffia used to good effect. I might also consider using a sheet of wallpaper, which is very sturdy and could add a pattern. But, then, restraint is the essence of elegance… ed.)


The paper fireplace fan is a summer ritual that used to be observed in refined and aristocratic homes and diplomatic residences, but is seldom seen anymore. It is discreet but oh so elegant, and creates an atmosphere of impeccable, fastidious housekeeping.


An alternate solution would be a large, green shade loving plant, such as the Golden Pothos, with it’s glossy marbled leaves. Such a hardy plant might last 4 weeks, but isn’t as simple and long lasting as the paper fan.

One thought on ““The Summer Fireplace” by Square with Flair™

  1. Square… I have a large marble fireplace in my office (at work, not home) and have put a pottery pitcher with dried hydrangias in it. Many times in the winter in this old house, I wished it was a working fireplace.

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