Fireplace Bliss

I have been asked about odd ball jobs for people who are sick and tired of the same old corporate ladder. They want off and now. Crafts people are always in demand so I thought about a friend of mine who builds fireplaces for a living. He is been doing pretty well and is in high demand, so you might give this some thought if you are so inclined.

Every home, great or small, has to have one or more of these essential items. While they can be practical for generating heat, they are for residential chic and good looks. Besides, you can place nice baskets around them filled with pinecones whatever you like. When you read an ad for a home for sale, it tells you right there about their status: where they are, what kind, and how many. It’s a draw even if you live in Arizona.

My friend makes high end versions with expensive stone or tile trim and lots of rich marble in front of a well-chosen fire screen – these are definitely some of the Finest Fires you’ve ever seen. A choice of gas logs or the real thing is an option. Many people want to have both so they can turn it on in warm weather. He is creative with the designs and quite original, depending upon the owner’s taste. He can fashion something old world as well as something slick and modern. It’s all about materials. Sizes are fairly uniform in middle class neighborhoods while mansions can accommodate much larger hearths. Colors are muted and earthy but he has done Dutch blue and white tile, colorful orange and yellow Mexican tile, and Moroccan greens and reds. You can have a blast from the past or a harbinger of the future—you name it and he can do it.

I would say he is a real designer, self-taught, and a top-tier tradesman. He used to work with bathroom and kitchen tile and then got tired of all the demand for subtle gray or black granite. He can use more ingenious substances in a fireplace. He has also been featured in local magazines and has become the go-to man for custom fireplace installation.

His challenge is to design a fireplace in an older home with no pre-existing unit or preparation. People want the old-fashioned chimney up there on the roof to top their new invention. They usually have to settle for a free-standing corner model or a wall-mount style in many cases. This is a compromise but you still get the flames in winter and the illusion of a warm cozy home in the summer. What you don’t want is a flat-screen TV with a loop of a burning fire. This is the poor man’s concession, and I for one wouldn’t bother.

So the message here is to be imaginative about jobs when you are sitting in your cubicle at work and envisioning a new, freer, less stressful you. If you don’t do something right away, it probably isn’t meant to be. But some of you will find the way to enter a more rewarding job realm where your ingenuity and inventiveness will take a front seat.