Fireplace Design Makes a Statement

In one of our recent custom home construction projects on Parrett Mountain in Sherwood, OR, we created a custom fireplace design for the homeowners packed with function that also addressed the large grandeur of the vaulted great room.

The backdrop for this home was our inspiration – acres of meadows, evergreens and a meandering stream – and helped set the Northwest lodge style the client envisioned for their new dream home. The client wanted something memorable, but not showy. They didn’t care “to keep up with the Jones’ ” as they put it. They wanted something casual and inviting.

The home plans drawn up by Alan Mascord Design Associates fit the families desired floor plan and worked well on the land. The home was not designed to be what I call a true timberframe home. The truss support as engineered was not meant to be exposed in the great room. The real “working” trusses, supporting the roof and balancing the load of the home, are made of steel and were designed to be covered with sheetrock or another material. To still offer the client the look they were after we designed this ceiling adding tongue and groove, trusses and corbels. Essentially, we created a timberframe look for the home.

Note: Most build professionals have a more complex definition of timberframe construction than what I have offered above. There is an entire history and methodology of this type of build…. I apologize to those reading this blog with a deep historical build perspective of the term for my simple explanation.

Northwest Lodge Fireplace, new construction Sherwood Or Custom Fireplace Design, Portland OR

One of our first selections for the home was a river rock made of veneered stone, through Willamette Graystone in Tualatin. This stone made a cameo on the exterior of home and was used again on the fireplace and on the kitchen island. It became our inspiration for all surfaces in the home. We started the fireplace design and trusses with a hand draw we fine tuned with our client, then we created CAD drawings, and moved into the build phase of the project.

Our majestic, large scale fireplace wall soars up 14 feet to a tongue and groove ceiling stained in a natural hue. The wood box to the right was designed to be accessible from the outdoors with a small door off the back deck. All painting and staining was expertly executed by Oren Painting. Cabinetry to the left, by Hayes Cabinets, will hold all audio and video equipment from Lewis Audio Video. The wood burning fireplace from Fireplace Distributors is a workhorse able to heat up the entire two-story, 4,000 square foot home. We installed beam shelving to balance the fireplace wall that the client will use to display mementos. The stone above the mantle is designed to mount the client’s deer head trophy that he hunted with his father. The stone and wood tones warm up the room, while the layout of the shelves add a contemporary element to the space.

Timberframe Lodge Truss HanddrawNew Construction Beam, Truss, Tongue and Groove

TImberframe Wood Ceiling, Corbels, Wood Windows


The custom trusses and corbels started with a hand draw from Angela Todd Designs and built to scale at Parr Lumber. We stained the trusses a darker color than the tongue and groove wood ceiling to accentuate both elements. All great design requires ample lighting to illuminate the space, so we worked with Red’s Electric to make our selections. LED lighting is housed in channels in the trusses and spot lighting was installed in the tongue and groove ceiling to illuminate the fireplace. Chandelier lighting serves as both general lighting for the great room as well as adding an architectural detail. Our lighting plans allows for many layers of light and of course is set on dimmers for added mood control.

Isn’t she a beauty?

Builder: SLS Homes. Paint and Staining Oren Painting. Veneered stone available through Willamette Graystone in Tualatin. OR. Knotty alder cabinetry manufacturered by Hayes Cabinets in Vancouver, WA. Audio Video from Lewis Audio Video in Newberg, Oregon. Wood burning fireplace available through Fireside Distributors in Tualatin, OR. Electrical work, fixtures and lighting through Red’s Electric and Angela Todd Designs. Essence wood windows with exterior fiberglass available through Milgard Windows. Trusses and corbels custom fabricated by Parr Lumber. Interior design, elevations and material selections from Angela Todd Designs.

Angela Todd Studios For Custom Furnishings

Angela Todd

Owner & Principal Designer

Angela is the principal designer at her boutique interior design firm in Portland, Oregon. She is known for creating memorable backdrops that tell the story of fascinating and intricate lives.

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