Photo by Ralph Lauer Great Balls of Fire Eschewing faux logs or little chunks of glittery glass, Fort Worth architect Mark Nelson opted for something more contemporary to add some spark to the gas fireplace in his 1932 residence. Original to the clay tile-roofed Spanish-style house near Texas Christian University, the arched plaster fireplace with inset tiles is but one of many interesting details in a home that also features a tower, stained glass windows and an arched front door. His modern — and weighty — choice was ceramic fireballs. “You can stack them any way you’d like, and, as they heat up, they really heat up the room,” says Nelson. Depending on the source, the orbs are available in different sizes and several earthy colors. For indoor use, a base layer of silica sand is a must in a gas-burning fireplace. Aside from the pleasant glow of the fireballs, the space is warmed up by 1960s chairs that have been re-covered in textiles from Guatemala, the homeplace of Paul Trombetta, Mark’s partner. The vintage rug came from the Dallas office of Harold’s, the now-shuttered men’s and women’s clothier. SOURCES Jackson Pottery 2146 Empire Central, Dallas, 214-357-9819, jacksonpottery.com; $600 per set and up. Also blazingglass.com, woodlanddirect.com
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