December 27, 2023

The Unexpected Pizza Oven

We were about to begin a whole house renovation when the homeowners mentioned they’d love to do something to make their existing walk-in fireplace more welcoming and possibly useful. They craved a space that echoed the coziness of their favorite restaurant, where the crackle of the fire and the warmth of company formed a comforting bridge to happy memories.

Their initial vision? A raised hearth, mirroring the one that had charmed them countless times. While we understood the appeal, tinkering with the historic integrity of the 18th-century fireplace wasn’t something we could justify. Demolishing it for a conventional fireplace also felt wrong, like replacing a chapter in the home’s story.

So, we kept talking, on what to do with the fireplace, and we brainstormed ideas, transforming it into a canvas for creative solutions. Enter Gary Mohler, our resourceful project manager, and Mike Weaver, our skilled mason with a spark of ingenuity. It was Mike who threw open the metaphorical door, suggesting we build a bread oven nestled within the existing structure.

The solution landed like a perfectly spun pizza dough. Historically fitting, a bread oven would produce warmth and symmetry, and unlike a roaring fireplace, wouldn’t need a bonfire to banish smoke. Plus, with pizza ovens enjoying a renaissance, adding one to this underutilized space, just steps from the kitchen, promised endless culinary adventures.

And so, the mason got to work, transforming the once-neglected fireplace into a portal to oven-fired feasts. But what pizza oven is complete without a door? For that, we called in our expert, whose name, like the secret spice in grandma’s marinara, shall remain undisclosed until we’re safely under contract for your next project. Let’s just say the door he sourced was a century-old wonder from Maryland, adding a touch of vintage charm to the modern marvel within.

After the job was completed, we went back to take photos, and the owner told me that the entire family had gathered the week before to use the oven to make pizzas! Mission accomplished!

The unexpected pizza oven became a cornerstone of this renovation, a testament to the magic that blossoms from open minds. So the next time a design challenge looms, remember, that the most delectable solutions often hide in the most unexpected corners. Just crack open the door, let your imagination rise, and watch your home bloom with unique, heartwarming chapters.



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