Updated: Mar 4
The Home's Heart
Every home has a heart— a special place where people tend to congregate. Early in the century, before forced air heating, these areas were commonly hearth rooms or keeping rooms next to the kitchen. A room near the kitchen usually with a fireplace where people would congregate to stay warm.
After Frank Lloyd Wright's introduction of open plan living in the seventies, this gathering space is the kitchen/dining area. A place where cooks can prepare meals and hang out with others at the same time. For decades now, open plan living has been the standard in residential home design.
It was at 2019 the International Builders Show in where we had first seen indications that a new type of keeping room may be popular again. Not a complete reemergence of the fully separated rooms of the past, but moreso a new variation of the traditional keeping room. To explore this, we asked our interior designers to create a meaningful area next to the kitchen intended for people to gather. We wanted the space to feel like you're an intimate part of what's happening inside— and at the same time feel your in the environment outside. We want to take focus away from technology like TVs and bring it to a the space itself, a space where people can congregate with conversation.
"If we're known for anything, its innovation" said Matt Murray of Murray Custom Homes in southeast Nebraska. "Because I design most of the homes myself, I'm always looking for the next trend or new design/engineering technique before it happens. I love to impress clients by being the first in the area to introduce a new trend or technology such as our Huge Industrial Refrigerators and Modern Staircase & Railing Designs.
A Completely Open Fireplace
For 2020 we decided to build a luxury home that would incorporate a fresh new design so unique, it's likely the first of its kind in Nebraska. A "completely open" fireplace. A fireplace with no sides or back, open all the way around so you can congregate around it like a camp fire. Ahh, but this home is nothing like a campsite— its an ultra modern design.
So we set out to find the perfect location. A place where our over-sized windows would bring the outside, into an amazing gathering area. A location on a golf course or acreage with trees and beautiful views so when people gather around the fireplace they feel a part of the outside environment.
Finding the Perfect Location
Before the news went public, we received word of future changes to the sold-out community of Firethorn Golf Resort and the plan to develop new lots. Having already built several luxury homes in Firethorn, we knew instantly the community would be perfect for this modern new home.
Just a stone's throw from the clubhouse located on a quiet street surrounded by beautiful modern homes you will find 8533 Tralee Rd. More about this topic and the location and why we selected it and how it will be amazing location for the new fireplace.
Design & Engineering of the
MURRAY™ OpenFLAME® Fireplace
The beauty of the open flame fireplace is its easy of installation. Being self-contained the fuel source is in the lower unit and doesn't require additional trades to run gas or electric lines. Where the challenge of this design lies is hanging it from the ceiling. It was important to Matt's vision to create a floating look. He told the team from the start, "let's don't just create another fireplace, lets create a conversation starter."
Tommy Winn and his framing team set forth on a design plan to meet Matt's vision. They considered the space and the pitch of the roof as they developed the floating framing structure that is supported by the special roof truss design.
Tommy Winn of Murray Custom Homes discussing the engineering of Nebraska's first OpenFLAME™ fireplace by MURRAY® Custom Homes
Other Home Features
Zero Entry Shower
HUGE Over-Sized Windows
Mega Sub Zero Double-Wide Fridge
Top Grade Appliances
Nebraska's First OpenFLAME® Fireplace
ADA Complaint Design
The End Vision
8533 Tralee Rd is truly one of the most modern homes we've designed to date. As it comes together we invite you to drive by or schedule a tour. The fireplace alone is worth the look— Especially when you learn that Murray can remodel this unique design into existing homes and businesses.
8533 Tralee Rd Lincoln, NE
See more of this conversation-starting fireplace and ultra-modern home design by clicking the images below >