A close-up view of the small fireplace island bench which serves as a center point connecting the kitchen and living room areas in this open floor plan home. As mentioned in the other photo feature of this detail, the island is tiled with a design featuring talavera tiles which had a variety of images on them, some patterns and whimsical graphics such as lizards and other southwest creature.

Norbert created from some simple pine planks, the two wooden benches which book-end the small fireplace. They were created so the posts next to them would provide a seat back, creating a comfortable simple seat providing a great comfy spot to curl up with a book or to warm by the fire.

As mentioned in the other post featuring this island, the fireplace was added as a design feature to connect the various sections of the home, as a focal point, and does not serve as the main heat source for the house. That is covered by the in-floor radiant heat which is buried in the earthen floors. The tubes conduct hot water through them which is heated by the hot water heater, for a clean, dust free and extremely comfortable form of heat. The room temperatures with radiant heat keep the ambient room temperatures even and for the most part, steady. The thermal mass properties of earthen floors make for a very efficient conductor for such heating. the floors hold the heat for a longer period than some other flooring methods and are extremely comfortable, therefore popular in the dessert southwest.