A two-story fireplace composed of native fieldstone draws family members to the great room of a Hudson Valley vacation compound. Pointing toward the fire, nine rectangular rocks form a true supporting arch above the flames.

The rocks are about 1 foot deep and the tallest reaches nearly 1 foot wide and 5 feet high. Surrounding pieces, left in their natural shapes, are secured with recessed mortar to resemble the stacked walls outside. Detailed with a pattern of intertwined branches, the custom wrought iron screen “matches an irregular network of stick trusses that are the actual trusses supporting the exposed roof,” says architect Charles Mueller. Builder: Cal Parlman, Hudson, N.Y.; Architects: Jefferson B. Riley and Charles G. Mueller, Centerbrook Architects and Planners, Centerbrook, Conn.; Stonemason: Ken Makely, Hudson; Photographer: Brian Vanden Brink.