Home Is Where The Hearth Is
There is nothing like curling up next to a fire on a cold winter’s night. Fireplaces have long been a coveted feature for homeowners and make for beautiful, functional parts of any winter decor! However, with so many styles, designs, and types, it can be hard to know where to start when selecting a fireplace for your home. Today, I’ll be breaking down everything you need to know about fireplaces from modern to classic, wood-burning to gel. Happy cozy season!
(Modern fireplace design: Photo from https://www.norstoneusa.com)
Fueling the Fire
Perhaps the most important question when it comes to fireplaces is which fuel type is right for you? Each fuel type differs in energy efficiency, cost and maintenance. Let’s take a look at the four main types:
Chances are, when you think of fireplaces, the classic wood-burning fireplace is the first image to appear in your mind. Although wood burning fireplaces are classic and elegant, they are also the most expensive option and require the most maintenance. They are costly to install and will require regular professional cleaning (remember the chimney sweeps from Mary Poppins?).
Despite these minor downsides, wood burning fireplaces are still used by millions of homeowners today. Their timeless style, rustic feel, and the amazing smokey smell they produce add to the ambiance of any space!
(Moody fireplace in textured blue: Photo from http://livingplasters.com)
Electric fireplaces are growing to be the most popular choice for homeowners, as they are the cheapest to install and require the least maintenance. Although no real fire is used to create the heat in an electric fireplace, they use a faux flame to give a beautiful visual. You can even add fake logs to bring the illusion to life!
If you are looking to add to your smart home features, electric fireplaces would be the best choice for you as most models are remote controlled. And since they operate without any real flames, they are the safest option out of the four types.
(Stunning ventless fireplace fueled by Alcohol Gel Cartridges: Photo from Hearth Cabinet)
Want the look of a fireplace but without a lengthy installation process? Gel fireplaces utilize cans of gel fuel to give you a beautiful authentic fire with the easiest installation process of the four fuel types! The lightweight, self-contained model can easily be mounted on a wall. The only downside of gel fuel is that gel cans aren’t known as reliable heat sources, so if you are looking to use your fireplace as an alternative heat source, this may not be the option for you.
Another great alternative to the classic wood burning fireplace is a gas model! This fuel option is highly efficient and can be installed into almost any room. Gas fireplaces will also be warmer than log burning fireplaces, and typically have a blower built in to help circulate the heat through your home.
(Stunningly Sleek Gel Fireplace: Photo from Soothing Company)
Styling the Hearth
Not only are there multiple different fuel types, but there are so many styles you can choose from to mount your fireplace. Of course, there is the classic brick or stone setting, which will give your space a homey feel. Fieldstone settings are a great way to bring natural elements into the home and build texture to the room. The brick and wood combination is timeless, and custom millwork adds a more contemporary aesthetic.
(Natural Fieldstone and Modern Concrete. Left: Pinterest Right: Contemporist)
If you are looking for a more modern style, concrete and marble fireplaces have been rising in popularity. Concrete has a minimalistic look, with durable material that is sure to last in your space! Marble fireplaces will project a dramatic, upscale look with a modern flair.
If you are looking to modernize your gas fireplace, accessories like Fireplace Balls are an extra way to obtain the contemporary aesthetic you’re going for!
(Gorgeous Modern Fireplace Balls: Photo Woodland Direct)
Tending the Flames
We can’t talk about fireplaces without talking about fire safety! It is always important to keep a fire extinguisher and fire safety gloves nearby in case of an emergency! In addition to these essentials, there are a number of tools that you should have on hand in order to keep your home safe around fire.
Fire screens are a beautiful and essential tool in protecting your home around an open fireplace. These screens are made of iron and built to protect your living space from hot debris and flying embers. Available in a variety of styles and designs, fire screens are an extra opportunity to add your personal style to the space, while simultaneously keeping it safe!
Carpets around fireplaces can be a fire safety hazard if they are not made out of the right materials. Hearth rugs are designed to be flame resistant with industrial strength materials used to prevent cinder scars from burning into your floor.
(A marble fireplace completes this elegant look. Photo: August Black)
Adding a fireplace to your home is a beautiful and functional way to achieve a homey, cozy feel, especially during the winter months. Whether you prefer traditional, contemporary, rustic, or something entirely different, a good fireplace is sure to keep you snug and warm all winter long!
Want more interior design tips? Check out my other blog posts here!