Finding a fireplace should be pretty straightforward right? Growing up, I thought there was only one type of fireplace: the traditional, masonry enshrined, Norman Rockwell-esque centerpiece of a nuclear family home.
But there are so many different types of fireplaces beyond the traditionalist vision we have in our minds. Fireplaces can be an visually pleasing way to keep your family warm during the colder months. Even if you’re not looking to heat up your home, they are great either as a cozy centerpiece to huddle around or an installation purely for aesthetics’ sake.
There is more than just the exterior to a fireplace, however: you need to think about the interior, too. What is the function of your fireplace? What kind of style are you hoping to achieve?
With this guide, you should be able to answer these questions and find the perfect fireplace for your home.
What is Your Goal?
When choosing a type of fireplace, you should have a clear picture of your end goal. Are you looking to heat your home? If so, to what degree?
If you’re tastes lean more aesthetic and you don’t care so much about heat, you should consider a wood burning fireplace or liquid propane logs. These types of fireplaces create heat inefficiently, but they will give you the standard visual we have come to expect from fireplaces. Better yet, gas is a cheap fuel source, and so is wood (if you source it as locally as your backyard).
If you are not concerned with getting a fireplace that generates heat, then you are in luck! Bio-ethanol fireplaces use bio-fuel, which is a substance derived from agricultural products. They tend to be used in minimalist and modern designs. They are extremely flexible when it comes to placement, too, so you can feel free to go wild when it comes to designing the room at large.
When heating your home is your primary motivation, you can rest assured that there are plenty of options. Gas stoves and pellet stoves will pump out heat at incredibly efficient rates.
What is Your Style?
What vibe are you looking to cultivate in your home, and how can your new fireplace best help you achieve that?
Traditional tastes will be attracted to the appealing crackle of wood burning, and there’s really nothing that can inspire that wholesome nostalgia quite like it. There is a catch, however; wood burning fireplaces necessitate regular cleanup.
On the other hand, gas fireplaces do not. They lend themselves to cleaner aesthetics, just like ethanol and electric fireplaces. Pellet fireplaces will be least flexible in this regard. They won’t be the open-mouthed, cavernous spectacles we’ve become accustomed to when visualizing fireplaces.
But your style options are not entirely constrained by the type of fireplace. You can definitely stylize the rest of the fireplace accessories and the mantle to better match your intended vision. “Masonry fireplaces can have a variety of looks. Contemporary. Traditional. Transitional. And your fireplace door should reflect that style,” advises Home & Patio, a fireplace store in Houston, Texas.
The mantle of a fireplace can tie together an entire room. Arranging a variety of family photos around a seasonal appropriate wreath can attribute a traditionalist, family-oriented theme to your space. More modern sensibilities should arrange fireplaces in contrast with other solid pieces, either a color blocked couch or an eye-catching piece of art with sleek lines.
Fireplace screens and doors can also dramatically change the mood of a room. Different styles of screens and doors have the ability to translate the modernity of a gas stove into something more traditional. Likewise, you can use a different variety of doors or screens to make a pellet stove more aesthetically appealing. The world is your oyster here!
Other accessories you can customize your fireplace with include practical tools, like pokers and tongs, as well as their appropriate stands for safekeeping.
If you have small children or any animals in the home, a fireplace screen or door is not a design choice: it is a necessity. Safety is of the utmost concern when it comes to designing a maintaining a fireplace in the home. Be sure to take this into account when you’re considering which type of fireplace to install in your home.
There are a variety of factors to consider when choosing a fireplace for your home. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of options. The important thing to remember is why, exactly, you’re considering implementing a fireplace in the first place. As long as you keep your motivation in mind at all times throughout the process, you’re free to have fun customizing and designing your custom fireplace!