Heating a home with atmosphere
Adding a fireplace to a room not only create an architectural feature, it also warms up a home. With eco-friendly and green options on everyone's mind, natural gas and electrical heating is definitely at the bottom of the list.
The use of wood as a fuel source for heating is as old as civilisation itself. Worldwide, the burning of wood is the largest use of energy derived from a solid fuel biomass. Firewood is usually from timber that is unsuitable for manufacturing purposes and is regarded as a renewable energy resource – provided that the consumption rate is controlled to sustainable levels.
Although the combustion of wood results in some by-products, including ash and smoke (containing water vapour, carbon dioxide, other chemicals and aerosol particulates), firewood can be regarded as being carbon-neutral if being sourced from a sustainable plantation. This means that a tree absorbs as much carbon / carbon dioxide as it releases when burnt.
Traditional wood fireplaces create an ambiance that is difficult to replicate. Regardless of the residue and ash left behind, the smell of wood evokes feelings of nostalgia and romance.Our range of wood fireplaces complements both traditional and modern homes. [wikipedia] A wood burning fireplace adds atmosphere and even when it is not lit it adds a touch of elegance to the room. In addition to the comfort and heat that it gives, a fireplace is a great home decor addition.
ABOVE: A soaring stone fireplace is an impressive and rustic focal point in this living room. To reduce the scale of the stone and add interest, a long mirror is placed above the mantel, while the colour of the stone is a jumping off point for the room's palette, with hues of sage, stone, taupe and caramel from the fireplace stones.
ABOVE: Paint the wall over the mantel the same colour as the surround to give a fireplace more presence in a room. When a fireplace is flush with the floor, place a beautiful screen in front to provide ambience and safety.
BELOW: For people who live in an apartment and cannot build a fireplace, there are several solutions that do not necessitate a chimney. An electric fireplace, a ventless gas fireplace or an ethanol fireplace can all be installed without structural modifications and provide some of the benefits of standard fireplaces.
ABOVE: Turn is the answer for open living. This fireplace can be rotated round 360 degrees. The cosy view of the fire can now be enjoyed from every conceivable angle. This means that fireplace planning is no longer tied to the living room environment and offers the desired scope for change. In its form, the horizontally located fireplace communicates the lightness of the free-floating fire. The requirement for heat takes centre stage. The combustion chamber door is right-opening, while the air supply is channelled through a practical regulator offering one-hand operation from below the combustion chamber. Turn manages without any grate or ash pan, thanks to its optimally regulated combustion process.
ABOVE: Floor-to-ceiling glass and marble mosaic tiles in brown, gold, cream and grey tones are a spectacular setting for an elevated bio fuel fireplace. The contemporary focal point adds both visual and physical warmth to the room.
ABOVE: Sophisticated mouldings are combined with a marble-tiled surround for a traditional fireplace. To allow the space to be a conversational area as well as a space to watch television, the TV is hidden behind a piece of remote-controlled artwork so it's out of sight when not in use.
ABOVE: A simply elegant fireplace surround is painted cream to offset the dark wallpaper in the dining room. Raised off the floor, the visual warmth of the fireplace can be enjoyed from each seat around the table. The fireplace is also flanked with mirrored panels that add depth and dimension, as well as reflect light into the room.
ABOVE: The Cocoon Fires range offers fireplaces and products that are as functional as they are beautiful. Designed by innovative and celebrated designer Federico Otero, the Cocoon is an example of contemporary design made unique. Running on Bio Fuel, fireplaces are clean and environmentally friendly as the flame radiates warmth throughout the room. The hanging cocoons can easily be moved from room to room with the use of additional fitted mounting brackets. No matter where you are entertaining you can have your fireplace with you.
ABOVE: The show-stopping feature wall is a modern arrangement that boasts a long, linear bio fuel fireplace and a massive surround of grey and white marble mosaic tiles. Not only is it eye-catching, but it brings much-needed warmth into the space. The fireplace is flanked with a custom-built cabinetry unit that holds a big-screen television, media equipment, books and some display items.
Maintain or clean a fireplace
If you are buying a home that has an existing fireplace, be sure to have an expert check to ensure that the fireplace is clean, functional and does not need repairs. It's also a good idea to have someone come out and clean the chimney before you move in.
- Have your fireplace cleaned at least once a year. It’s best to get a certified contractor to do this.
- For fireplaces that operate by burning wood, make sure you always use safety screens, especially if there are young children or pets in the home.
- Before lighting the fire, always make sure that the flue damper is open
- Don’t burn green or wet wood. Use only dry, seasoned wood, so that you avoid increasing the rate of creosote buildup in your fireplace
- Avoid burning wrapping papers, evergreens, and other materials that may suddenly ignite.
- Never leave fire unattended, and never go to bed without putting out the fire in your fireplace. If possible, install a working smoke/fire detector in your house.
images: beauty fires - scripps interactive