Add Warmth with a Fireplace
Not only does a fireplace instantly add warmth to a chilly room, but it can also be a focal point in a plain room.
Winter is on the way and it won't be long before we're running around trying to find the best buys for a heater to warm up the rooms of our homes. But why not consider a fireplace instead - a permanent feature that is always there and only needs the strike of a match to spread warmth throughout a home. Not only will a fireplace instantly warm up a room - it's also a focal point around which family and friends can gather on chilly evenings.
Despite what types of heaters are introduced onto the market each year, there is nothing quite like a real fire blazing away in a hearth. The crackling of logs and hypnotic glow of flames have a unique way of making us feel welcome and warm.
If you are lucky enough to already have a fireplace installed, when regularly maintained, there's nothing easier than setting the fire ablaze to sit and relax by the fireside. We have put together a collection of inspiring fireplaces that may well have you deciding to ditch the electric or gas heater in favour of the real thing.
Modern with a Rustic Twist
In a home decorated in a style that is more modern than traditional, it's nice to be able to introduce something unexpected. A stone-clad fireplace stands as the main feature in this open plan living area [above] and, while it dominates the space, the light stone used for cladding makes it less obtrusive yet still a focal point.
In a barn converted into modern living spaces, this double-volume fireplace [below] adds a touch of warmth while grounding a comfortable seating area. The white brick fades into the background and doesn't demand too much attention.
Classic with a Dash of Chic
Installing a fireplace doesn't mean you have to give up your dream for a home dressed in classic elegance. Nowadays you can opt for almost any style if you decide to install a fireplace. Select a fireplace that complements your personal style and look at options for finishing this off with materials that complement the room decor or bring a dash of chic into the room.
A wood-burning fireplace on its own is an eye-catching feature on its own, but it's how you display the fireplace - what you do above or around - that makes all the difference to the look and feel that it gives to any room.
Particular to a Period in Time
In a period home, you might want to stay within a particular style when installing or renovating a fireplace. This could include adding a decorative fireplace surround consisting of detailed moulding or trim that ties in with a period or even decorating around an existing fireplace box to reflect a certain style.
South Africa has a rich history that goes back hundreds of years and there are still houses that offer willing buyers an opportunity to restore many of these old homes to their original glory. Tin ceilings, hardwood floors and architectural detailing abound, as does a vintage fireplace. While it isn't easy to come across antique fireplaces, there are still plenty of ways to add a fireplace that reflects a time gone by and still fit into a restoration or renovation.
Whether you opt for a traditional fireplace with chimney breast, tiled surround and decorative mantel, or you go with a contemporary fireplace design, the ambience of a wood fireplace is unbeatable. You don't have to worry about power outages or gas shortages - your home will stay warm through the winter months.
And while there will be those who say that a wood-burning fireplace doesn't offer the best heat efficiency, consider that a well-insulated home will ensure that you living spaces stay warm during winter and cool during summer.