Warm your heart and your home with a fireplace
Winter’s here and it’s a season of warmth and comfort. Indulging in your favourite foods, pulling on those fuzzy slippers, perhaps opening up a good bottle of red and settling in for a cosy evening by the flickering fire.
But wait, what’s that? You don’t have a fire? That’s not too surprising, up until only a few years ago most Queenslander’s never considered their Winters chill-worthy enough to include one in their homes. These days, times are very different. A fireplace is not just about providing a primary source of heat, it’s also about creating a sense of ambiance, indulgence… and even romance.
So if you think you just have to have one, incorporating your chosen unit in the early stages of design planning for your new home is the ideal time to plan your dream fireplace. But before you choose what type, style and the best place to put it, here are Stylemaster’s tips for creating a fabulous fireplace (or two) for your new home.
Consider your needs, lifestyle, space and budget. Wood, gas and electric are the most popular options but ethanol models are rapidly on the rise. Are you a ‘chop timber in the woods’ kind of family or would you prefer to instantaneously ignite via your smartphone? Here are some of the features and benefits for you to compare.
Wood burning fireplaces are the oldest as well as the most carbon neutral way of producing heat for your whole home. Chimneys are a must for wood fireplaces so you’ll need to factor the cost of cleaning and long term maintenance. Be prepared for the embers they occasionally spit, add safety screens and include a space in your design for storing logs as these will need to be continually sourced and restocked. But all this aside, nothing looks, smells and sounds quite as authentic and luxurious as the crackle of a wood burning fire.
Gas fireplaces now come with a host of different features at a range of price points. However generally speaking gas fireplaces are a quick, easy and affordable choice. The most common style of gas fireplace requires direct external venting so this needs to be considered when selecting a location. However, operating is near foolproof, you simply push a button to turn on and off. The look and feel of the fire is almost as good as the wood burning alternative, but gas fireplaces are generally rated better for long term performance.
With improved energy efficiency, flexibility and a wider range of styles available, it is easy to see why the sleek lines of the modern gas fireplaces marry well with the clean lines of contemporary homes. The beauty of modern gas fireplaces is further enhanced by the opportunity to clad the surrounding area or entire wall in your decorative material of choice. Timber, stone, tile and marble are all stunning options although it is important to research your model’s requirements for clearance to combustible materials as well any other safety considerations.
Electric fireplaces often get a bad rap as being too ‘fake’ or overly decorative and ‘furniture like’ without contributing a substantial enough source of heat, but this technology has certainly evolved with time. These days modern LED has become so advanced it can convincingly mimic flames, creating all the charm of a ‘real’ fire without the fuss or the flue.
Ethonol Fireplaces are low maintenance, energy efficient and easy to install. You can put them almost anywhere since they don’t require external venting. The flames are clean with no fume output and they are straightforward to turn on and off and also look fabulous when surrounded in decorative cladding materials. With a few different types available, you can select from a standard model that ignites using a long gas lighter or a new option Smart Burner that, like many high end gas or electric models, can be controlled using your smartphone.
Technology has improved these models in recent years to be not only beautiful, but safe as well. Many Ethonol Smart Burners now come with child lock, sleep timer, emergency extinguishing feature, CO2 sensors and shake sensors amongst other features. Ethonol fireplaces do require periodic refuelling so it is important to keep fuel stocks on hand and ensure refilling is done safely using a funnel.
So with the different models of fireplaces considered, all that’s left to do is choose a style. Whether you opt for suspended, rotating, freestanding, double sided, wall mounted or a corner unit it is important to ensure that the scale of unit you select matches the heat you require to warm your space. A basic rule of thumb is to calculate the cubic volume of the room and match it with the kilowatt output of the model of fire. Outdoor entertaining areas, living rooms, master suites and even luxuriously appointed ensuite bathrooms all make ideal locations for fireplaces.
Looking for one last reason to ‘need’ a fireplace?
Close your eyes and imagine, you’ve come home from a hard day’s work, it’s the middle of winter and light music is playing as you watch the fireplace crackle. All you have to do is relax.
It’s something you may not have originally considered on your building wish list, but just think what a fireplace adds to the experience of your beautiful new home.
To discuss adding a fireplace to your new home, speak with your friendly Stylemaster new home consultant about clever options and ideas or visit a display home this weekend for more inspiration.