How to Choose the Right Fireplace for your Home

How to Choose the Right Fireplace for your Home

The perfect addition to your home during the current Australian winter season is a fireplace. Fireplaces create a stylish focal point while adding character and sparkle to any room.

There are a number of exciting designs available today from freestanding wood fireplaces to minimalist insert fireplaces among many others. With the wide range of heating products available, it is understandable that many people can get overwhelmed when choosing the perfect one for their home.

Read on for practical tips on how you can select and get the most fitting fireplace today.

Selecting the Perfect Fireplace

There are several key factors to look at when choosing a fireplace. You first have to decide whether the fireplace will be your primary source of heating for your living room. Is it for aesthetic reasons and creating a charming atmosphere, or do you want one that can provide both?

Clearly defining what you need is an excellent first step in identifying the best fireplace for your home. You can also include things like budget and style preferences here to get a clearer idea of your ideal set up.

Deciding how you’ll fuel your fireplace or heater is also a significant consideration. Here is a breakdown of the features of using gas, electric, or wood fireplaces.

Wood fireplaces

Wood fireplaces are reasonably straightforward to use and maintain as they run on firewood. As the most conventional and oldest fireplace choice, people choose these fireplaces because they enjoy that authentic smell, look, and sound of burning timber as well as generally heating larger areas.

Pros

·       The atmosphere of a freestanding wood fireplace is unmatchable, with its welcoming aroma and sound of burning crackling logs

·       Wood Fires offer a way to stay warm, have light and cook if the power goes out during winter

·       These fireplaces work anytime provided you have kindling, wood, and a matchstick or firelighter

·       Wood can also be a reasonably cheap source of fuel.

Cons

·       Wood fireplaces require moving and storing wood, which means some extra work is necessary

·       Traditional open wood fireplaces aren’t very efficient, but slow combustion fireplaces can be very efficient potentially heating a whole home

Gas fireplaces

While people still treasure their wood-burning heat sources, many people today in Australia live busy lives. For such people with limited time to deal with firewood, a gas fireplace offers a hassle-free solution from zonal or multi room heating.

Pros

·       Gas fireplaces turn on instantly and can generate large amounts of heat.

·       They also offer more control over the heat production through additional features like remote controls and thermostats

·       Gas fireplaces have minimal maintenance needs as you don’t need to clean any ash, only an annual service

·       Gas fireplaces are efficient as well as decorative with some models even featuring accent lighting. Some models can also be used during a power outage like a wood heater.

Cons

·       Even though the ceramic logs used in gas fireplaces look much more realistic today than in the past, they can still lack that realistic effect of genuine fire since the logs never move.

·       You will need a gas line installed to the fireplace, which may require additional resources

Electric fireplaces

Electric fireplaces use electricity as the fuel source and project images of artificial flames. Even though they can generate some heat they do not come close to wood or gas fireplaces.

Pros

·       Electric fireplaces are ideal in tight areas where a gas or wood fireplaces could not be flued.

·       Installation is straight forward as it just involves plugging them into a power point

cons

·       They will not work during power outages

·       They provide very little heat and rely on electricity

·       The images of the fire are fake flames

The above information is a basic summary of three types of fireplaces, but it is hoped that it has helped you decide on the perfect fireplace to install in your home. Regardless of which type of fireplace you decide on, a fireplaces provides fantastic ambience and added value to any home.

The perfect addition to your home during the current Australian winter season is a fireplace. Fireplaces create a stylish focal point while adding character and sparkle to any room.

There are a number of exciting designs available today from freestanding wood fireplaces to minimalist insert fireplaces among many others. With the wide range of heating products available, it is understandable that many people can get overwhelmed when choosing the perfect one for their home.

Read on for practical tips on how you can select and get the most fitting fireplace today.



How to choose a fireplace to suit your home and personal style

Residential design has dramatically evolved over the past 150 years, but one element that remains is the romantic allure of a fireplace.

According to interior designers, between 80 and 95 per cent of their recent residential projects feature at least one fireplace, regardless of whether the home is a period renovation or new build.

Home owners today can enjoy the cosy and picturesque qualities of a fireplace without solely depending on this for warmth.

Even models that no longer serve this function provide a focal point that adds to a room’s visual interest, ambience and even facilitate a sense of nostalgia. Fireplaces are therefore no longer commonly installed in bedrooms, but serve as the centrepiece of modern living spaces.

Deciding on the most appropriate living room fireplace to suit your personal style and lifestyle can be overwhelming. To help simplify the process, most interior designers and architects advise the best place to start is by determining the existing design of your home.

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Hunters Hill House by Handelsmann + Khaw. Photo: Felix Forest

“For us, the architectural style of the home dictates the style of the fireplace,” says Tania Handelsmann, director of Handelsmann + Khaw.

“If it’s a period building, we will source traditional [original or replica] surrounds that are native to that period. For a contemporary structure, we will usually design a custom surround that is typically sculptural or minimal in style.”

The next factors to consider are the scale of the room and how the fireplace will operate. Depending on who will use the room, safety and convenience may inform the design.



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The White House designed by Robson Rak. 



“There is a big difference in upkeep, effort, heat, cleaning and quality between the different types. We always consider our clients’ needs, and in particular, their time constraints,” says Mardi Doherty, director of Doherty Design Studio.

For example, when recently designing two homes for the same client, Doherty chose to install a gas fireplace in their primary home and an open, wood-burning fireplace in the holiday house.

“They wanted a quick, easy heating solution for their city home and were very happy to spend time collecting and chopping wood for their weekender,” Doherty explains.



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Batavia South Yarra designed by Robson Rak. Photo: Shannon McGrath

A wood-burning fireplace will require more time and cleaning than a gas, ethanol or electric model.

Another element to think about is the placement of your fireplace, taking into account surrounding windows, doors, joinery, furniture and possibly a television. Some prefer for a fireplace to blend into an existing wall, while others see this as an opportunity to make a statement.

“We always try to ‘show off’ a fireplace and conceal the television,” Doherty says.



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Batavia South Yarra designed by Robson Rak. Photo: Shannon McGrath

“Aside from producing heat, they can also really enhance the architecture and interiors of a home.”

While it’s most common for a fireplace to be centrally located within a room, this sometimes isn’t possible when factoring in a television or other items such as artwork and bookshelves.

“Placement also depends on the use,” says Miriam Fanning, founding director and principal of Mim Design.

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Thornton Residence. Interior architecture by Doherty Design Studio. Photo: Derek Swalwell

“In many living rooms with televisions, we often place the fireplace off-centre so having a fire and watching television can happen simultaneously.”

Alternatively, a double-sided fireplace can serve as space divider within a large room, as was the case in Robson Rak’s recently completed Pavilion House.

“Not only did it act as the hero for both these spaces but also helped divide and define them,” says Chris Rak, principal interior architect at Robson Rak.



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MAH Residence designed by Mim Design. Photo: Peter Clarke

Don’t forget to determine where wood will be stored (if required) and the positioning of other shelving. Home owners also need to check with their local council for any restrictions that apply in their area.

Interior designers are currently favouring fireplaces that are larger in scale and more sculptural in form, incorporating authentic materials such as stone, steel and concrete. Where wall space is limited, a fireplace hanging from the ceiling can be a striking presence without overpowering a room.

Rak says the enduring appeal of fireplaces is due to the effect they have on bringing people together.

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MAH Residence designed by Mim Design. Photo: Peter Clarke

“The fireplace really does become the heart of the home and creates a sense of occasion and purpose even when there is none,” he says.

In our increasingly busy lives, a fireplace signals a place to relax and be present, either alone or in the company of others.





Sourced from: https://lopi.com.au/how-to-select-the-perfect-fireplace-for-your-home/