Give any room an instant update with a fireplace makeover. Once upon a time, the fireplace served as a heat source and the main cooking spot but over time, the fireplace became more decorative, if still useful. Two of the most popular fireplace trends to emerge have been glass enclosed, gas burning fireboxes that are both efficient and esthetically pleasing. With the rise in heating costs, wood burning fireplaces and stoves are back in demand as well.
The new gas burning fireplaces fit well in more contemporary decor schemes. We recently added one to a reconfigured living space, capitalizing on the horizontal lines of the new mantel and synthetic coals. Designs run the gamut and can be retrofit into existing fireplaces. Although they do require ventilation, several have direct vent systems that eliminate the need for a traditional chimney so they can be used in condominiums, bedrooms or kitchens. Another option are fireboxes, grates and outdoor pits that burn bioethanol fuel.
Changing existing fireplace surrounds is another trend we’re seeing. Refacing or painting the brick of older fireplaces from the 1960s and 1970s brings the space up to date. We recently re-tiled and created a new mantel for one family’s fireplace and covered over the old brick with a mozaic of glass tiles on another. Replacing a mantel or hearth with a different material can breath new life into an old fireplace.