Flaunt your own fireplace

Flaunt your own fireplace

But, aren’t fireplaces passé? Traditionally, fireplaces have provided warmth and hosted family get-togethers. The modern fireplace’s role is, however, aesthetic rather than utilitarian. This is where fake fireplaces step in!

Fake fireplaces (gas/electric/gel fireplaces) come in a mindblowing range of styles to suit every budget. Available in a variety of ‘surrounds’ (the wood, metal, marble enclosing the firebox), these alternatives to wood-burning fireplaces are less expensive and easier to install. Their location is flexible too. Flaunting glowing, ceramic logs along with real, gas-fuelled flames, gas fireplaces most closely resemble the look and feel of a conventional fireplace. Available in direct-vent and vent-less versions, they offer optional features like remote control, thermostat control, heatless setting and safety glass.

Electric fireplaces are less expensive and more portable than gas fireplaces.
Low-maintenance and environment-friendly, they gel with any room-decor. Compact design renders them feasible for even apartments, condos or trailers. Some electric fireplaces simulate the appearance of a fire minus the heat for warmer weather. Electric fireplaces styled as corner units economise space-utilisation. Models with enhancements like book-shelves, cabinets, home-entertainment centres are multi-functional. Some models replicate authentic flames crackling with digital soundtracks and their appearance with LED lighting. Hand-carved glowing logs, glass doors, dimmer-control and thermostat are additional accessories. However, electric fireplaces pose the same potential for hazards as any electric device. Consult an electrician and determine if the electrical outlets are of adequate potency for your fireplace. Once installed, don’t place inflammable objects in its proximity. Never leave an electric fireplace unattended. Gel fireplaces are portable, vent-less fireplaces fuelled by small canisters of alcohol gel placed behind artificial logs after being lit. They don’t require chimneys or other ventilation systems and don’t spawn indoor pollution. Installation is easy as no electrical-outlet or gas-line is required. Artificial fireplaces are available in many designs. First, decide upon the material. Remember, wood lends too rustic a touch, making it stand out awkwardly amidst your room’s modern decor. Overkill could make marble, granite and stone impart too Victorian a look. Metal lends itself to any desired shape. The dark colour also blends well with any decor.

The fireplace design should be conspicuous while complementing the room’s architectural style. Excellent craftsmanship and use of latest materials and technology heighten their beauty. Designs range from geometric shapes to natural forms and the human face. Today, fireplace designs are no more confined to the prosaic rectangular shape. Triangular, pyramidal, cubic and octagonal shapes are being experimented with. Sensuous curved lines are another innovation. Swarovski crystals, coloured-glass crystals and polished stainless steel are employed for embellishment.

The fireplace mantel can be decorated with artificial flowers, colourful candles, family photographs, classy mirrors, antique clocks, terracotta/sandalwood artefacts, earthenware, brassware, bamboo baskets, fruit bowls and knickknacks. But, don’t clutter the mantelpiece with too many objects.