Ooh! There is a chill in the air and the leaves are turning crimson and gold.
A perfect time for a fire in the fireplace don't you think?
Do you have a fireplace for chilly nights?
In my book, every home needs a functioning fireplace, not just to decorate for the upcoming holiday season, but to use for the in between temperature changes of transitioning from an air conditioner to the furnace.
Or if you lose power on a cold day.
I was never so thankful for having fireplaces when we were without power for 5 days during the Hallowester of 2011 when an October snowstorm downed trees onto power lines in New Jersey. We used them everyday that week.
A faux fireplace just wouldn't have kept me warm enough when we lost power. But they come in handy for holiday decor and they are a great focal point for a room.
My home in Atlanta has 5 of them. I guess I am well prepared for a Hallowester in Atlanta or not. My fireplaces get used a lot because of the heat they kick out and the warm ambience of a glowing fire. We have 3 gas and 2 wood burning.
Fireplace options are either gas, wood burning or electric.
I prefer gas fireplaces for many reasons:
The heating energy-efficiency ratings are between 75 and 99 percent, depending on the type of appliance used, gas fireplaces are the winner in the heating category. They come in three types: log sets that sit in existing open fireplaces, inserts that can be installed in most masonry fireplaces, and complete new built-in fireplaces. Inserts and built-in gas fireplaces are the best heat producers, filling rooms with a mix of warm air and radiant heat.
Emissions. Air quality is another consideration. Wood-burning fireplaces create pollution indoors and out.
Ease of cleaning and low maintenance.The soot and ash that are by-products of wood-burning fireplaces require frequent cleaning
Easy peasy. Gas fireplaces trump wood-burning fireplaces in ease of operation, starting with the fuel source: Wood has to be stored and is bulky and dirty; a cord is four-feet tall, four-feet deep, and eight-feet wide. Gas is fed through a pipe and no storage is required. That said, if you don't have natural gas in your area, propane is the alternative gas and it requires a bulky tank for storage.
Fire-start with push-button ease if you have a gas fireplace—some even come with remotes (though, we admit, that seems a bit sterile). And they roar on until you turn them off.
On the other hand, wood burning fireplaces require wood stacking, lighting, and tending.
A ritual that's part of the whole experience or a nuisance? You decide.
But if you are a die hard "Love the smell of a wood burning fireplace" like my husband, you probably have a wood burning fireplace.
Please check out the EPA website for guidelines on wood burning and your health.
Are another option for clean air, low maintenance, and are very easy peasy .
Outdoor fireplaces are now part of the outdoor living spaces we are designing for our clients.
They can be any of the 3 options I mentioned above.
In fact, I am currently working with a client to add an outdoor living space with a fireplace.
What happens if you don't like the look of your current fireplace?
One of the most requested redesigns I receive from my clients today is to update their fireplace. They love the idea of having a fireplace, just not the look of it.
Below was a redbrick fireplace surround that my client had grown tired of.
We removed the brick and the mantel and replaced it with stacked slate. We also dropped the fireplace to the floor and removed the ledge. When we did that we also had to reroute the gas line to the floor too.
You have another option of just faux painting the red brick like I did for my son and his fiance. (Next post will cover the project.)
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Robin LaMonte is the acclaimed interior designer behind her company, Rooms Revamped Interior Design based in Atlanta, Ga.