Design Dilemma: Fire Without A Working Fireplace | Home Design Find

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Design Dilemma: Fire Without A Working Fireplace

This is the time of year when those of us who are lucky enough to have a fireplace settle in for a long, cozy winter. The best thing about a fireplace is, well of course, the warmth. And the next best thing? A fireplace provides an instant focal point to any room. It’s a focal point with only pleasant associations … like the holidays, family and friends, protection and warmth, roasted chestnuts, campfire s’mores.

So what happens when you don’t have a working fireplace?

Have we got ideas.

For those who have only a decorative fireplace, there’s no need to give up actual fire and heat. A simple but effective way to bring real fire to a decorative fireplace is to install a ” faux fire” that can be every bit as primevally satisfying as a real honest-to-goodness fire.  The secret: candles. Go for large pillar candles of all sizes, as pictured below, and allow them to become drippy and crusty to best rustic effect.

sunset fireplace candles l rect540 how to tips advice

Or perhaps you don’t want to deal with messy wax in your decorative fireplace. Another option: put a nice clean TV in your fireplace niche and slip in one of the very popular “fireplace” DVDs. Yeah, we know. It’s not quite the same as a real fire. Still, we’ve seen video fires in action, and they can actually lend a surprising sense of fireplace serenity to a room, depending on the quality of the video you choose. (Look for videos that also provide the snap, pop and crack of a real fire.)  Another advantage to this option is that it solves the “where to put the TV” dilemma and prevents the black hole of a TV screen from swallowing up a room.

DOmino fireplace tv  rect540 how to tips advice

For those willing to spend a little bit more than the price of a DVD, here’s another idea: the fireplace coffee table. Planika, a Polish company, specializes in all sorts of alternative fireplaces, including the option, below, of just putting your fire right inside the coffee table. Planika also makes wall-mounted fireplaces and portable fireplaces. All Planika fireplaces use ethanol-based “Fanola” fuel and are lit with a special lighter. There’s no need for a chimney,  ash removal, or special permissions unless your local regulations require it. Prices begin around $2600 and go rapidly upwards from there. Similar ethanol-based fireplaces are built by the French company Brisach, the Italian company Antonio Lupi, and BioFireplace, among others.

PlanikaCool Fireplaces how to tips advice

Portable Fireplaces how to tips advice

Coffee Table Fireplace2 how to tips advice

Images: Sunset Magazine, Domino Magazine, Planika.

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