Whether you are thinking about doing a remodel or makeover of your existing home, or you are still in the building process for your new home, it is a good idea to consider what fireplace style you want. With a new home, this is especially important, because you can actually work with your home builder, or even your architect, to more easily incorporate your fireplace into the design.
Now, if you are getting the help of an interior designer, your interior design and home decor choices are a bit easier. However, this isn’t quite necessary. In the article that follows, we are going to help you out with plenty of design ideas for a contemporary fireplace. We will help you choose the right fuel type for your fireplace, and also help with plenty of fireplace design ideas that make the fireplace look like an integral part of the room, rather than a standalone feature. Let’s begin.
There is quite a lot of nostalgia that comes with wood fireplaces. The beautiful glow of the flames. The sounds of the crackling logs. The warmth and sense of community. Unfortunately, there are quite a few disadvantages that come with wood fireplaces as well. These disadvantages make them far from the best choice for your home fireplace, especially when another type of fireplace can give you all of those advantages without the downsides associated with wood fireplaces. Below are the most common fireplace types found in homes that burn wood:
● Open Hearth – These are the most common type of wood-burning fireplace. They have an opening to build a fire and it is connected to the chimney ventilation above it.
● Enclosed – The only major difference between these and open hearth is they are protected from exposure to the room. Heat is put out through vents, but the flames are behind glass doors for added safety and a slight efficiency boost.
● Enclosed Insert – These transform open hearth fireplaces into their enclosed counterparts.
● Wood-Burning Stove – These are the metal stoves that burn wood you might find in a log cabin. They warm the room and can be used for cooking.
● Fire Pit – This is a common outdoor fireplace that comes in different fuel types. Since these are primarily for outdoor use, they are really just a simple novelty.
The sad reality is that wood fireplaces come with a long list of problems and safety concerns. To scratch the surface, here is just a few of the problems you will face with wood fireplaces:
● Fire Safety – Soot build up and exposed flames add to the fire risk.
● Harmful Emissions – Smoke and carbon monoxide can both be fatal.
● Hassle To Use – Building fires and maintaining the fireplace is a part time job.
● Heat Loss Problem – Large amounts of heat escape through the chimney.
● Smell – A smoky smell is always lingering.
● Stains – Light colored walls and furniture will yellow and stain over time.
● TV Damage – TVs will cease to work if mounted above wood fireplaces.
● Wood Storage – Plenty of storage space is necessary.
● Expensive To Build – It is a huge construction project for a new or existing home.
So, if wood fireplaces are a bad choice for modern homes, what is a good choice? Some people are looking at gas alternatives instead of wood fireplaces. They do have some strengths compared to wood fireplaces, but they also have quite a few of their own weaknesses. First, it is important to know that gas fireplaces tend to come in two basic types:
● Direct Vented – Some gas fireplaces give off too many harmful emissions and require ventilation.
● Ventless – Gas fireplaces that produce minimal harmful emissions can be ventless types.
With these two basic types, there are some very specific issues that arise when using gas fireplaces. It is unfortunate that so many people fail to realize these common issues until it is too late. Luckily, we’re here to point them out so that you can properly make an informed decision. Here is what to expect with gas fireplaces in your home:
● Flame Is Exposed – An exposed flame still adds a fire risk.
● Carbon Monoxide – Fatal carbon monoxide poisoning is still a concern.
● Ugly Flame Color – Dull orange and yellow colors or bright neon blue is all you can expect.
● Weak Flame – Flames are simple streams with little to no flickering.
● Costly Installation – Professional will need to install them, gas lines, and possibly ventilation.
For every disadvantage that wood and gas fireplaces present, electric fireplaces actually have several benefits and advantages to make up for it. It is for this reason, electric fireplaces, especially when quality brands are chosen, are easily the better choice for your home fireplace needs. While electric fireplaces have quite a few benefits over wood and gas, here are just the most common differences that you will notice with them:
● No Added Fire Risk – Since no burning is present, neither is an added fire safety concern.
● No Harmful Emissions – Electric fireplaces produce no smoke or carbon dioxide.
● No Staining or Smells – Without smoke, you are free from stains or smells they cause.
● Using it is Easy – Once the fireplace is on and temperature is set, you can ignore it completely.
● Easy Installing – All that is required for installation is a nearby standard electrical outlet.
● Any Room – Since electric fireplaces have no ventilation needs, it makes them easy to place in any room of your house. You can put one in the master bedroom, family room, dining room, and more. By adding one to your master bedroom, if you leave the door closed at night, you can save a lot on your heating bill since you are heating a much smaller space all night.
● TV Safe – Mounting a TV above electric fireplaces is a safe and secure way to save space.
● Heat Efficiency – Between infrared coils and no ventilation for heat to escape, they are very efficient.
● Supplemental Zone Heating – These zone heating strategies allow even large homes to be warmed with minimal heating bills.
● Remote Control – You can control your fireplace without the need to even get up from the couch.
● Flame Effect Ambiance – With high end electric fireplaces, everything great about traditional fireplaces is expertly simulated.
Even if you understand why electric fireplaces are the proper investment for a home, you now have the new problem of choosing what kind of electric fireplace. The truth is, there are quite a lot of types for different situations. While most are useful under the right circumstances, some you need to be aware of potential issues when purchasing. Other types, you may want to just completely avoid. This list shows the main white electric fireplace types available for your home:
● Mantel With Electric Fireplace– For people that truly want an authentic, classic looking fireplace, they would go with the flat wall mantel package fireplace. These are a fireplace and mantel that come together as one unit. Although, you do need to connect them during installation. They come separate so manufacturers can easily offer several options.
● Corner Fireplace – Functionally speaking, these are exactly the same as the flat wall mantel package types. Of course, these are specifically designed so that they fit perfectly into the corner rather than against a flat wall.
● Tv Stand With Fireplace – Interested in having a fireplace built into a TV stand or entertainment center? That’s what these units are for. Of course, you need to be careful when purchasing here. It is common for manufacturers to actually cut some important corners on the fireplace performance itself. This often results in a fireplace that just isn’t up to people’s standards. Be sure to check the fireplace visuals and performance thoroughly before purchasing.
● Electric TV Stand Fireplace – The corner version of a typical TV stand fireplace. Just like the standard TV stand fireplace types, you need to be careful when purchasing these, as they will have similar problems and issues. If you only want something to put a TV on and you don’t actually need shelving or cabinets, consider a standard electric corner fireplace. They usually have much better performance and visual components.
● Wall Mount Fireplace – These can be standard fireplace size, or a much wider linear fireplace. These are mounted onto the wall, or sometimes built into a wall recession so it sits flush. Fireplace wall mounted units are secured to studs within the wall with special mounting brackets.
● Electric Fireplace – These are the most versatile of all electric fireplaces. You can convert your existing wood fireplaces into electric. Or, you can use one of these with a third party mantel you’ve purchased. Lastly, you can use these for your own custom build. This includes installing into recessed walls, or even building your own mantel from scratch. These units are perfect for a wide range of remodeling projects.
● Freestanding Fireplace Heater – A freestanding unit is essentially just a standard space heater with some added fireplace aesthetics. Due to the limited size of the item, they usually perform quite poorly and the fireplace aesthetics are less than desirable. Anyone serious about a fireplace should skip these completely and choose a mantel package, corner unit, or something similar.
● Electric Stove – Although it sounds like your standard kitchen stove, these are actually a bit different. Electric fireplace stoves are the cabin in the woods style wood stove. Typically, you won’t find these in homes with a modern design to them as they look quite out of place.
Whether you want the full size modern electric fireplaces that come with a fireplace surround, or you just want to build your own custom design with a fireplace insert, all of the ideas in this section are doable.
One of the first things you need to consider is your home’s personal aesthetic style. This is going to dictate a lot of your choices. You want to make sure your fireplace and the surrounding design elements fit the style of the rest of your home.
For starters, do you want something minimalist? A beautiful white fireplace mantel to match surrounding white walls will go a long way here. Are you looking for something more luxurious? Consider a beautiful marble fireplace that matches your chandelier. If a marble fireplace is a little out of your price range, a white oak wood mantel is also a great choice for your living room design. For a more natural look, you can try a stone fireplace or even a traditional brick fireplace look.
There are many other directions you can go. You can focus on a Scandinavian aesthetic with clean lines. You can add a textural look to the wall with a nice art deco wallpaper. A tile fireplace can be done with a large variety of different tiles. This can be great to add some trendy decor ideas to even a plain stainless steel metal fireplace or a concrete fireplace. Do you love to read? Consider the coziness of a bookshelf built into the wall on either side of the fireplace. Doing this solidifies the entire design and integrates it into your home compared to a standalone bookcase placed against the wall.
One of the greatest things about electric fireplaces is just how easy they are to install. Whether you get a flat wall mantel package or an electric insert to customize your mantel, there is a lot that can be done yourself.
If you are somebody that is already a bit crafty and good with your hands, there is no doubt you were already planning to do many of these projects yourself. Of course, even if someone is new to home improvement projects, it is still quite easy to get started. Installing a flat wall mantel package is quite easy. You place it on the floor against the wall. Then, you just attach the accompanying mantel to it. In many cases, you may also want to secure it to the wall to minimize the chance of it tipping over. Beyond that, everything else is about decorating.
Are you using an insert with a third party mantel? The process is much the same. The only real difference is that you want to make sure the dimensions fit each other before purchasing. Of course, you may also be building your own mantel. This is where the fun begins. You can find plenty of tutorials online regarding woodworking and building a mantel yourself. It is possible to build everything without the need for power tools. Hand tools work well in most situations. Of course, power tools will make the job a little easier and quicker to finish.
Are you installing a fireplace into a recessed wall? This is a bit more involved than a simpler fireplace installation. However, for many people, it is still completely doable without professional help. As long as you follow proper safety precautions, and make sure everything is properly secured, it isn’t that difficult.
Even with the more extreme examples of DIY installations, you can usually just get by with the help of a friend if any heavy lifting is necessary. With all of the websites that have full tutorials, as well as countless YouTube demonstration videos, there are very few projects you will feel lost on when it comes to electric fireplaces and their features.
One of the easiest things to do is simply use Google to find websites or to use Google image search. You can keep it very general by searching for something like “fireplace ideas” or “fireplace interior design.” Of course, if you already know the type of style you will be going with or the type of fireplace, you can get more specific with your search. If you know you want a wall mounted fireplace with a modern aesthetic, use those keywords in your search terms.
Google isn’t the only thing to try. First, searching hashtags on Instagram is another great place of inspiration. Similar to Google, you can get as broad as or specific with your hashtag searches as you need to. Instagram can offer additional hashtag suggestions that might further point you in the right direction. You can also find specific accounts to follow this way that will give you endless inspiration for your fireplace and other living room decorations.
Another great resource is Pinterest. Pinterest is a social media platform completely built around sharing things exactly like this. While there is a wide variety of topics, things revolving around home decor are incredibly popular on Pinterest. You can easily find tons of examples of fireplaces, fireplace decorations, and more. Additionally, there are tons of do it yourself tutorials included on Pinterest. Some of these do it yourself tutorials can help you customize fireplace decorations so that you have something that is unique to just your home.
Inspiration can come from many places. It doesn’t have to be straightforward pictures. Inspiration can also come through in how a book, film, or even song makes you feel. Of course, the real challenge is then interpreting that feeling into a visual representation. Color, shape, line, and detail will all play an integral role in the overall feel of your fireplace designs.
Here is the unfortunate truth about electric fireplaces. If you buy generic, you will have a bad time. You may find them with low prices, but they often end up costing a lot more in the long run.
To begin with, the heating power and efficiency usually just isn’t up to standard. This means you are going to be running your fireplace at maximum capacity, and the room may never reach the desired temperature. This alone is going to cost you a lot more on your heating bills.
Visual flame effects are severely lacking in generic brand electric fireplaces. At best they are a flat, 2D screen with LED flames. At worst, they are simple mechanical devices that spin lights behind color panels. This tackiness makes them completely not worth it. It is rare for someone to install a fireplace like this in their home and not eventually hate how cheap the visual effects look in the long run.
With generic brand electric fireplaces, there are so many issues regarding build quality. If it comes with a mantel, it is rarely real, quality wood. It’s usually just a synthetic surround that chips, breaks, or otherwise falls apart after only a year or two.
As a whole, generic brand electric fireplaces tend to need repairs and replacements quite quickly compared to luxury brands of electric fireplaces. This can be because you aren’t happy with the performance or look, or just because it stopped working at all.
Many homeowners are starting to realize that it is much wiser to invest in high end brands of electric fireplaces. While the upfront cost may seem higher, it will actually save you money in the long run. This is due to better performance and efficiency, lasting longer with more reliability, and genuinely looking more pleasing to the eye.
For people that are truly looking for a brand of electric fireplaces that does it all, MagikFlame is what you should be focused on. Not only is MagikFlame the fireplace with the most realistically simulated fire effects, but it exudes quality in every other way as well. Below is a list of everything you will have the pleasure of enjoying if you choose to purchase a MagikFlame fireplace:
● Ultra Realistic 3D Fire Effects – Inside of a MagikFlame firebox is a glowing ember bed with a physical log set on top of it. When you turn on your MagikFlame fireplace, you will see beautiful, ultrarealistic fire effects 3D projected directly onto the log set. With holographic flame effects like these, many guests won’t even notice that your fireplace is electric. It is easy to mistake it for the real thing. Of course, you aren’t limited to just a single fire effect style. There are 30 different styles that you can choose to go with.
● Crackling Log Sounds – Stunning visuals of the holographic flame effects brings a lot to the table. Adding auditory enhancements adds a completely new layer of depth and atmosphere. As the flames can be seen dancing and flickering within the fireplace, you can hear the sounds of crackling logs. While this is already quite relaxing, there are also nature sounds that can be proud for even more relaxation.
● 5,200 BTU Heater – Infrared quartz heating coils allow the heater inside of MagikFlame fireplaces to put out an impressive 5,200 BTUs of heat. This amount of heat is capable of warming a home of up to 1,000 square feet with ease. Infrared quartz is also known for using a minimal amount of energy when heating an area. The 5,200 BTU heater is enough to keep apartments, condos, and both small and medium houses warm and cozy. For people that have exceptionally large homes, there are also supplemental zone heating options. With multiple MagikFlame fireplaces in zones, you can warm the largest of homes and still keep a relatively low heating bill.
● Smartphone App – The inclusion of an exclusive, easy to use smartphone app is at your disposal with MagikFlame fireplaces. Instead of a regular remote that will get lost in the pile on your side table, the MagikFlame app allows you to control your fireplace with ease. It can be used with smartphones or tablet devices. With the app, you can control flame effect style, audio effects, temperature, as well as simply turn your fireplace on or off from anywhere within your home. Line of sight isn’t even necessary. Is it a particularly cold morning? Turn your living room fireplace on from the comfort of your bed. Your home will begin feeling warm by the time you get ready and step out of your bedroom.
MagikFlame has a lot more to offer as well. If you are interested in MagikFlame products, the company, and more, please give a look to these additional resources:
● MagikFlame Story: With the MagikFlame story, you can find out how this company and their amazing fireplace technology got their start.
● MagikFlame Reviews: Read these powerful reviews and testimonials directly from real customers. See what they have to say about their experience with MagikFlame fireplaces.
● Best Electric Fireplace Buying 2021: Are you interested in learning more about electric fireplaces and how they work? This general buying guide can help you with more of your in depth questions regarding electric fireplaces.
● How MagikFlame Is Built: MagikFlame fireplaces are built with quality and care. This breakdown will show you exactly why that is.
● Payment Plans and Financing: For people eager to purchase their first MagikFlame fireplace, they will find the process effortless due to the simple financing options.
● MagikFlame Warranty: With a great, full warranty, there is nothing holding people back from investing in
a MagikFlame fireplace as soon as possible.