Imagine coming home after a long day of work, turning on some Norah Jones and curling up on the cosy couch with a hot cup of tea and a magazine. Now, imagine all this with a sensuous fireplace in front of you.
Nothing makes a room more warm and inviting than a beautiful fireplace with mesmerizing flames and vibrant colours. Whether it’s a wood-burning, gas or electric unit, a fireplace can not only be a heating solution — especially in the winter months — but it can also be the most decorative accent piece in your home.
Linear fireplaces are one of the latest trends in today’s urban market and make no muss and require no fuss and no burning of wood log — real or artificial. They are available in gas or electric models and consist of a simple row of burners across the middle of a fireplace.
“As opposed to having the regular square opening, linear fireplaces are more elongated with sort of the same ratio as a widescreen television,” says Warren Krushel of Hearth Fireplaces/Depot in Calgary. “They’re more contemporary in design and have beads or rocks instead of logs.”
Montigo is one manufacturer of linear fireplaces attracting much attention from consumers. The company, based in B.C., has been in the fireplace industry for more than 30 years and stretches across North America. Montigo’s line of linear fireplaces, the Contemporary Custom C-View Power Vent series includes single-sided, see-through, panorama, corner and peninsula models that are eye-catching and unique.
“This has really caught the attention of the younger generation, people with a little bit more of a flair for modern (styles), interior designers and architects,” notes Krushel.
While Montigo’s linear fireplaces are all gas-burning, not all residences are suited for this type of unit; which is why Hearth Fireplaces/Depot offers an electric fireplace by Classic Flame called the Zen Builders Box.
“Whether people go gas or electric usually depends on the availability of the gas service to the fireplace location,” says Krushel.
As electric fireplaces require no installation, chimneys or gas pipelines, they are convenient and uncomplicated especially for those who may live in a 20-storey high-rise or a smaller single-family home without the space for a traditional gas unit.
“You take it home, put it together like a piece of IKEA furniture, and plug it in,” Krushel says. Although the Zen Builders Box is one model that is designed for professional installation, it is still much easier to connect it to a home’s electrical system than run a gas line through the building.
For the most part, electric fireplaces are plug-and-play and work almost like a space heater; the heat spewed from the fireplace is artificial and is not actually produced from the flames.
As “contemporary” and “modern” seem to be the buzz words in the design world these days, Australian manufacturer, EcoSmart Fire, is keeping up with the trends and giving consumers what they want — aesthetically pleasing, but still functioning fireplaces. And with one glance at the fire products offered on their website, ecosmartfire.com, there is no doubt that these Aussis are trés chic. As the exclusive dealer of EcoSmart Fire in Alberta, Edmonton’s Le Belle Arti Furniture and Lighting is leading the way in design and modern living.
“People really want a clean look in their places,” says design consultant, Andrea Sendziak at Le Belle Arti. “I think they’re moving away from their typical boxy gas fireplaces and they want more of a trendy look.”
A most intriguing line from EcoSmart is their Designer Range series of fireplaces, which act as freestanding, portable pieces of furniture. Not only are there several shapes, styles and a variety of colours to suit any decor, but the fireplaces are also great heating solutions. Sendziak says she has noticed the stainless steel Oxygen model, which is defined by its sleek, simple lines and rectangular shape, as a favourite among her clients.
In addition to being the most tasteful decoration, EcoSmart also uses innovative technology to create environmentally friendly, flue less, open-concept fires that are fuelled by a renewable resource called Denatured Ethanol. It burns clean and bright and is composed of biological products, making it more eco-friendly.
– Edited by Metro Canada