‘Flame in a frame’

<p>When it comes to gas fireplaces, don’t think your only option is that traditional fireplace look. In fact, the whole notion of a fireplace is changing, and in exciting ways! The design team is just thrilled at some of the new options out there.</p>

 

Design of fireplaces no longer traditional


 

 

napoleon fireplaces photo

 

Napoleon’s Tureen fireplace is lined in stainless steel, and the flames emerge from a ceramic bowl filled with river rocks. This cool fireplace costs between $4,000 to $6,000, not including installation.





When it comes to gas fireplaces, don’t think your only option is that traditional fireplace look.





In fact, the whole notion of a fireplace is changing, and in exciting ways! The design team is just thrilled at some of the new options out there.





First of all, a fireplace doesn’t need to be a fireplace at all. Think of it as a flame in a frame. Some of the more exciting ideas that are emerging include a flame surrounded by a stainless steel or another surround. For example, look at the Barrie, Ont.-based Napoleon’s new Torch fireplace (www.napoleonfireplaces.com). This small fireplace can be bought for $1,500, and installation is in the area of $350.





These fireplaces sit in the wall, are about the size of a typical picture in a frame, and look like a picture or a flat-screen television image. There is no mantle, but you can get the warm and flickering effect of a fireplace. The great thing is they can be used in spaces not usually associated with a fireplace, such as a hall, a bathroom, or an eat-in kitchen. And you can put them in several rooms in your house, not just one.





Other new and exciting ideas for a hearth include flames emerging from different kinds of materials. For example, Napoleon manufactures a larger gas fireplace called the Tureen, in which flames emerge from a ceramic bowl filled with river rocks. The back of the “fireplace” is lined in stainless steel and the frame or surround is available in a number of different finishes.





No question about it, the Tureen looks spectacular. But you will pay for the privilege of owning such a cool fireplace. Pricing, not including installation, ranges from $4,000 to $6,000, depending on the type of surround you select. Installation generally ranges in the area of $450 to $700, depending on the complexity of venting.





Jumbled or chipped coloured glass and sand for a Zen-like effect are other materials that can show up in the hearth of the new-fashioned fireplace. In addition to stainless steel, the contemporary surround can be slate, marble, glass or ceramic tile.





Another exciting fireplace idea is the fire ribbon, which is a long, thin gas flame burning in a controlled way inside a low two-metre wide rectangular box. The box is set at eye level in the wall, and is minimalist in style. The look is urbane and stylish — it looks like a sinuous and dynamic sculpture, rather than a fireplace. The flames come through a metal vent, but what is around the vent can be changed, from river rock to basalt stones or sand.





Admittedly, this option is difficult in a traditional masonry fireplace. It is a choice only if you’re into new construction or are undergoing major renovations and are willing and able to spend the bucks for a ribbon — anywhere from $4,000 to $15,000, depending on size and materials (see Redding, Conn.-based www.sparkfires.comfor more information on the fire ribbon).





For a similar look on the Canadian front, see the wide-screen fireplace by Orangeville, Ont.’s Town and Country Fireplaces. This company carries many traditional gas fireplaces, but its more contemporary-looking offering is a stunning wide-screen fireplace that features a 1.5-metre run of flames emerging from river rocks and white sand, accented by a black or coffee-bean brown porcelain surround (townandcountryfireplaces.net).




busted@arrestingdesign.com





Tammy Schnurr and Jeffrey Fisher are hosts of Arresting Design on W Network. Tammy is an interior decorator. Jeffrey designs home furnishings and bedding through his company Jeffrey Fisher Home.