Melting snow and birds chirping in the morning means spring is around the corner. Until the flowers bud and I can once again breathe in the smell of fresh cut grass outdoors, I’m happy to remain indoors keeping warm by the fire.
In our last home, we didn’t have a fireplace so every year I would long for a mantle to decorate around the holidays and yearn for the crackling of a fireplace throughout winter. The fireplace channel played on our TV just for the ambiance. Now, even with a builder-grade gas fireplace insert, there are so many options available that make this designer girl long for an upgrade yet again.
In past and current projects, we’ve used linear, see-thru and even double and three-sided units with crystals, river rocks, or driftwood log inserts depending on the style of the home. In condos where we wouldn’t be able to install gas units, we’ve installed units which use a combination of water vapour and lighting to give the life-like illusion of flames and smoke, yet perfectly safe with no emissions and a cool flame. Some of my favourite materials to consider when finishing around your fireplace are stone materials like marble or large format porcelain tiles like Laminam slabs available through Stone Tile (available in 1620 x 3240mm). This new Laminam product offers a selection of stylish finishes ranging from metal to wood and natural-look marble to offer a sophisticated esthetic to the space.
As a designer, we push the limits of what’s possible, getting our clients the biggest bang for their buck all while abiding by building codes and ensuring the health and safety of our end users. Endlessly in search of the next big thing, we get excited about new technological advances being made in design staples like the fireplace. The latest must see and have product is from a company named Valor offering radiant gas fireplaces. They use a unique hidden ducting system that draws heat up and recirculates the heat in the room allowing the use of combustible materials closer than ever to the unit. This means that the walls around the fireplace are kept cooler so there’s less worry now about surface materials and things like artwork, or your TV melting. In edition it burns less gas and provides additional savings to your overall home heating costs throughout the year.
This unit is also fully functional without the use of electricity, and the installation of a radiant gas fireplace would keep your family warm and safe. With the plethora of design options existing today have me re-thinking the possibilities of the fireplace as now an art feature as well as a functional heating unit and a place to roast chestnuts.
Tip- It’s important you hire and work with a professional installer like Kastle Fireplaces to provide you with the technical product information to ensure you have the right size of unit for your overall space.
About the Author
Cynthia Soda is Owner, Principal Interior Designer of Soda Pop Design Inc., a multi-disciplinary interior design firm providing complete custom renovation and design services for residential and commercial clients throughout the GTA. Soda Pop Design Inc focuses on merging the client’s lifestyle, personality and architecture to create customized liveable luxury. www.sodapopdesign.ca, instagram: @csodapop, twitter: @sodapopdesign