Since the dawn of time man and fire have been inseparable. The two are a match made in prehistoric heaven and a fireplace is the hottest design trend you need in your house. With winter approaching fast, our inherent need for fire is building.
These indoor fireplace ideas will knock your socks off and warm them all at the same time.
There’s nothing like a wood-burning fireplace. The crackling sounds and nostalgia-inducing smells are so good you’ll want to roll naked on a sheepskin rug. Just make sure it’s your own place and not your mother-in-law’s.
Pros: Wood-burners are rustic and authentic. The sound and smell are unbeatable. The flames are mesmerising and it’s the perfect vantage point for some wintertime lovin’. Wood fireplaces also tend to be cost effective when operated properly. Touted as providing 85% efficiency, they will warm most of your house with minimal wastage.
Cons: Despite the aforementioned efficiency of 85%, wood-burners are not as economically fruitful as electric or gas alternatives. Maintenance is also a drawback and cleaning can be a bitch.
You’ll have to don your chimney-sweep hat to remove soot and grit every couple of weeks to avoid the dreaded clog. Not only is a clogged chimney a major pain, it also presents a significant fire hazard (ironic, we know) due to a dangerous build-up of flammable creosote.
Don’t forget you will also need to set aside a dry place to store cumbersome logs.
That said, we’re drooling over the Australian-made Kemlan range from Jetmaster. We imagine cracking open a cold one with Ned Kelly and his gang in front of a Quadra Fire Voyageur Grand.
Pellets As Wood Substitute
Working in the same fashion as traditional wood, pellets are a popular alternative. Pellets are generally constructed out of corn or sawdust.
Pros: A pellet burner offers similar sights, sounds and smells you associate with traditional wooden options without the mess and maintenance. They are easier to clean and produce less build-up and debris, while still providing ideal conditions for roasting marshmallows.
Cons: Maintenance is definitely more manageable than wood fireplaces, but they do require more cleaning time than gas and electric burners. As you’d expect, pellets fail to burn as effectively than wood, leading to a lower efficiency rating and higher out-of-pocket expenses.
For eco-warriors, or those who abhor cleaning, an electric fireplace is the way to go.
Pros: No pollution, no fumes, no toxic build-up. What more could you ask for in a fireplace? How about energy efficiency out the whazoo, quick and easy installation, and a sleek appearance? Tick, tick, tick!
Cons: If you want the aesthetic of a traditional fireplace, this is not the option for you. Heating coils eliminate flames, and you won’t be able to roast a nut let alone a marshmallow. Sure, some produce faux flames, but, like cyber sex or low-fat milk, it’s just not the same as the real thing.
Like any big electrical appliance, these types of fireplaces will need the occasional service to keep up the primo results.
Modern Flames have a number of sleek and reliable options. Consider the recessed Ambiance CLX design from Modern Flames.
Looking for a happy medium between electric and wood-burning fireplaces? Look no further than a natural gas indoor fireplace.
Pros: Real flames! Natural gas creates snaking flames akin to wooden options, and some even use fake wood to give the appearance of authenticity. Clean up is almost non-existent without soot and dirt clogging the apparatus.
Additionally, they are believed to be the safest and most energy-efficient of all indoor fireplaces.
Cons: There isn’t a lot to hate about natural gas fireplaces. They’ll need to odd service, and produce some fumes, but not of the pollutant variety (i.e. wood and pellets).
For modern gas designs, check out the range from Fire by Escea from New Zealand. Our favourite? The High Output Frameless model.