Saturday, September 8, 2007
Modern Design Options for Fireplaces
Modern design is clean, sparse, and often geometric and simple. While critics have charged that this style is “cold,” you can lend some literal—and figurative—warmth to a modern home with a well-designed fireplace. This article explores many popular options for modern fireplaces including some easy, simple remodeling ideas for “modernizing” your existing fireplace.
It’s a Gas!
Modern fireplaces can be radically different from the traditional hearth with a brick surround and a wooden mantle. An increasingly popular component of modern fireplaces are gas logs. Cement or ceramic “logs” radiate heat from clean, efficient propane or natural gas flames. You get the warmth and visual appeal of a wood fire without the dirt, hassle, and expense of woodpiles. This makes them the ideal choice for a condo or apartment. You can choose the style of gas log and the venting option that works for your home.
Plasma (Flatscreen) TVs Mounted above the Fireplace
Since the fireplace is often the focal point of a room, many people choose to mount their flatscreen television above the fireplace. Naturally, this leads to concerns about damaging the expensive equipment or discoloring the screen or surrounding plastic. This article from the Plasma TV Buying Guide website provides some easy guidelines to determine if you can safely mount a plasma TV above a working fireplace or on a mantle.
Many retail outlets offer licensed and bonded installation services for mounting flatscreen televisions. If you choose to do the work yourself, be sure you have the tools and the expertise necessary—the job can be complicated and, if you aren’t careful, could even be a fire hazard.
Paint Over Ugly Fireplace Brick
Ideally, you would be able to design every aspect of your modern home, including a custom-designed fireplace to fit your living area. But in reality, budget constraints might make remodeling an existing fireplace a more practical choice.
If you are trying to come up with an inexpensive remodel to bring the existing, ugly brick fireplace more in line with the modern look of your home, you might want to consider painting the brick. A painted brick fireplace offers a clean, updated look, and painting with the right technique can provide the look and feel of real brick. Try a pre-assembled fireplace paint kit to get all the tools and paint you need as well as instructions for painting brick with the correct technique—all at a fraction of the price of putting in a new fireplace.
Fireplace Doors, Mantels, and Accessories
Traditional components of a fireplace—glass doors, mantels, and fireplace accessories—are not necessarily out of place in a Modern home. For example, a rustic log fireplace mantel would fit right in with “Modern Primitive” design. And today’s manufacturers offer a wide variety of fireplace accessories and glass doors to match any décor.