It is fall. The air is cooler, and the days are getting shorter. It is the perfect fireplace season.
The Magic Flame
Early Saturday morning, I am seated next to our outdoor fireplace, drinking my first cup of coffee, and waiting for the sun to rise. Of course, a fireplace brings warmth to a chilly morning, but it does so much more. The timeless quality of the light coming from the fire is magical as it adds a warm ever-changing glow to my surroundings. The flickering flame seems to be alive as it twists and turns and changes shape. Like flowing water, the flame is never the same shape twice. What an amazing way to start my day.
Fireplaces in Houses
Fireplaces have long been a tradition in our houses. Initially, they provided most of the heat in our homes and large estates had fireplaces in all the main rooms. Of course, those large estates also had help stocking and cleaning out the fireplaces. We no longer need fireplaces to heat our entire home, but they are still sought after for that magic quality of warmth and light.
Changing Fuel Source
Wood used to be the primary source of fuel for our fireplaces. Indeed, some today prefer a wood burning fire because of the smell. But with a wood burning fireplace comes with a lot of negatives. First there’s the smoke. They are constantly in need of more wood to keep the fire going and clean up afterwards. The introduction of gas – whether propane of natural gas – has become the de facto low maintenance alternative to wood. Many gas fireplaces come with a push to start and stop button making starting a fire quick and easy. Now that it is no longer a chore to build a fire, many homeowners find themselves using their fireplaces more often!
Light without Heat
Alcohol is also used for fireplaces. These fireplaces don’t give off the same amount of heat as a gas fireplace. This is perfect for adding the ambiance of a fire without the heat. One of my favorite restaurants in Jacksonville has used this fact brilliantly – it has a long, linear fireplace casting its magic glow throughout the dining room. Instead of putting this fireplace on the floor – this one is elevated 4’ off the floor making it the perfect height to be seen by all the diners.
Fireplace as a Symbol of Home
Many hotels have recognized the powerful connotation of home that fireplaces give. Naturally, hotels want to make you feel at home. This one is four sided and came be seen throughout the entire lobby. It is massive, making you feel like you’ve arrived at a historic national park lodge.
The firepit has also transformed outdoor living into a fall time gathering place. Perfect for roasting marshmallows and making smores. We have a wood burning firepit which does produce smoke making chair placement and wind direction critical. I would highly recommend using gas.
Housing has long moved past needing to burn wood to heat a home, but nothing brings people together quite like the warm glow and comfort of a flickering fire. What better way to welcome family and friends – or potential home buyers?
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This post was written by Housing Design Matters