Fireplaces and hearths

PUBLISHED: 14:38 14 January 2010 | UPDATED: 14:56 20 February 2013

Curl up in front of the fire as the nights draw in

Curl up in front of the fire as the nights draw in

What could be better than curling up in front of the fire in the winter months

NOTHING makes a room feel comfortable and homely like an open fireplace. In most houses it is the lounge where the family gathers each evening to relax and chat, and what better way to do it than around a warm, welcoming hearth. A fireplace can enhance the atmosphere in a room but the aesthetics can be improved dramatically too with a well-chosen stylish design that suits your dcor.
Interior trends at the moment point towards contemporary, minimalistic styles, but interestingly the trend for modern fireplaces has lessened slightly, and many people wish to recreate a period style. That is not to say that contemporary dcor cannot work alongside a traditional fireplace with a little vision and careful attention to adding small modern touches to a traditional fireplace.
Dean at UK Fireplaces confirms the extensive range of possibilities when choosing a new fireplace for your home. He says, 'It is possible to create any look that you want to suit your home really. As long as you take into account the practical issues of the size of the room and whether or not you have a working chimney breast, you can have a modern or traditional fireplace, or even a mixture of the two. Many people choose a more old-fashioned surround but bring it up to date to suit the dcor of the house by having a stainless steel firebasket.'

So much choice
Two stand-out manufacturers of fireplaces who offer a beautiful and large range of fireplaces are Chesney's and Valor, both available at UK Fireplaces. Chesney's is one of the world's leading manufacturers creating stunning marble and stone reproduction fireplaces in Regency, Victorian and Georgian as well as more contemporary styles. Designers Jane Churchill and Jasper Conran have both designed collections which can be viewed on the website. Failing that, beautiful hand-crafted bespoke and antique fireplaces are also available from Chesney's. Valor also have an impressive range of traditional, contemporary and innovative fireplace ideas.
In order to ensure you have chosen the right fireplace it is essential to look at all practical possibilities. If you are replacing a wood stove, freestanding gas fireplaces are great and will update your living space. They accent the features of your home with their impressive flame and uniquely styled cast iron body. With a bold stance and plenty of character, cast iron stoves make great finishing pieces. Gas Fireplace Inserts are designed for installation in your existing fireplace cavity, to convert a wood-burning fireplace to either natural gas or propane. Enjoy an evening relaxing in front of realistic flames that produce radiant, warm heat. Eliminate smoke, messy ashes and cold drafts with an efficient, economical insert. Zero Clearance Gas Fireplaces are designed to be installed where there is no existing fireplace, typically during new home construction or as part of a renovation project.
A fireplace is an investment, especially when building or renovating your home. A quality fireplace will raise the value and comfort level of your home, and save
you money.

Article taken from November issue of Hertfordshire Life

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