How to choose a fireplace when the options are so wide.

While each person has his or her own vision of the perfect home, there can be certain design elements that leave everyone equally inspired.

Although we’re clearly biased, if we had to choose just one item that would suit every home and which will always be welcomed by friends, that would most certainly be a modern fireplace. They can be a stunning centerpiece in any home, of course, but they also fulfill a primeval need.

Think about all those special moments when family members and friends gather around. Think about muted lights, a glass of wine and pleasant conversation. So, fireplaces can inspire and hold an emotional connection – a feeling of safety, warmth and cosyness.

However, how to go about choosing one? Good fireplace design isn’t always easy to find. Many clients need help with their fireplace ideas, whether updating one with an efficient gas fire, redesigning it completely – or bespoking a new one to suit their taste, wants or needs.

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Thanks to the creativity of our designers, fireplaces now come in inspirational and intriguing shapes and can easily be integrated into almost every environment – even homes without chimneys.

Fireplaces have come a long way from just being there to heat a home. Today they are an important design element in any modern living space. Fireplace design these days includes an abundance of options to choose from – a minimalist modern firebox, a room divider, something central to the room, perhaps surrounded by glass; or will you settle for a classic limestone or marble mantel? With no positioning rules any more, your fireplace can pretty much fit in wherever you want it to be.

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We also now live in a time where almost any suitable material can be used to differentiate a fireplace design, so long as it is incombustible; this tinted glass circular fireplace for a restaurant in Berkhamsted is an example:

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Modern fireplace styles can be adapted to every taste and can be placed wherever you want them. Today’s linear look will suit many contemporary homes, but there are also tall, vertical models which always create a talking point. And a see-through or ‘tunnel’ version can be used as a room divider.

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The latest ‘balanced flue’ gas fireplaces are very efficient and can be installed almost anywhere, with no need for a conventional chimney. They can even be operated from an app on your smartphone, or via home automation.

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Fireplaces used as room dividers are brilliant! If you have a blank canvas, create a private space within the living room by putting a fireplace in between you and your home office. It will be welcomed on each side of the room. It is also a great solution to separate the living room from the dining room, without creating a barrier.

Room dividers are fine examples of modern fireplace design that will go as far from the traditional as possible – and now they can be placed almost anywhere using sophisticated fan-powered minimalist flues, which can even be installed under the floor or in the ceiling during new-build or a major renovation.

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If you still hanker for a woodburning fireplace, you don’t have to take the traditional route. Take a look at these inspirational woodburners:

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Electric fireplaces may look like real ones, but they only partially imitate the realistic appearance and function of the original. Some people however find them to be very practical and they are often less expensive than a regular gas fireplace or woodburner – and they are generally easier to install.

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An electric fireplace can match both traditional and modern homes and would be an equally smart choice for an apartments or a house. Bespoke electric fireplaces can be made up to five metres wide!

Another trend these days is the bioethanol-burning fireplace, because they usually don’t require a chimney or flue, can be more easily be installed than a gas fire – and with minimal looks, effortless maintenance and flexibility they are often a winner.

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Bioethanol fireplaces are eco-friendly, since they work with a denatured liquid ethanol fuel that produces no smoke or ashes, just great looking flames and heat.

More of that heat stays in the room compared to conventional fireplaces, rather than disappearing through the flue. In terms of flexibility, bioethanol fireplaces can be easily transferred from one home to the other, with easy installation of both freestanding and built-in models.

There is a huge range of styles – some quite bizarre – but certainly something for everyone. How about this amazing sculptured corten steel hang-on-wall?

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And what if there isn’t room for a large fireplace? Think about a corner fireplace. Often corners are empty and need something to fill them. The result could be breathtaking.

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Fireplaces are always a warm, friendly aesthetic for special and intimate occasions. They keep both bodies and souls warm. As days get shorter and cooler, snuggling up with a blanket, sipping some cocoa and reading a good book by the fireplace can be the most perfect place to be.

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