Spreading the Glow
Fireplaces are fabulous features in any room. These ideas and choices will fire up your imagination.
Everything In This Slideshow
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Luxe in the Living Room
A glowing fireplace in the home's main gathering room is a glorious tradition. If you've the good fortune to have one in your living room, arrange your furnishings around it to maximize your family's enjoyment of it.
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Drawn to the Den
A small fireplace in a den, home office, or study greatly increases the cozy feeling of that room. Put a chair close to the fireplace to create a reading spot. The dried flowers in this firebox show a wonderful way to keep the hearth appealing even in the summer months.
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Gently flickering flames are sure to bring sweet dreams when you install a fireplace in the bedroom. Position the bed to maximize the view when lying down. Gas fireplaces are perfect in these situations, especially with a remote control: Simply turn the flame off with the touch of a button from across the room when you're ready to slip into sweet slumber.
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The first indoor fireplaces were used to cook; heating the room was just a pleasant byproduct. Today, fireplaces in kitchens add even more warmth to the center of the home. This wood-burning stove is tucked into a tile-lined niche to enhance its room-warming quality.
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Warmth Down Under
Many homeowners wishing to improve a basement face a common dilemma: How to warm the space. Supplementing a home's heating system with a wood- or gas-fueled stove is a smart solution. The casual charm of antique-style stoves perfectly complements the laid-back appeal of these spaces while providing heat when and where it's needed.
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There's no reason to confine the pleasures of a fireplace to the indoors. Think of an outdoor fireplace as an elegant variation on the campfire. Arrange the space just as you would indoors: circle seating around the hearth, and when the evenings turn cool take advantage of the warm glow to stay outdoors and listen to summer's last crickets.
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Multiply the Enjoyment
If you're torn between putting a fireplace in one room or the room next to it, consider a multi-sided model. This three-sided gas fireplace casts a panoramic view of its gentle flames. Another advantage: When not in use, three sides of glass keep the fireplace light and bright.
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Part of a fireplace's magic is that it warms the heart whether it's lit or not. Simply install a pre-fabricated fireplace mantel on the wall and dress it to play the part and -- presto! -- you've got a hearth worthy of gathering 'round.
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Play with the Concept
Fireplaces come in an amazing range of sizes and styles. Take in all the options to find one that suits. This super-contemporary model is actually an electric fireplace hung on the wall. The pretend flames glow pink, blue, or green over a bed of ice-toned stones. It's a playful choice.