Spreading the Glow
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.