How to choose the right fireplace for your home

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From cold winter mornings to rainy summer evenings, fireplaces provide a comforting warmth that’s hard to replicate with another heat source. And thanks to modern design innovations, you don’t need a lot of space to have one either. 

Interior designer Kim Williams offers the following advice on choosing the right fireplace for your home.

Aesthetics and ambiance  

Consider your personal style and the ambiance you want to create. From gas-oil hybrids to ergonomic pellet fireplaces and classic stone hearths, there is something for all design tastes. 

Go high quality

Choose a fireplace that suits your lifestyle and is realistic for you to run in terms of fuel and effort. If you want to simply flip a switch after a long day and relax with a glass of wine, a gas option is probably better for you than wood.

Size up your space 

To successfully heat a space, it’s important to have a fireplace that’s proportional to the room, so that it doesn’t waste fuel or money. Consulting with an expert will ensure you end up with a design that is functional and beautiful. 

Follow the sun

Natural light influences how much heating a house needs, so if you’re buying a home that doesn’t get much sun, add windows or skylights before installing a heating system. The sun will always be the most efficient way to heat a home because it’s free…

Keep it connected

A fireplace creates a warm social hub and the perfect ambience to bond as a family or relax as a couple. When building your fireplace, incorporate furniture that makes it easy to gather safely around the fire and facilitates being together.

Remember all the elements in the room

By considering elements such as floors, wall coverings, lighting, colour and textures you can make even the darkest room feel cosy. Place vibrant plants in open spaces and use cool ocean blues with warm colours and earthy tones. Lush rugs, dim candles and rich wallpaper also add psychological warmth and insulation.

Make it multifunctional 

Fireplaces with mantles can be used to display paintings, stand mirrors and showcase family photographs. Wood storage can also be magnificent if built floor to ceiling. 

Take the fun outside

Our weather lends itself to spending time outdoors, which makes fire pits a popular option here. They’re versatile, ranging from simple metal pits to sunken landscaped arenas. If fire is not your preference or you have a small courtyard garden, use outdoor heaters.

For more information, visit www.kimwilliams.co.za and @kim_williams_design on Facebook and Instagram.

* Photo: Robin van Geenan via Unsplash

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