April 2012

Modern decor is often minimalistic, streamlined, and laconic. It is limited in detail and accent. Therefore, every object within the thus decorated space has to be stylish but not opulent. A fireplace is just one of such objects. There is fashion in fireplaces like in everything else regarding style, and such ultramodern models are among the most fashionable.

Man has always been fascinated by fire. Of course, the fire of today does not perform its vital function anymore – we use other sources to keep us warm, and use fire mostly to create comfort and charm in our homes. The fireplace manufacturing is an ever-evolving art. Since the day when our distant ancestor assembled the first hearth in his cave, the fireplace has been constantly evolving; the fireplace of today is a combination of the engineering genius and artistic revelation. Projects by the best designers of the world convert everyday appliances that are part of a hi-tech style into real works of art, and fireplaces are no exception. They are created from man-made materials like metal, heat-resistant glass, mirror glass, and glass ceramics, to name a few. There is no limit to perfection, and modern designers boldly experiment with materials and shapes, blending styles and breaking traditions. Classic styles can be combined with Art Deco to create an extraordinary effect.

The synthesis of fire and steel is the epitome of modern ideas. Oblong fireplaces-transformers are austere and laconic but are surprising in their interesting colour combinations or in blending advanced technologies with exquisite shapes. One can easily call ultramodern fireplaces avant-garde-style clothing for fire, made from tinted glass, mirror surfaces, and antiquated metal. Geometrically-precise lines only outline the fire’s space seemingly not limiting it.

For eclectic interiors manufacturers offer eclectic fireplaces that combine classic stone with metal surfaces, smooth textures with rough ones, or vivid colours with streamlined shapes. Lately, the North American market presents fireplaces with a TV screen inserted into a fake firebox, showing a recording of real fire. Of course, the imitation of anything leaves a lot to be desired, and nothing can replace live fire, no matter how artistically it is reproduced.

Unfortunately, wood-burning fireplaces are a thing of the past in Canada and the US. You can still find them in older houses but new houses are built with artificial fireplaces only because wood- and coal-burning emissions are harmful to the environment.