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What Type of Fireplace is Best for Your Home?

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With winter comes the chilling reality of cold weather. February (also known as the coldest month of the year) is looming upon us. So instead of wallowing in the winter blues, here I’ll show you the different types of fireplaces you can chose and enjoy while you’re making hot cocoa with the kids or having a wine night binge watching Netflix!

Wood Burning Fireplaces

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Photo from Stovax

First you have your traditional wood burning fireplace, this is probably the first image that comes to your head when you think of a fireplace. Although wood burning hearths require some labor, they might be considered the most romantic kind of fire with its snapping and crackling during the freezing winter nights. However, there are different types of wood burning fireplaces as there are with any kind of fireplace. Here, I will tell you about them and help you choose what kind of fireplace is best for your home or how to make the best out of the one you already have!

Traditional Open Hearth

Typically made out of stone or brick, traditional open hearths are the kind of fireplaces that create the most authentic feel. You can physically feel the heat pouring out of it and hear the crackling of a good ole wooden fire. However, they are not the most effective way of heating up your room as more modern techniques. If you do not already have a traditional open hearth in your home it will require quite a bit of construction to put in both the fireplace itself and a chimney for venting.

Enclosed Fireplaces

This is the kind of fireplace that we own in our home. Rather than being open, the fire is covered with a large glass panel that enables the fire to warm up the room more efficiently rather than having all of the heat escape through the chimney. You still get the aesthetic of the fire but with more heat actually being transferred to the room! Also, this a safer option if you have small children or pets.

Gas Burning Fireplaces

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Photo from Houzz

These types of fireplaces burn gas at a cleaner rate and create heat at a lower cost. Also, if you don’t already own one in your home, they typically don’t require much construction to install, which makes them more affordable and an easier alternative to wood burning fireplaces.

Direct-Vented Built-In Fireplaces

A direct-vented fireplace is vented through a chimney, which can be existing or a new one can be installed. However, a pipe can be used so that there are less changes to be made to the house’s structure. The flame to a gas burning fireplace is yellow, so it has a more authentic feel.

Ventless Built-in Fireplaces

Ventless build-in indoor fireplaces are the easiest to install in a home as there is no need for any venting. The flame in these types of fireplaces is typically blue and although these types of fires usually burn clean, there is still a possibility that contaminants will get in your home without the use of vents.

Ethanol Burning Fireplaces

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Fireplaces that burn ethanol have become increasingly popular due to their easy installation and modern design. They are wallet-friendly and are clean and odorless. Although they probably won’t create as much heat as a wood or gas burning fireplace, they are much more environmentally friendly and come in a variety of designs.

Wall Mounted Fireplace

This type provides a fireplace that you can actually hang on any wall of your choosing. Providing heat and a work of art in your home, killing two birds with one stone. These also come in tabletop options, which are easily portable.

Fireplace Conversions

You can put an ethanol burning insert in your existing fireplace if you please, making use of your existing space and its aesthetics. There are many different options available depending on whether you want to stick with a traditional look or upgrade to something more modern.

Electric Fireplaces

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Known as the most cost effective fireplace option on the market, electric fireplaces are easy to install and super easy to use. With the press of a button, you can choose whether you want the fire on or off while maintaining a fireplace-like aesthetic. most electric fireplaces have a remote-controlled heater with different varieties of fire effects.

Mantel Electric Fireplaces

This type of electric fireplace is meant to create the look of a wood burning fireplace. They do not require any venting or chimneys which allows you have the indulge in the elegance of a wood burning fireplace in any room of your house without having to add up the expense.

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All You Need To Know About Window Treatments

  Photo: Elle Decor

If you decide on draperies, remember that their style will be set by the type of heading used which will also affect how both draperies and valances hang. Headings, most of which are now available ready-made (although there is nothing quite like the finish achieved by custom window treatments), include Pencil Pleats, French Pleats also known as Triple or Pinch Pleats, Tab Draperies, Goblet Pleats, Rod Pockets Pleats and Box Pleats all of which look very much like they sound.
Off-the- Ready-Made draperies today are a huge improvement on the old limp things. They are available with nicely casual Cased or Tabbed Headings, Scalloped and Eyelet Headings which can all be slung from a huge choice of wood, painted, iron, steel, gilded or silvered poles or rods of some sort. Other casual headings include leather or canvas loops or plain clips which will also produce a scalloped look. Again, you can’t compare a custom, full, lined with returns drapery with the ready made ones.
Unless you are dressing a large grand room in an old house with high ceilings, I would advise against elaborate swags and tassels, fringes and bows. Suitability is everything in decoration and grand draperies in an un-grand room are apt to look absurd, quite apart from the fact that the mood today is more for simplicity than elaboration. This does not mean that draperies should not make a statement, or be used to add pizzazz to a room, but rather that they should suit the proportions and purpose of the room and its geographical location and meld in well with your furniture and general decoration without costing as much as a small car. Neither, however, should they look skimpy and cheap. If you are going to curtain, curtain well. This is a very important investment to consider.

If you have decided against the use of the more casual rods or poles for your draperies to hang from, you will need some sort of cover-up to disguise unsightly tracks or fittings. If by chance you do have a grand room to curtain, the most formal cover-ups are Swags and tails which, although they look as if they are made from one beautifully draped length of fabric, usually consist of several pieces skillfully joined together. It is essential to get the proportions right: at the deepest part, the swag needs to be between one fifth and one sixth of the overall height of the window whilst the tails should fall at least half way down the window frame. Simple swags can also be used on their own or over blinds. The more elaborate are often trimmed with braid, piping, fringes or cord with contrast or patterned linings. As with draperies themselves, it is crucial not to skimp on fabric but neither should you overdo.

Valances are softer than pelmets and are never stiffened. They can be gathered or pleated by hand or with the help of appropriate commercial heading tapes, and designed with trims or edgings to contrast with, or match, the draperies. They can either be hung from a special valance track aligned to the main drapery track or they can be attached to a board which is either fixed above the drapery track or has the drapery track attached to the underside. These boards should be at least 4” longer either side than the track.
Attached or Integral Valances look much the same as conventional ones when the draperies are drawn, but are actually attached to the top of each drapery so that the two halves separate when the draperies are drawn back, This avoids blocking out daylight but they are best used with a pole rather than a track which would then be exposed in the gap.

Photo: Kasmir

Tips about Draperies

Short draperies are rarely successful except, perhaps, in small cottage windows or small windows in a deep embrasure or tied back at a kitchen window.
If windows have deep recesses, it is better to hang draperies outside the recess because this will let in the maximum amount of light during the day.
If windows have radiators below them and you want the softness of draperies but do not want heat loss, tie or loop them back permanently at either side of the window and use a shade of some sort or shutters at night.
Too short or long draperies are as bad as too short trousers. They should always generously touch the floor or slightly ‘puddle’ onto it. But neither should they be so long that you trip over them.
Always allow the most generous hem you can to withstand shrinkage when cleaned.
All draperies hang better if they are lined and interlined, unless they are meant to seem light and breezy. To make them look really professional and luxurious, pad each leading edge with an extra strip of interlining rolled lengthwise and invisibly hand-stitched inside the curtain lining.
Unless daylight is at a premium, most draperies look better tied or looped back during the day than left hanging straight unless they are of heavy material like velvet.
If you live in a city, or anywhere where there is a lot of pollution in the air, avoid using light colors and elaborate folds, so that the fabric does not need to be cleaned too often.
If windows face East or South in rather dark rooms, ensure that your chosen style will obscure as little of the light you get during the day as possible. These rules out tied-back curtains that meet in the middle, deep pelmets and elaborately draped styles.
If you have a beautiful view or lack of light but still would like to have draperies, stationary ones work best.
If windows face North or West, and you get a good deal of light and sun, avoid using fabrics that will fade or rot easily like silks and very bright colors. Consider filtering the light with translucent blinds or sheer curtains as well.
Now you can start thinking about your beautiful draperies you want to have in your home, to add style, color, and most important to finish your room the way you picture it.

Photo: Pinterest