Transcending cultural traditions and architectural styles, the hearth of the home is a design feature that has played a fundamental role for families in the past and is now more of a stylistic addition for modern day homes. Whether you include a fireplace in your home’s design for traditional purposes or as an aesthetic feature, a fireplace’s function and style should not be overlooked during the design process.
The purpose of a fireplace is something that varies from family to family. The fireplace in your home could be used to warm a room or living space, to add that special ambiance, or both. With the large, open layouts typical of log homes, fireplaces can become a grand focal point, reaching from floor to vaulted ceiling. Perhaps when you envision your fireplace you visualize your friends and family gathering around it as you hang your stockings during the holiday season.
What is a log home without a fireplace really? As a common design feature in wood homes, a fireplace is usually located in a place you spend most of your time, like the great room. In addition to the main living spaces, bedrooms and studies can also have their own fireplace, keeping the room comfortable while providing a relaxing ambiance. Even in the kitchen, fireplaces can serve a specific function. Some European cultures include a fireplace in the kitchen out of tradition. If your property includes a pavilion or patio, including some kind of fireplace for crisp nights or for roasting marshmallows with the kids is also a great addition.
Wood Versus Gas
Something else to consider is the type of fireplace you include in your home. Both gas and wood burning fireplaces emit enough heat to warm a living space, so how do you decide whether you want one, the other, or both? If available in your area, gas fireplaces are easier to maintain because they do not require a supply of wood, they don’t smoke or require clean. However, many prefer the authentic look, feel and smell of a wood burning fireplace—the sound of real wood crackling as you sit by the glow of the flames. But who says you can’t have both? Perhaps you want a hassle-free gas fireplace in your bedroom while remaining authentic in the great room.
Fireplaces can come in many styles and designs. It could a small insert or as grand as a floor-to-ceiling fireplace. What do you want your fireplace to look like, do you envision stone or stucco or another material? Would you prefer a large mantel, a small mantel? Perhaps you want it to be more interactive by including shelving or seating? How about double-sided fireplaces in your home to utilize one system for two adjacent rooms or from indoor to outdoor? And don’t forget the many options for outdoor fireplaces, like chimenias or fire pits.
For more concepts that include the many styles and functions of a home fireplace, visit PrecisionCraft’s Design Gallery.