A fireplace is everyone’s dream especially those who are living in climate zones where winter is long and severe. In fact the idea of a perfect room, according to many is one where there is a fire place. If you are building a new room or renovating an existing room adding a fire place could be in your wish list. Before you install a fire place, there are several things to look into other than style and looks. The first question you have to answer is the utility of the fireplace. Are you getting it as a secondary room heating source or will it be purely to add more aesthetic value to the room? If additional heating is your primary need then you might as well get a free-standing iron stove which can exude warmth long after the fire has got extinguished. The modern day free standing iron stoves are available in many colors, designs and shapes and can adorn the room just as well as a traditional fire place. There are stoves which burns wood or one that burns pellets. Wood burning is more romantic but involves chopping, storing or buying the material from external sources. This may not be acceptable to many. Half to one inch pellets on the other hand are made from sawdust, wood chips, bark of trees, crop waste, etc and can be more convenient. The heat radiated is considered to be more intense in pellet burning stoves than traditional wood fire places. In case you like a fire place rather than a stove, you can choose amongst those which burn wood, pellets or gas.

The modern fire place runs on gas which is more energy efficient and essentially more convenient. Natural or propane gas is clean and does not pose any health risk. A gas fire place emits a limited amount of carbon dioxide which is considered more eco friendly than wood fire places. You also have another option – the electric fire place which gives a seemingly similar appearance of flames without heat. Running conveniently at the click of a switch, electric fire places can start emitting heat nearly instantly. Of course you have to keep in mind the inconvenience on a winter night, if there is a power failure.

It is important to remember that all types of fire places, except the one which runs on electricity would need the right kind of ventilation or a chimney. This aspect must be kept in mind while designing your room. There are several ways in which you can decorate your fireplace. A simple and convenient shelf above the fire place or marble or granite surrounds are also popular choices. You could also give a luxurious touch to your fire place if you decorate it with a wood wall or a stylish cabinet. The choices for giving some stylish touch to your fire place are unlimited.

Most modern homes can not accommodate a traditional fire place which is around 40 to 50 inches wide. For people with space constraint there are 25 to 35 inch wide compact fire places which are great space savers and are designed as corner units and not only as floor models. Then there are wall-mounted fire places meant for those who can not offer any exclusive space for their fire place. The wall mounted fire places are trendy and fashionable to look at and as their popularity grows, it can be expected that there are more designs available for every small home in this country.

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