Catching fire in both form and function
As summer takes hold, now may not be the time you want to think about warming your home. But deciding whether to incorporate a fireplace is worth being part of the conversation with your homebuilder.
Potentially a decision you make based on its aesthetic appeal or for its purpose of heating a home during the winter months, Atrium Homes Sales and Marketing Director Daniel Marcolina believes fireplaces are being used more for their aesthetic today, rather than function.
“The fireplace, along with other materials that are incorporated around it, such as random stone cladding, a marble ledge or feature wall panelling, can be used to enhance the style of the home,” he said.
“There are various types of fireplaces to help accentuate the style of the home and it can certainly add a wow factor depending on its style – a wall-hung or open fireplace – and position.”
Weststyle Building Designer and Project Coordinator Peter Romiti said a fireplace, whether used for form or function, created a cosy aesthetic, adding warmth to a home and another interesting design element.
“Fireplaces were once used for heating spaces and that function was essential,” he said. “They were clunky and prominent in the main living spaces of the home.
“Over time, as central heating became accessible and popular, the need for fireplaces diminished and they took on more of an aesthetic purpose – form over function.”
With a range of fireplace options available, Mr Romiti said they all served a different purpose and could satisfy the individual’s needs.
“Wood burners are popular with those that enjoy the experience of lighting and maintaining a fire, and the classic wood-burning smell,” he said.
“Contemporary bioethanol-burning linear fireplaces will suit a modern-design home with a low-maintenance, busy family.
“A cocoon fire is also a modern bioethanol fireplace with no smoke, ash or soot, eliminating the need for a flue. It makes installing a cocoon fire quite simple, and the fire itself is low maintenance.”
Cocoon and linear bioethanol fireplaces, although they have been on the market for quite some time, have become increasingly popular in the last decade due to a couple of reasons, according to Mr Romiti.
“As they slot into a compact interior, even a home with limited space can enjoy a fireplace,” he said.
“There is also flexibility with design, as you can specify a linear fireplace anywhere from 500mm up to beyond 2m – these can be single-sided, double-sided or a corner fireplace.”
Mr Romiti said there were a few things to consider when choosing whether to install a fireplace and which one to choose.
“I would advise to think about function first – is it the main heat source for the space? Or is it mainly for aesthetic?,” he said.
“Then look at how it integrates into the interior of the home. There are so many options available and there is definitely a fireplace solution to suit every home.”
Atrium Homes, 6310 8888, www.atriumgroupwa.com.au
Weststyle, 9345 1565, www.weststyle.com.au
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