Celebrity Fireplaces: Get the Look

For decades Architectural Digest has given its readers a look into the homes of celebrities. And those homes always feature beautifully designed fireplaces. Read on to see some of these beautiful fireplaces and learn how you can get the same look in your home.

Cher’s Malibu Italian Villa

Cher’s 16,000-square-foot mansion, designed by Ron Wilson and the Cher, is styled after an Italian Renaissance villa, full of hand-carved marble, travertine tile, and ornately carved furnishings. The fireplace mantel pictured above was hand-carved in Mexico in the Gothic Revival style. The large candle holders flanking the fireplace complete the Gothic look. The large stone fireplace seems like something out of a Medieval castle, with it’s grand size and complex carvings. Want this look, but don’t have a Cher-sized budget? A cast-iron screen like the Verona Fireplace Screen, with its elaborate scroll work, would give your fireplace that Gothic look.

Gothic Verona Fireplace Screen

Verona Fireplace Screen- Get the Look Here.

Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas’ Bermuda Hideaway

When Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones were looking for a home in Bermuda, they wanted a peaceful retreat where they could escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. As a result, the home is full of plush furniture, comforting hues, and warm lighting. The fireplace in the living room, pictured above, is designed to emit of soft glow and create a sense of warmth and coziness, compared to the imposing stonework of Cher’s Gothic Revival fireplace. To get this comforting look, go with rustic, rough-cut brick or stone. The large stained wood mantel really completes the fireplace. For your home, go for reclaimed wood, the more knots and grain the better. A warm, reddish stain will give that cozy feeling you’re looking for.

Will Ferrell’s Modern Manhattan Loft

Known for his weird and wacky comedy, SNL veteran Will Ferrell also has a sleek, modern sense of style. His Manhattan loft, once a Victorian-era printing factory, features stark white and black contrasts, bright lighting, and exposed structural elements. Contemporary artwork is featured throughout the house, often with bright colors that “pop” nicely against the stark white walls. The living room fireplace is a sleek built-in glass and stone affair, fueled by gas. The sleek design fits in perfectly with the decor of the loft, while providing both literal and figurative warmth to the room. To get the same sleek look in your home without the construction hassle of a built-in unit, check out the Allure Bio Fuel Fireplace.

Allure Bio Fuel Fireplace

Allure Bio Fuel Fireplace. Get the Look Here.

The Allure Fireplace is just shy of four feet wide and stands at over two feet tall, so it will be a commanding presence in any room. And because it is fueled by bio fuel, it’s completely portable. You can even use it outside as a stunning centerpiece during parties.

Posted in Decorating

Six Things to Never Burn in Your Fireplace

Things not to burn in your fireplace

The fireplace looks like a handy place to dispose of unwanted combustibles, but it’s safest to burn only dry, seasoned firewood.  Many items you might innocently pop into the fireplace create serious safety hazards.

  1.  Don’t burn colored paper.  The inks used in wrapping paper, newspaper inserts, and magazines contain metals that can give off toxic fumes when burned.  Paper burns very quickly, so there is also a danger that flames may enter the chimney and ignite the creosote deposits in the flue.  Balls of paper can ‘float’ up the chimney on the hot air that is rising through the chimney and ignite flammable materials outside the home.
  2. Never burn painted, stained, or treated wood or manufactured wood like plywood and particle board. Chemicals in ‘salt treated’ wood, paint, or stains can produce toxic fumes when burned.  Likewise, burning manufactured wood products produces toxins and carcinogens.
  3. Never burn plastics or chemicals because the fumes can be toxic.
  4. Never use accelerants like gasoline, kerosene, or barbecue lighter fluid to start a fire in your fireplace.  These highly flammable substances can produce unexpectedly large flare-ups.
  5. Don’t burn coal or charcoal in your fireplace.  These fuels burn much hotter than wood and may exceed the temperature levels that are safe for your fireplace and chimney.  They also produce much more carbon monoxide–a colorless, odorless gas that can kill—than wood does.
  6. Don’t burn the Christmas tree or other evergreen decorations.  Dry evergreens are loaded with resin that burns very quickly and ‘pops’ producing embers that can rise through the chimney and start chimney fires.
Posted in Safety, Using Your Fireplace

Decorating Outdoors: Fireplace Candelabra

Candles at night

Have a patio, porch, or other outdoor living area? Using candles to light it at night can create a relaxing and romantic atmosphere. Given their size and sturdy construction, fireplace candelabra are the perfect source to consider for outdoor lighting.

With the fireplace candelabra there is no need for a plug or source of electricity to power the fixture, and it can be moved around to wherever you want that flickering glow of light.

Re-purpose Fireplace Candelabra as Outdoor Lighting

Fireplace candelabra come in many different types of metals and finishes. In addition to the more common flat black finish, there are polished steel and other finishes as well that may be more appropriate and complementary to your outdoor decor. A bronze finish fireplace candelabra provides a nice contrast between the amber glowing flames of the candles and the bronze colored fixture.

The type and size of fireplace candelabra that you choose to display and provide light outdoors depends on the look you want to achieve and the type of furniture that you place it on. You can set a narrow candelabra on deck railings as they are designed for small fireplaces; larger areas like a picnic or dining table may be more deserving of a larger fireplace candelabra with many candles.

Lamya Fireplace Candelabra with glass candle cups

Candle choice can be as important as the candelabra. If your outdoor area is open to winds, choose candles with glass cups to keep the flame from blowing out. You’ll need a candelabra without candle pins, of course. Some candelabra, like the Lamya Fireplace Candelabra, come with glass globes or cups.

Consider adding citronella candles to the candelabra to ward off mosquitoes and other flying bugs. They give the same light as other candles, but they do not attract unwanted flying, biting guests.

There are countless creative ways that you can use fireplace candelabra to brighten your outdoor experience. Click here to browse fireplace candelabra.

Posted in Decorating Tagged with: ,

How to Choose a Fireback: Steel or Iron?

Stainless Steel Reflective Fireback

What is a Fireback?

A fireplace fireback back is a simple and historic innovation that dramatically increases the amount of heat your fireplace emits into your home. The back wall of a fireplace absorbs and retains a great deal of heat. A fireback instead radiates that heat outward to warm the home. In addition, by protecting the back wall of the fireplace from the intense heat of the fire, a fireback prevents decay of the fireplace masonry. Find out how to choose a fireback that suits your needs and style.

Cast Iron Firebacks

Fireplace firebacks were, in generations past, always made of cast iron. They take in the heat of the fire and send it back out into the room, much like an old-fashioned iron radiator. Cast iron fireplace firebacks are made in a wide range of sizes. They can accommodate any kind of fireplace, from that of a small apartment to the large hearth of a colonial mansion.

 Fireback in fireplace

Cast iron firebacks are often cast with a decorative motif, such as a wildlife scene, a commemorative pictorial, or even a coat of arm. Cast iron firebacks are sturdy and do their job well, but because they are solid cast iron, they are very heavy.  Their weight makes it a challenge for some people to move and place them, and shipping tends to be very costly as well.

Stainless Steel Firebacks

In the early 21st century, stainless steel firebacks emerged, literally shedding new light on fireback innovation. Because their surfaces are more reflective—sometimes polished to a mirror surface— they add an additional element of brightness when sitting behind a fire. Stainless steel firebacks are much lighter than those made of cast iron, so they are easier to ship, deliver, install and adjust. They are also more affordable, being priced at about half the cost of similarly sized cast iron fireback. Stainless steel firebacks are so effective that they are not recommended for gas fireplaces, because the heat can be magnified so much as to damage gas valves.

stainless steel firebacks

Stainless steel firebacks are simple and modern, and fit well in contemporary houses. The mirrored finish can significantly increase both the heat and the light reflected back into the home.

The most recent addition to the world of firebacks are black stainless steel firebacks. They have more of the aesthetics of the cast iron firebacks but some of the weight and cost advantages of the stainless steel firebacks.

black stainless steel fireback

How to Choose a Fireback

All three types of firebacks are designed to make the fireplace put out more heat. For those with wood fireplaces, the choice mainly comes down to style. For gas fireplaces, cast iron is the safe choice.

Posted in Decorating, Using Your Fireplace Tagged with:

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