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Fireplaces – Centerpiece of the Home

slide5By Ruth Thomas

With the arctic blast plunging temperatures into a deep freeze, what better way to warm up on a cold winter’s day, then to snuggle up in front of your cozy fireplace. From traditional to ultramodern, wood-burning to gas-lit or ventless, the modern fireplace is the glowing centerpiece of the home.

Joseph R. LaFace, Jr. of Joseph R. LaFace Construction Inc., says the latest trend in fireplaces is the pre-fab gas fireplace with a remote control. It is easy to turn the flame on and off with no messy firewood, no soot, no smoke, and no fumes. It is cleaner for the environment and energy efficient, with blowers that recirculate the heat and a solid glass panel in front to prevent heat from
escaping. For entertainment, a flat screen TV can be recessed into the surround of the fireplace. A wood mantel over the fireplace, below the TV can display artwork or photographs and will deflect the heat away from the TV. A flush hearth made of granite or marble will protect the floor. The traditional surround can be made of stacked stone, brick, slate, marble or tile. Rising from the floor to the ceiling, the captivating fireplace is the focal point of the room.


Hampton Hearth & Patio owned by Nicole and Robert Elliston in both Southampton and Southold, features gas and wood-burning fireplaces from 15 different companies. Nicole notes the most popular fireplace is the linear gas fireplace. It is long, rectangular, and narrow, and is raised off the floor with no mantel. You can tone it down by adding some logs to make it look warmer. In keeping with the ultramodern look, the surround can be made of sheetrock painted to match the rest of the room. This clean, simple, and sleek design fits the modern home and provides hours of warmth and comfort.


Michael Scanlon, owner of Sag Harbor Fireplace Showroom in Sag Harbor, observes one of the biggest trends in home heating and fireplaces comes from a Belgium company called Stûv. The Stûv wood-burning fireplace is mounted in the wall, and puts out heat like a wood stove. It comes with a fan and can heat a large area with high efficiency. Its minimalist design is very modern with rectangular clean lines and a retractable glass door. It is a powerful heating unit.


HearthCabinet Ventless Fireplaces owned by Arthur Lasky in Manhattan, features the ventless fireplace using a clean-burning alcohol gel fuel cartridge system with no chimney, no gas, and no
electricity. Fully assembled and self-contained, with low emissions, it only requires a window or natural ventilation. Its safety features include a top-hinged, locking, rigid steel-mesh screen door. Popular in metropolitan areas, the ventless fireplace is also great in a home where a flue or chimney is obstructed, such as in a bedroom, sitting room or library. It is ideal in historical renovations, as no construction or connections are needed. The beautifully designed ventless fireplace is a less expensive, high quality alternative to the gas-lit or wood-burning traditional fireplace.

Whether you choose traditional or ultramodern, wood-burning, gas-lit, or ventless, once you
relax in front of your radiant fireplace, the frigid temperatures of winter will soon be a memory, and you’ll be dreaming of those warm summer beach days to come.