May 10, 2018

“Objects de Hearth” Showcases Fireplace Redesign and Innovation

“Objects de Hearth,” at hpba.org, celebrates the fireplace with more than 60 great photographed examples of fireplace innovations and design that are certain to inspire any homeowner.

Arlington, Va. – There is no more enviable or dynamic architectural amenity in the home than a fireplace. It takes away the chill on cold winter nights and provides a gathering place where our hearts are warmed by family members and friends. A fireplace is the focal point of any room much like a great painting. Fireplaces are, in fact, architectural objects de art, and for this reason should be treated accordingly.

So says Jane Lockhart B.A.A.I.D. (janelockhart.com), one of Canada’s best-known interior design professionals, a television personality, author, and furniture designer, whose firm has overseen the design of many celebrated international, residential and commercial projects. Her online portfolio also includes numerous examples of stunning fireplace-related work.

“The beauty and romance of a fireplace links us to the past in a way that is hard to capture in any other interior element,” says Ms. Lockhart. “With today’s new sleek hearth designs that sense of romance can convey to modern, contemporary or traditional homes.”

Ms. Lockhart notes the wide array of products that hearth manufacturers have created in recent years to respond to consumer demand. These include inserts that alter and update the façade of an existing fireplace; fabricated driftwood, rocks, and colorful jewel-like glass stones that serve as an alternative to traditional gas logs; linear, see-through, and corner fireplace designs; new technology that allows gas fireplaces to be mounted directly to the wall, and more.

These and other innovations are showcased in some 60 photographed examples as part of “Objects de Hearth,” found on the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association website at hpba.org. Fireplaces represented on the site include those that are wood-burning, gas, and electric–all of which are photographed in handsomely-designed room settings.

Ms. Lockhart says that older fireplaces can easily take on a dramatic new persona with simple redesign. She offers six techniques to update aging fireplaces:

1. Paint an existing mantle with black high-gloss paint. Instant update!
2. Upgrade by installing gas logs that will significantly increase home use yet retain an authentic look and character.
3. Add a large convex mirror over the fireplace for interest and drama–it’s also a link to the past.
4. Add trim molding above the wall of the mantle to create a niche for artwork.
5. Add wall sconces on each side of the fireplace to create mood lighting.
6. Let your fireplace be the focal point of the room–move your TV to another wall.

In addition to its aesthetic contribution, Ms. Lockhart also considers the practical relevance of fireplaces to be greater than ever before. “Increased awareness of energy efficiency has led the hearth industry to respond with new products that include inserts for wood, gas and electric fireplaces–as well as a variety of cleaner, fire-burning options,” says Ms. Lockhart. “With expanded placement trends and the selection of available products, a fireplace can easily enhance the ambience and comfort of any room in the house.”

The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), based near Washington, DC, is North America’s leading advocate for manufacturers, retailers, distributors and allied associates of fireplace, stove, heater, barbecue, and outdoor living appliances. HPBA provides professional member services and industry support in government relations, events, market research, education, certifications, consumer education, and industry promotion. Learn more at hpba.org.

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