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Wednesday, 15 February 2012 14:02:56 Europe/London
Where do you put a fireplace when you don't have room for one? This might seem like a daft question, but there is a distinct trend towards smaller rooms in modern properties. As well as making us feel hemmed in, these restrictions on living space create some real practical problems. How do we fit in enough seating to be sociable with family and friends? Where do we put all our stuff? And how do we make a small place feel like home rather than a rabbit hutch?
Modern houses and flats generally have excellent central heating systems, without any physical need for a fireplace to keep you warm. But that isn't really the point. Evolved as we are, fires still speak to a primordial part of us. They represent home and comfort and safety, and the hypnotic effect of flickering flames is truly relaxing. The central heating may keep our bodies comfortable but it doesn't warm our hearts.
So what should we do if we crave the comfort of a fire but simply can't fit in a conventional floor level fireplace? The answer is to head for the high ground and look at wall-mounted fires instead. There is a great range of shapes and sizes available to fit whatever space you have available. Most are modern in style but there are a few with a more traditional look if the contemporary isn't your cup of tea.
Wall fires are incredibly versatile, with gas and electric models available for both recessed and flat-wall installation. The biggest problem you're likely to face should you want a wall fire is which one to choose! I'll come back to this topic later with a look at how to choose the right wall fireplace. In the meantime why not sit back and imagine how a wall fire could improve your living space.