Classic vs Contemporary Fireplace Designs - What's the Difference? Classic vs Contemporary Fireplace Designs - What's the Difference?

Contemporary fireplaces are replacing traditional fireplaces in some homes. As more people choose interior accents that use leather, plastic, and metal over the conventional wood and stone decorative features, fireplaces also have received an update.

Traditional Design
Traditional fireplaces feature such materials as brick, stone, and wood. They are generally surrounded by a wood mantel that often has decorative carving details in it. Cast iron and polished brass are the metals most often used for the andirons and fireplace tools.

The fuels used in these fireplaces are usually wood or coal—more traditional fuels.

Contemporary Design
By contrast, contemporary fireplaces seldom have wood accents. They are often surrounded by aluminum or chrome for a sleek and elegant look. The andirons and racks in the fireplace may also be made of sleek, silver-toned metal.

Minimalist lines on cast stone, or even black cast iron, give an updated look to the contemporary fireplace. Suspended fireplaces or wall mounted fireplaces are also common. Some have a non-traditional surround such as a metal grid or glass surround.

Many of these fireplaces burn gas or canned gels instead of wood or coal. These types of fuels are more environmentally friendly and don’t have the same exhaust restrictions. This means many fireplaces with contemporary design can be placed in locations unavailable to the traditional fireplace.

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