Burn Baby Burn

February 24, 2021

It’s cold. We’re smack in the middle of a classic New England winter – you’re cold, I’m cold, our pets are cold, and those warm summer days are just as far ahead of us as they are behind us. But here at SHDG, we look at the cold weather as an opportunity to add one of our favorite design elements – the fireplace. Whether it is gas, electric, or good old fashion wood burning, a fireplace can become the focal point of any room and a great source of extra heat. Practical and pretty – our favorite!  

So, how do you design a space around a fireplace? Should it act as the anchor or just an added element? Are there certain spaces where a fireplace just won’t work? And most importantly, what type of fireplace is right for you?

We’re here to answer all of those burning questions (get it) and more! 

Designing Around a Fireplace 

Let’s start with the age-old question: should a fireplace be the anchor of a room’s design? There is really no right answer to this, just a preference of where you want the eye to gravitate in the room. If you are placing a TV, accent piece, mirror, or piece of art above the fireplace, or if the fireplace and fireplace surround is large or dramatic, then it naturally becomes the anchor of the room. You should design the rest of the space and furniture placement with this in mind. If you create a space where the furniture is “floating” in the middle of the room, and facing each other, then your fireplace becomes a design element but not the focal point of the space. 



Is there a wrong place for a fireplace? 

No! Unless you’re putting a fireplace in a closet, a fireplace can work in any room. Bedroom, office, bathroom, if it works for you, it works for the space.

Cozy office with a fireplace and built-in shelves

Conventional Gas-burning Fireplace

Gas vs. Electric vs. Wood

There’s nothing quite like a classic wood-burning fireplace; there’s something about the smell of the burning wood and the crackling of the flame that’s hard to replace. That said, the gas and electric fireplaces are not only more energy-efficient, due to the amount of heat loss a wood burning fireplace has from going up the chimney,  they are also more cost-effective and require less work to install and maintain. Also, electric fireplaces do not require a ventilation point like gas or wood-burning fireplaces, so if you’re adding a fireplace to a space that didn’t have one before, this is your most budget-friendly option – and surprisingly, there are some decent looking electric fireplaces that use water vapor to emulate the look of the flame. Some even come equipped with a heat blower.


Photo of a Stone Hearth Fireplace

Regardless of your home’s style, personal décor or furniture placement, we favor fireplaces as a warm and inviting addition to any living space. When it’s cold outside, come sit by a glowing fire.  It warms the room and it warms the heart during these long winter days.