Fireplaces have a dual purpose in modern homes. There’s the practical consideration of heating up a room. Then there’s with the additional benefit of being a spot to center the room around. Often times the it is the most dominating structure in the room.
A fireplace can make or break a room in terms of beauty. While once a bit of a rarity, a corner fireplace is becoming much more common.
Following the same principles as traditional fireplaces, these corner models can add a bit of dignity to a drab area. Before we jump into the ins and outs of how to use these hearths to your advantage, let’s get an overview of how they differ from more traditional variants.
How Do Corner Fireplaces Differ from Traditional Fireplaces?
When most people think of fireplaces they often think of the centerpiece of a room that draws attention to it. These type of fireplaces can either be built into the wall, mounted to the wall, or be one of the more rustic brick and mortar types.
Corner fireplaces, as the name suggests, are specifically designed to be put into the corner of a room. Like their more traditional counterparts, these models can be powered by electricity and gas, while a few relying on wood.
While models can range dramatically over brands on types, many corner fireplaces come outfitted with collapsible panels that make them reversible with a flat wall.
Corner fireplaces are great for those that have a sparse amount of space to work with. Since corners are often difficult to incorporate to the overall layout of a room – being taken up by either tables, chairs, or desks – this type of mantlepiece can be used to make room for other items. Corner fireplaces come in a wide range of not only styles but also mechanisms for action.
Corner Fireplace Variants
Like traditional models, these types of fireplaces have varying energy requirements. The three primary types of corner fireplaces you’ll find on the market today either rely on electricity, gas, or wood.
Electrical models are like a portable heater. Internally they use many of the same components while also incorporating the aesthetics of a conventional hearth.
Gas and wood differ in one important aspect though – electrical models don’t need to produce heat to be on. This makes them great for those that want the beauty of a fireplace in summer.
Further subdividing electrical models is the difference between fan forced and infrared quartz models. The first of these is obvious – it works silently – blowing air thru heated coils to throw air into the room. Infrared quartz, on the other hand, uses infrared light to warm solid objects and people directly.
Gas and wood are a tad bit more complicated as these type of fireplaces are often permanent. Much less common than their electric counterparts as they need some sort of installation, and in the wood versions case a chimney to expel all the smoke.
Gas models can either use propane or natural gas – with the latter rather than the former much more common.
While electrical models should be checked to see if they are properly functioning from time to time, following maintenance procedures is integral to both wood and gas models.
Chimneys should be checked for any cracking or water damage, with a certified chimney sweep looking at it annually. Gas models should have the pilot light and gas valves periodically looked at to ensure proper and safe functioning.
The Aesthetics of Corner Fireplaces
Fireplace styles and designs vary dramatically and corner models are no different. The driving factor here isn’t so much the firebox – these can only differ so much – but rather the mantlepiece itself. More ornate pieces with carved fleur-de-lis and what not are great for those going for a more Baroque look.
Homes that are more contemporary should try for ultra-modern variants that use space to their advantage – extra straight lines and juxtaposition of white and block molding is what personifies this type of corner fireplace.
Brick and mortar fireplaces can only have so much customization – it’s better to focus on organizing the rest of the room around it. Often wood looks good with this type of mantlepiece. This can be pastoral pieces with shelves or a modern piece that involves cabinets.
Incorporating the molding of the surrounding room can give a clean appearance. This can be expanded even further with fireplaces that are built with a 90-degree angle in mind. Rather than being flush with a corner mantle that is at a 45-degree angle with two walls next to it, these models are quite literally built into a corner.
The firebox of this type of fireplace is open on two sides rather than a single, allowing for a unique look and a more efficient heat circulation. In order for full protection, these 90 degrees angled firebox usually have glass separating people from the fire.
Use Other Areas to Your Advantage
What is placed just above the hearth can be just as important as the fireplace itself. Pictures are the most common. If you go this route make sure to use ones that compliment the fireplace itself. For example, if the mantlepiece or brickwork is white then try to use a picture that goes with white.
If you have a lot of red bricks to work with, try using a classy picture like a painting to create a unified look. If your fireplace has a shelf on the top of it try putting related items – everything from a flower vase, books, pottery, or candles can work great.
Depending on the overall look of your room and the height of the corner fireplace, you can even use a television above to save even more space.
While having a certain look throughout a room is recommended, a stark contrast of classic and modern styles can work if you’re careful. Going this direction requires balance.
Try putting a wood table near a more contemporary love seat and couch, or having a marble top next to a piece of wood molding. An overall mixture is required here. When someone new looks at your room with the corner fireplace it should be a mixture of both styles while not directly adhering to either.
Corner fireplaces are exactly what they imply. These mantle pieces are built with the corners of the room in mind. This allows people to enjoy the advantages of having a fireplace without taking up as much space. Many electrical models have a built-in collapsible panel.
This makes them usable against a wall if necessary. Because of this and their general ease of use, these electrical versions are much more common than either gas or wood ones – as they require specific installation procedures.
Using these corner fireplaces involves picking a mantlepiece that works best for the look that you’re going for. From there you can use the rest of the room to center around it.
Is your fireplace ready for an update? Contact us today! Vertical Chimney Care has been helping residents of the Chicagoland are for over 30 years. You can trust the experts at Vertical Chimney Care for your all of your fireplace needs.