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I love the simplicity of the space, the high contrast of the black mantle against the white walls, and the Eva Zeisel tea pot is definitely calling my name (I covet anything EZ). Contrary to the notion that wood burning logs are only for 'traditional' spaces, this contemporary fireplace design illustrates how even the most modern loving trendsetters can bask in the glow of a crackling wood fire without hanging a fake looking flame on the wall.

In my experience with designing fireplaces for clients it seems most people associate the concept of wood burning logs or a mantle or a hearth as being 'not modern', but you can see from the images above and the ones below, this simply isn't the case. There are many ways to achieve a modern fire other than installing a linear gas burner in a wall. Because of this, I like the fact that the TV is not built in, its on a stand like an object or accessory on the hearth rather than it being integrated into the surround like the fireplace. The dark colour keeps everything low contrast so the tv and the fireplace box are less of a visual distraction and the focus of attention is on the flame.

You can see how the fireplace and the stairs are designed with the same materials and quality of detail, they reflect the architectural style of the house. The rustic elements of the barns stone walls and timber beams are paired against contemporary furnishings, the sleek use of industrial materials like concrete and steel for the structures perfectly compliment the modern rustic architecture. Another beautiful example of how the fireplace is completely integrated with the architecture and you can see how the contemporary exterior style translates thru the interior.

This same design could translate to wood burning, the absence of the logs is consistent with the simple exposed elements of the loft interior. In what is probably a more traditionally built home, this modernized fireplace has sleak clean lines constructed from slabs of vein cut travertine while still maintaining its 'traditional' mantle and hearth. So if you're still convinced you must have a modern gas fire or your existing one is looking tired and outdated - I'll be addressing some important planning issues that you need to be aware of when considering adding, modifying, updating or replacing a fireplace.

Now with all this talk of fireplaces and the stunning winter wonderland view outside my window, I'm going to put some real logs in my fieldstone fireplace , pour some tea into my Eva Zeisel tea cup and enjoy the simple luxury of a crackling fire. This same design could translate to wood burning, the absence of the logs is consistent with the simple exposed elements of the loft interior.In what is probably a more traditionally built home,. A clean linear look that suits the classic modern furnishings, it successfully transitions traditional with modern.TV or no TV?When you have a clean modern fireplace wall that is void of a mantle or surround, my advice is not to put a fireplace above it.

To my eye there needs to be a bit of separation between the two, soA mantle will also help deflect the heat away from the TV screen.

Just like any other architectural detail of a home, (staircases, doors, mouldings etc) fireplaces create character in an interior. By in sync, I mean they should have the same character or....anddifferent so as to create a juxtaposition of style (not just randomly different).Hands down my absolute number one favorite architectural feature in a home is an open wood burning fireplace.

I don't think they have the character of wood burning fireplaces in any way, to me they simply look like flat screen tv's, but I think the biggest problem I have with them is they're so often, done so wrong. Just like flat screen tv's, people are struggling with how to integrate modern gas fires into their homes in a way that looks appropriate.I explain my point of view to clients and even though I show them other modern gas options that look more like classic wood burning fireplaces...I simply fail to convince them to change their minds on this issue.

Just like men are dead set on having their jumbo size flat panel tv's and there's no talking them out of it,,,,many couples seem to be dead-set on having these ultra modern flame-only fireplaces.

Ultimately, I surrender and 'Tim Gunn' it best I can.There are many manufacturers making log-less gas fireplace units but frankly I don't find them very attractive, in fact most look rather cheesy to me. There are exceptions, one of the originators of the contemporary flame-only fireplace, and my favorite is Spark Fires , they have a truly clean face design with less visible trim than other mfg's and the media is optional. So through the images below I thought I'd share some examples of what I think are well designed modern log-less fireplaces and why I think they've "made it work".

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