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We were having a leakage issue in our basement that was due to moisture in our chimney. The frigid Chicago weather has caused quite a havoc this winter. Lindemann was able to diagnose the problem and ... - Steve M. (Chicago, IL)
My experience with Lindemann was excellent. They came out and did what no one else could. Mine was a smoke issue. After having a fire the entire house would smell of smoke. I could have hung pork bell... - Frank F. (Mount Prospect, IL)
These guys are great! We had our chimney inspected/cleaned by Jim who was extremely knowledgeable and super nice! Definitely recommend these guys! And free wood with the chimney cleaning! Super! ... - Steve S. (Chicago, IL)
It is easy to make the hearth area the focal point of any room. After all, it’s the area where family and friends gather to share memories and create new ones. Fires have drawn humans for centuries, first as a source of warmth, then to cook food, and now as a gathering place.
A fireplace or woodstove hearth can contain many elements. Texture gives it depth. Color creates the mood. A finish can be warm or cool, modern or colonial. Flair creates drama either bring all the elements together or creating an overwhelming presence. Finally, let’s not forget functionality. You can have it all with today’s new hearth accessories.
Rugs add fiber, texture, color and expression. They can be one of the elements that add flair. Hearth rugs are made of either wool, which is a natural fiber resistant material, or olefin which is spark resistant. Designs include Oriental, Retro, Metropolitan, Lodge, Contemporary and homey. They are available in Berber or loop or plush and fringed or no fringe.
Screens can take you any direction you want. From straight lines to curves, grapevines, twisted “rope bars”, roses, pine cones and angles you can choose any style that’s appropriate for your fireplace. The finishes are vast: matte black, burnished black, vintage iron, brushed nickel, burnished bronze, polished brass, antique brass, copper, antique copper, rustic copper and graphite. Today’s screens also offer options such as integrated votive candle holders, glass incorporated into the design, texture in the form of three dimensional metal roses, pine cones and more.
Screens are a necessary functional accessory. The screen can be free standing, mounted in the firebox opening, it can provide an operable door or be just a solid screen. Even free standing child protective screens are available.
A multi-functional accessory is a toolset. If you purchase a quality set it will last for years. Tool sets are available in many styles and finishes such as lodge style, basket weave, botanical features, arts and crafts, contemporary, soldiered row and modern styles to name a few. Finishes are available in matte black, black and brass, black and silver, graphite, burnished black, vintage iron, brushed nickel, burnished bronze, antique brass, black and marble, antique copper, rustic copper and just plain copper finishes.
Toolsets usually include the following functional implements: shovel, broom, tongs, poker, and sometimes an ash rake. When it comes to brooms, they are available in a couple of different textures. The most common fireplace broom fiber is Tampico. It has natural fire-resistant qualities. The other fiber, which has more texture and leans towards rustic, is broom corn. This makes for an attractive implement with lots of texture but it isn’t very practical. It will dirty over time and if it hits a hot coal it could ignite.
Other functional tools include ash holders, wood holders, wood carriers, andirons, bellows, match holders, fire starters, and grates. These tools are available in a wide style and variety of finishes. For instance, there’s even a round “basket” style of fireplace grate. Andirons are available in many styles like Labrador retrievers, candle holders, the classic round ball and more.
In the late spring and summer months the hearth can still function as an attractive focal point. In fact, there are now many options available for decorating including candelabras, fireplace screens with votive candles, screens where you can place family photos and more. Electric log sets are also available and can be installed in the fireplace and enjoyed. Another option is to integrate things you may already have such as collections, silk flower arrangements or even plants.
Today’s hearth products can provide you with design flare and inspiration to achieve the ultimate focal point. Through the elements of texture, color, finish and flare you can achieve the desired effect. With functionality combined with aesthetic appeal, today’s hearth products provide the key to creating the ultimate intimate gathering place in your home.
Posted by Karen Stickels Lamansky, Author of Design Ideas for Fireplaces, published by Creative Homeowner Press
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