As fireplaces are generally made of heavy and hard-looking materials such as brick or stone, they can weigh down the look of a room if dressed improperly. To combat this, break up the masculinity of a fireplace with the soft, fluid lines of plants. A pop of green complements an array of design styles, while floral arrangements add a more feminine tone. Tall grasses are becoming increasingly popular as a relatively neutral and delicate plant that adds eye-catching height.
One important element of mantel decorating is how you balance your objects in the space. Symmetry brings your eye across the mantel, which is better for a more streamlined, simple approach. For homes with a more classic and conservative aesthetic, this is a popular look. If you prefer a more modern style, vary the height of your accessories to achieve the look that best fits your personality. You’ll also want to pay attention to scale so that your statement pieces don’t overwhelm the space. Play around with different shapes, textures and colors to discover the right proportions. You may be surprised how much you like the look of a bold pop of color or a tall statement piece.
Depending on the model purchased, the insert will either fit flush with the fireplace face brick or protrude onto the hearth. The protruding design is more efficient since it provides additional radiant heat from the exposed top and sides. The National Fire Protection Association requires that fireplace inserts be installed with a direct connection between the insert exhaust outlet and nearest section of flue liner. This allows smoke and gases faster passage and less time to condense in the flue and form hazardous creosote.
A vent free gas fireplace has no outside venting and is not an option for wood, pellet or coal burning inserts. Many new fireplace inserts are equipped with a blower for even heat distribution and can be thermostatically controlled. The inserts are made with steel plate or cast iron. The front is sealed with a glass door that allows for an enjoyable viewing experience and increases efficiency by making the insert air tight.
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