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Home renovation exploded during the COVID stay-at-home period, and some very distinct fireplace design trends emerged during that time. Improvements that had been put off were suddenly top priority. People working from home fell (partially) out of love with their open concept homes. The desire for more welcoming home entertainment rooms rose to the top of the wish list.

Even as the world returns to something close to normal, how we use our living spaces has been permanently altered. The boom in home renovation rages on as the desire to improve our living and working spaces has become more necessity and less a luxury.

Here are some of the hottest fireplace design trends we are seeing now.

Design Trend: Traditional Contemporary Fusion

Design Trend: Defining Spaces

Design Trend: Clean & Simple

Design Trend: That “Look at Me” Drama

Regular cleaning and inspection are crucial to gas fireplace maintenance. Here's what you need to know to ensure your gas fireplace is safe, clean, and in good working condition.

By Jessica Bennett - Home & Gardens

A gas fireplace lets you enjoy the warmth and coziness of a glowing fire by simply flipping a switch or pressing a button. Without the mess of ash and soot, these clean-burning units require much less upkeep than traditional wood-burning fireplaces, but a bit of gas fireplace maintenance is essential to keep yours in top shape.

First, it's recommended that you have a licensed gas service provider inspect your fireplace at least once per year. The technician can thoroughly clean gas fireplaces, check for gas leaks, ensure the fireplace is venting properly, and identify potential safety issues.

Between annual inspections, you can also conduct some gas fireplace cleaning yourself. Especially if you use your gas fireplace frequently, dirt, dust, and other residue can build up over time, eventually resulting in musty odors or glass doors that appear milky or foggy. If your fireplace's interior or glass looks grimy, follow the steps below on how to clean a gas fireplace.

How to Clean a Gas Fireplace

Working around gas components can be dangerous. Before you begin, read the manual for your gas fireplace and be sure to follow all manufacturer's instructions, paying special attention to safety precautions.

What You Need

  • Screwdriver

  • Dropcloth or towel

  • Vacuum with crevice tool attachment or handheld vacuum

  • Soft cleaning cloth

  • Fireplace glass cleaner

  • Paper towels

Step 1: Turn off the gas and disassemble.

Switch the pilot light and the gas valve off and wait for the fireplace to cool down completely before cleaning. Following the manufacturer's instructions, remove the glass panel to access the interior of the fireplace. Set the glass on a soft surface, such as a dropcloth or an old towel. If possible, remove the decorative logs (this might require a screwdriver) and place them on the dropcloth or towel. Consider taking a photo of the fireplace before disassembling to help you remember where to put everything back.

Step 2: Clean the fireplace interior.

Vacuum up any dirt or dust inside the fireplace, moving carefully around the grates, decorative stones, or other components. If the stones or rocks inside your gas fireplace are small enough to get sucked up by the vacuum, carefully remove them before vacuuming. Dust off the logs using a soft cloth and replace them inside the unit.

Step 3: Clean the gas fireplace glass.

Gas fireplace glass sometimes acquires a white, foggy-looking film resulting from chemical residue. To clean, use a glass cleaner specifically designed for fireplaces ($8, The Home Depot) and buff with paper towels or a soft cleaning cloth. Replace the glass on the fireplace.

Other Gas Fireplace Maintenance Tips

The faux logs and rocks inside your gas fireplace can become discolored, worn, or cracked over time. If you notice any signs of damage, replace these components immediately. Ensure you have a working carbon monoxide detector installed nearby that can alert you in the event of a leak. Call a professional if you notice any signs of excess moisture, cracked paint, stains, or other damage around your fireplace or chimney, and schedule your annual fireplace inspection in the late summer or early fall before the temperatures drop.

Outdoor fireplace ideas are the ultimate way to turn your backyard into an entertaining space, using design to help you build the alfresco living space of dreams

Outdoor fireplace ideas can cater for a range of backyards and budgets. So before deciding on a design, it’s worth considering any specific requirements you might have. For example, a semi-enclosed model, such as a chiminea or ceiling-mounted fireplace, might be a good option for exposed yards and blustery coastal spots, while a simple bowl design could be sufficient in a more sheltered outdoor space.

‘Choosing an outdoor fireplace can also be about more than placement and safety,’ says European Home’s founder Holly Markham. ‘Now, you can find designs that really enhance the beauty of your outdoor space, with organic forms and sculptural features that look just as good when not in use.’ For Holly, a fire is a must-have whether indoors or out. ‘Fireplaces provide a gathering place and appeal to people because of their warmth and visual allure. They encourage conversation and relaxation, and there is simply an emotional and universal draw to fire.’

They are a wonderful companion to an outdoor kitchen, or a place to gather in their own right. But do think about what it takes to run them. When it comes to fuel, a wood-burning outdoor fireplace will bring the atmospheric sounds and smells of a real fire, while a gas-powered model is quick to ignite, smokeless and easy to extinguish. For a more eco-friendly option for your backyard, consider a bio-ethanol model, which has similar features to a gas fire but with the added benefit of a renewable energy source. Whatever fuel you choose, there area wealth of different styles to choose from, whether you go for an off-the-shelf fireplace or a bespoke design. We’ve complied a few to ideas to help you get started below. ‘This contemporary courtyard garden is a peaceful retreat from the city, extending the living space beyond the walls of the house and into the landscape,’ says James Lord, founder/partner of a landscape architecture studio.

Here, a concrete hearth creates a hub for gathering outside on the patio, which is composed of stone slabs interspersed with flowering thyme and sedum plantings. ‘The hearth itself is an abstract composition of pristine white concrete backed by the rippling surface of a black basalt fountain wall that slides behind the flame of the firepit,’ continues James.

‘At night, the courtyard is enlivened by a band of recessed lighting highlighting the floating architectural edges and washing the sunken plantings with light.’

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