There is nothing cozier than being able to settle down in front of a fireplace, with a cup of hot cocoa or coffee, and watching a romantic movie with the man of your dreams. Home is, indeed, where the hearth is. But not every home or apartment automatically comes equipped with a built-in fireplace and sometimes we just can’t afford the extra expense of putting a gas or electric fireplace in our home. Luckily today there is an alternative way to achieve the wonderful, relaxing glow that a real flame fireplace offers. Rockefeller Fireplaces, Real Flame Fireplaces, and Tiffany-Style Fireplaces are just a few of the companies that now offer this wonderful alternative freestanding fireplace.
It is now possible to bring the warm glow of a hearth into any room of your home with a freestanding fireplace that doesn’t require wood, special electrical wiring, a chimney, or even pricey gas hookups. You can choose a model customized for a specific room or you can choose one than can be moved from room to room as you see fit.
Freestanding fireplaces come in all different sizes, shapes, heights, and widths. While most are made to fit directly up against a wall, several models are available in corner-style as well. Constructed of solid wood like pine, maple, oak, cherry, and mahogany, these beautiful pieces of furniture come in a variety of styles and colors. There are both streamlined modernistic models and ornate, hand carved models. Some even include exquisite built-in Tiffany lighting, marble or granite insets and/or mantles, hand painted décor and much, much more.
The secret to the secure use of these freestanding fireplaces lies in their metal firebox. The firebox provides a safe spot to ignite the clean-burning gel fuel that offers both ambiance and warmth to the room of your choice. Clean burning fuel assures no mess, no fuss. There is no ash to contend with and no stubborn soot to clean up. All that is left is a soft, illusive glow and ever-so delicate warmth wafting throughout the room.
I purchased my first freestanding fireplace about two years ago. I had always wanted the opportunity to curl up with a good book in front of a fire and relax after a hard day’s work. But like a lot of Americans, I couldn’t afford the luxury of a built-in fireplace and found that even electrical and gas fireplaces were way out of by budget. However, the freestanding fireplace fit my purposes well. You see the one I have in my front room in the picture. I have a second, smaller model in mahogany in my bedroom. It is delightful decadent to go to sleep to the crackle of a burning fireplace. I highly recommend it!
We found only one store locally – – Beautiful Bedrooms of Hampton, Virginia – – that carries freestanding fireplaces. They carry the brand Real Flame, which is the brand of both of my personal models. They range in price locally from about $259 to $499 depending upon the model chosen. However, the store only offers about five different models. They also sell the gel fuel which retails for about $60 for 25 cans (the average cost everywhere). This equates to about $2.40 per can. Each can will burn for approximately three hours.
I actually purchased both of my fireplaces from QVCwhere I could take advantage of Easy Pay, which allowed me to pay off the fireplace over a period of time (in my case, over a four-month period). That made it much easier on my budget. QVC offers a variety of models. Here are just a few to give you an idea of what you can find from Real Flame Fireplaces. The:
- Carthage offers large keystone accents around its arch shaped opening and upper panels detailed with lovely scrolled molding. It is available in oak or white (pine) and measures 42″ in height by 42″ in width by 12″ in depth.
- Elizabeth has Victorian-style carving for an elegant look. Comes in mahogany or taupe (pine) and measures 42 ½” in height by 47″ in width by 12″ in depth.
- Michelle offers elaborate hand carved designs for a grace in elegance of the Old World. It comes in oak and mahogany and measures 41″ in height by 42″ in width and 13 ½” in depth.
- Pillar (one of my models) offers simple lines with pillars carved into the wood. It comes in white (pine), oak, and mahogany and is available in both a wall and corner model (each with different measurements).
- Ashley is similar to the models typically included in today’s homes. It comes in white and black (pine) mahogany, and oak and measures 42″ in height by 48″ in width by 13 ½” in depth.
- Petite Visionary (my bedroom model) has basic clean lines. It comes in oak and mahogany and measures 32″ in height by 38″ in width and 10″ in depth (which fit perfectly against the space between my linen and clothes closets.
- Corbel is designed with fluted supports and hand carved accents for a classic look. It comes only in off white and measures 40″ in height by 46″ in width by 14″ in depth.
- Stafford comes with minimum carving in a classic look. It comes in white (pine), mahogany, and oak and is available in wall or corner format (each with different measurements).
- Athena has hand carved center panel instantly makes it the room’s focal point but beveled sides adds more depth and texture to complete the refined appearance. It comes in oak and mahogany and measures 42 ¼” in height by 47″ in width by 11″ in depth.
- Camille sets a pattern of colorful tiles against a contrasting solid wood frame for another Old World feel. It comes in white (pine) with blue tile and mahogany with taupe tile and measures 43 ½” in height by 49″ in width by 12″ in depth.
- Alexandria has a marble inset with small corbels accenting the mantle. It comes in oak and mahogany with off-white marble and measures 42″ in height by 48″ in width by 14″ in depth.
- Pristine is the most elaborately hand carved model. It comes only in mahogany and measures 40″ in height by 46″ in width by 12″ in depth.
Each Real Flame Fireplace must be assembled which takes about one hour. It comes in two boxes with the firebox completely assembled in one and the wooden pieces that must be assembled in the other. It also comes with a grate, screen, log, lava rocks, and gel fuel. These range in price from $289 to $848 at QVC.com. Additional shipping and handling ranges from about $30 to $50.
This past year (2006) was the first time I have seen the Tiffany-Style Fireplaces. They were sold on Home Shopping Network for approximately $450. There were only three models that I could find:
- Angel, offers inset stained glass in the form of an angel in the midst of a field of flowers. Made of strategically hand pieced and hand cut glass joined by a lead-free copper foiling process, this piece replicates a handcrafted look made famous by artisan Louis Tiffany. This piece comes only in dark oak and measures 42″ in height by 48″ in width by 14 ¼” in depth.
- Floral, offers an inset of stained glass in the form of roses and butterflies. Made of strategically hand pieced and hand cut glass joined by a lead-free copper foiling process, this piece replicates a handcrafted look made famous by artisan Louis Tiffany. This piece comes only in dark oak and measures 42″ in height by 48″ in width by 14 ¼” in depth.
- Paradise, offers an inset of stained glass in the form of tropical parrots. Made of strategically hand pieced and hand cut glass joined by a lead-free copper foiling process, this piece replicates a handcrafted look made famous by artisan Louis Tiffany. This piece comes only in dark oak and measures 42″ in height by 48″ in width by 14 ¼” in depth.
Each Tiffany-Style Fireplace must be assembled which takes about one hour. It comes in two boxes with the firebox completely assembled in one and the wooden pieces that must be assembled in the other. It also comes with a log, mesh screen, and gel fuel. The additional shipping and handling charge is $66.
The Rockefeller Fireplaces have been available on Home Shopping Network for two years. At the current time they only have one model available. I could find no other site that advertised these pieces.
- Hand Painted offers an inset painting of flowers which draws any eye to the focal point of the room. This piece is usually available in white, oak, or mahogany and measures 42 ¼” in height by 42″ in width by 14 ½” in depth.
I suspect that as the popularity of these freestanding fireplaces grows, more companies will come on board to offer these products. They are stunning to look at, add wonderful ambiance to any room, and offer tranquility and relaxation to any owner.