With the current lifestyle trend toward “cocooning,” fireplaces — alluring because they're a strong visual focal point — are a design feature in high demand. Makers have responded with increased variety, new features, and customization options. Trims, temperature, even flame size can be carefully selected or changed on a whim. Optional remote controls are fast becoming must-haves for homeowners who want to enjoy their investment to the fullest.
Hot Decor Fiery Hues tiles come in a wide range of colors and sizes designed specifically for fireplace installations. All the company's tiles are freeze- and thaw-resistant and are suitable for use both indoors and out. A number of trim styles, including rails, caps, and crowns, are also offered. Trikeenan. 603.355.2961. www.trikeenan.com.
Watered Down, Fired Up The Aqueon hydrogen-burning fireplace extracts and burns hydrogen fuel from water, offering an alternative energy source that burns cleanly (eliminating the need for venting or a sealed glass front) with 100% efficiency, the maker says. Aqueon boasts a sculpture-like design with stainless steel and copper elements, along with a 360-degree view of the flame. It can be installed virtually anywhere that has water and electrical access. Heat-N-Glo. 888.427.3973. www.heatnglo.com.
Hearth of Glass The Panorama P121 is a see-through beauty powered by 40,000 BTUs. Also available as a corner unit, the fireplace has several trim options including black, gold, or steel front louvers. Other optional accessories include a remote control and a thermostat. Regency. 604.946.5155. www.regency-fire.com.
Easy Fit The direct-vent gas Montebello provides an authentic, wood-burning fireplace experience with its flush hearth and removed louvers. The Secure Vent direct-vent pipe features laser-welded construction and compression fit, as well as a twist-lock design to make installation easier, the manufacturer says. Four interior brick options are offered: rustic brick, herringbone, old cottage, and black. Lennox. 800.953.6669. www.lennoxhearthproducts.com.
Total Control Nineteen new features have been built into the Multi-Fire electric fireplace. The 32-inch fire-box offers a clean face design, spark screen, and bi-fold glass doors. A firelight dimmer and adjustable flame speed allow users to customize their hearth experience, as do temperature control and an occupancy sensor that automatically turns the unit on or off when someone enters or leaves the room. Dimplex. 800.668.6663. www.dimplex.com.