The Magic of Fireplaces
Fireplaces have been a part of our homes for centuries. Their original purpose was to heat the inside of houses during cold weather, and as a vessel for cooking meals. Over the years, fireplaces have shifted to being more decorative. Often these appliances are focal points in rooms with their sole purpose being to create a beautiful ambiance. As interior designers, we frequently notice that fireplaces are not always utilized to the fullest. There are multiple ways to use your fireplace in your daily life. From a cozy gathering place in your home to a functional appliance, the possibilities are endless.
The history of fireplaces
Humans have been gathering around fire since the beginning of time. In the early days, fire was purely used to cook food and as a source of heat. According to the NIH, the importance of fire in human evolutionary history is widely acknowledged. In addition to heating and providing a facility for cooking, fires also warded off predators, extended the day and illuminated dark places. Their study even shows that watching fires has many health benefits. People become calmer when sitting around a fire and it helps to curb anxiety.
There is also a link between fires and lower blood pressure. The sound of cracking embers and serenity people feel when relaxing by a fire has a profound effect on our bodies and health. Maybe this link is why fire has evolved from outdoor campfires to indoor hearths over the years. Modern fireplaces add magic to a room and don’t compare to any other appliance or area of the home.
How fireplaces have evolved
In modern society, most of the time a hearth is a design feature in the home. Fireplaces are often designed into a room because they’re considered high-end items. These focal points have had quite the evolution in houses from small fire pits to linear fireplaces. Some of the most common fireplaces you’ll see today are wood burning, gas, and electric.
As interior designers, we often work with clients who ask us to help design fireplaces into their homes. Before selecting the perfect fit, we look at the architectural elements of the room and consider balance, scale and finished look. While most contemporary homes have linear fireplaces, it’s important to note that these aren’t the only options for modern style.
4 different ways to use your fireplace in your daily life
While fireplaces are great for enhancing the overall ambiance of a room, they don’t have to be purely decorative. The following 4 tips are ways we recommend that you use your fireplace in your daily life.
Game night: Board games and finger foods are a great way to bring together family and friends for a game night. When you host, why not host the party around the fire? Enjoying a lovely evening of fun and comfort with your favorite people and game by the fire will make everyone feel cozy.
Bond with your kids: When interior designer Anna’s daughter was growing up, they had a ritual of reading by the fireplace. Each night before bed they would turn on the fire and read a book together which had a profound calming effect. As her daughter grew up, this routine evolved from cozy bedtime stories to comforting nighttime chats. Sitting by the fire at night with your kids is an amazing way to settle in for the night.
Date night: Now more than ever we are spending more time at home which is making us have to think outside of the box when it comes to date night. Nothing creates a romantic atmosphere quite like a fire, so it only makes sense to host your date nights there. Spice up your evening after the kids go to bed and enjoy a glass of wine with your lover by a crackling fire.
“Me time”: Because fire has a connection to relaxation and reduces anxiety, this is the perfect place to unwind. Grab your favorite book and settle in by the fire for some moments of calm. Whether you like meditating, quiet time or are just looking for a few minutes of reflection, we recommend doing so in front of the fire.
Designing magic into your home
In modern society, fireplaces are the most convenient way to bring magic into your home. People love to gather around fire and hear embers crack and watch the hypnotic flames. Using your fireplace as a gathering area in your home and an additional source of heat, especially during cold pacific northwest winters, can be a great way to get the most out of them. Our team at Interiors by Popov specialize in creating modern spaces with European luxury in mind. If you’re looking to elevate your home, we would love to help. Check out our portfolio for design inspiration and give us a call at (425) 403-6060 to get started today!