All fired up



Despite what our circadian rhythms may be telling us, the countdown to the festive season is well underway. So if you’re planning to surprise Santa, Rudolf and Prancer et al with a brand new fireplace that’s the last word in stunning design… now’s the time. Winters on the Coast may be short and sweet, and it’s generally accepted that you’ll probably only need to heat your home for around 45 days a year. But although your Mediterranean pad almost certainly has central or maybe underfloor heating, nothing quite compares with gently flickering flames – real or faux – when it comes to creating a stunning focal point and unique conversational piece as well as the ultimate feel-good factor.

(Left): Filiofocus Téléscopique: “It is magnificent… congratulations!” – Sir Norman Foster. Cheminées Focus. (Above): Mondrian Flame 4345: Bespoke fireplace, a tribute to Piet Mondrian. EcoSmart™. (Right): Ground Floor: Coffee tables with a biofire ambience. Planika.

(Left): Yan-Li: Three stylised intertwining flames illustrate the vitality of fire. Arkiane. (Right): Cubico: Flickering flames from every angle. Can be used indoors or outside. Safretti

Of course, we’ve climbed quite a long way up the evolutionary ladder since early man first struck lucky by rubbing two sticks together, and state-of-the-art design fused with cutting-edge technology have raised the lowly fireplace to an art form of mind-blowing sculptural and architectural significance where the only boundary is imagination.

Bronze Metafocus: Now you see it… now you don’t. Limited edition, signed and numbered by Dominique Imbert. Cheminées Focus.

Zeta: A stylish fusion of timber, leather and stainless steel, fully portable and fuelled by denatured ethanol. EcoSmart™.

So what can you get for your money? Well, that naturally depends on how much you’ve got. As you’ll no doubt have twigged, you’ll need a deep pocket if you’re going to fork out on some of these magnificent masterpieces, several of which are limited editions signed and numbered by their world famous designers. Others, however, are reassuringly and – considering their aesthetic good looks and eco-friendly performance – surprisingly affordable.

Omegafocus: Ripped steel. Sculpture or fireplace? Have both! Limited edition. Cheminées Focus.

Retro: A fully portable work of art that can also be custom made. Fuelled by denatured ethanol. EcoSmart™.

(Left): Fire Cage: Curved stainless steel rods with steel orbs. Elena Colombo. (Right): Treewall: In-ground Corten Steel Fire Arc with Acid-etched Tree. Elena Colombo.

The sheer choice of form and function on offer is astounding. From wall- or floor-mounted, inserts, portable units and flue or flue-less… to fires that are suspended from the ceiling, lead a double life as a chic coffee table or elegant room divider, and others designed on the now-you-see-it, now-you-don’t principle, the sky’s the limit. Some have been created specifically for use indoors or out – or for that matter both – and then too there are those that combine the dual elements of fire and water to maximum effect. And when it comes to combustible, with options ranging from gas and electric, to the more environmentally friendly wood-burning, wood pellets, denatured ethanol and biomass, you’ll also be spoilt for choice. If you’re concerned about keeping your carbon footprint to an absolute minimum then you’ll be pleased to know that as in Northern Europe, systems are also available on the Costa del Sol that in addition to warming your property will heat your domestic water as well.

Chromifocus: Doors closed: A contemporary work of art; doors open: The beauty of a natural fire. Cheminées Focus.

(Left): Lantern: Like all EcoSmart™ fires, fuelled by denatured ethanol. Indoor/outdoor use. (Centre): Bubble: Alcohol-based smokeless fire technology for use outside or indoors. Planika. (Right): Wood rack: Everything in its place. Steel storage unit. Tonwerk.

Bronze Metafocus: Each vertical, horizontal or square front is a unique creation. Cheminées Focus.

(Left): Riviera: Indoor / Outdoor ethanol-burning bio fireplace. Safretti. (Right): Vertical Bell (Right): With or without frame, a room divider that reaches new heights. Bellfires.

Alma: A futuristic fireplace perfect for a romantic bedroom setting. Palazzetti.
So if we’ve fired your imagination as we hope we have, all you need to do is to decide which hot little beauty is going to light up your home… and your life!