How to Decorate Your Fireplace During The Summer

summer fireplace

It’s summertime, and while that means you most likely will not be preparing and lighting any fires (unless you have an unusually cold night), there’s no need to just completely neglect your fireplace until it gets chilly again. Rather than letting your fireplace become a vacant corner of your common space, with a little added effort and thought, your unlit fireplace can easily be transformed into a useful and decorative space that adds character to your home. Whether you’re looking for a simple one time solution for the summer, or you’re down for a more involved temporary transformation, we’re here to help with the top suggestions on how to make the most of your space this summer.

Stack Logs or Light Candles

This is one of the most common ways to decorate the empty space, and let others know that you are ready to go and fire up your hearth as soon as it cools down. You can also paint the logs fun colors for an even more vibrant and fun effect. Another common choice is to add a unique decorative candle holder and light candles at night time. This gives you a similar effect as a full fire but without all the heat. It is also a great way to bring in some summery scents and add light to your home. This is one of the easiest ways to decorate your fireplace, the setup takes no time at all and it won’t be a hassle to take down.

Install Art or Plant Life

Sculptures, paintings, glass blowings, if you’ve got a taste for art you definitely have options. This is a great way to add a more personal touch to your fireplace during the summer, still without too much setup or work. If you like, you can also add plans with decorative pots or vases to give you both art and beautiful growing plant life side by side. Mirrors are also a popular choice as they reflect light and are very easy to set up.

Create a Mini Theatre

This option is a little more involved, but is still easy enough and doesn’t require much skill. Many people love watching movies on projectors but they don’t always have a free wall to place it on. To perform this transformation, simply drape a heavy sheet white sheet or cardstock background over the fireplace, pick up a projector and adjust it until the frame is the right size. Before you know it you’ll have the perfect mini theatre in your home for movie night.

Convert it Into a Bookshelf

Adding a bookshelf into your fireplace is a great option for the summer, or year round if you have a nonfunctional decorative fireplace with no chimney. Simply clean the fireplace thoroughly, and add shelving as you see fit for both the space and the amount of books you wish to store. 

The Benefits of an Electric Fireplace

electric fireplace

Electric fireplaces are slowly but surely becoming a more popular choice when it comes to new construction homes, especially in more urban areas and buildings with multiple units. However, this trend is still relatively new, and many people don’t understand all the benefits of the electric fireplace. While there are plenty of reasons you might want to opt for a more traditional fireplace, we’ve outlined the specifics of why that could actually be not the best idea in the long run.

Affordable Installation

Most don’t realize that a full fireplace is usually one of the first parts of a home to go up. In most cases, homes are built around chimneys rather than the other way around. While it is possible to add a chimney and a full stone or brick fireplace to your home, it is a major investment that most likely won’t increase the value of your home by very much. Because there’s no need for a chimney on an electric fireplace, the price to install it is significantly less expensive than a full traditional fireplace. Not only is it less materials and work but it also happens much faster, an electric fireplace can easily be installed in under two days, and it requires much less technical knowledge.

Smoke Free & Hazard Free

Did you know that a buildup of debris in chimneys is one of the most common causes of house fires? By eliminating this factor you significantly reduce the chances of this hazard. No fire also means no smoke, which for many can aggravate asthma.

Lower Utility Costs

Another great thing about an eclectic fireplace unit is that it will use less electricity than your home’s heating system. If you are spending time in the common room and you’re only wanting to heat up that area and not the rest of the home, electric fireplaces are a great way to do that. Supplementing your existing heating system with an electric fireplace will save you money on your heating bill at the end of the month during the winter.

Lower Environmental Impact

In addition to all the benefits for you and your home, electric fireplaces also place less strain on the environment. Not only is electricity becoming an increasingly renewable source of energy through windmills and solar panels, but the lack of smoke going into the atmosphere also reduces your carbon footprint.

Contact New England Hearth & Home

If you’re interested in adding an electric fireplace to your home, please give us a call at 781-562-0771 or contact us here. We are always happy to answer any questions and provide suggestions if needed.

Fire Pit Maintenance Tips

fire pit flame

Caring for Your Fire Pit

Fire pits are a great addition to any backyard or patio area, providing a visual focal point and meeting place for all. While outdoor masonry fire pits don’t require all that much maintenance and attention, there are still some things you should know as a fire pit owner so you can take the best possible care of your outdoor fire pit and help it to last a long time.

Remove Ashes from The Pit

Shoveling ashes out of your fire pit on a regular basis is an important habit to get into. Ashes are actually acidic and can cause long term damage and deterioration when left unattended over time. To make this easy we suggest getting a small ash shovel, often found with other fire pit tools, and using it to remove ashes the day after each use. You can keep a metal ash can next to the pit and deposit your ashes into it to make the process easy.

Cleaning Your Fire Pit

Over time, residue will build up, we recommend using a special low level acidic cleaning solution to scrub the fire pit with. Try a one part muriatic acid to nine parts water solution, then rinse with water and let it sit for 2-3 days before your next use.

Extinguishing Flames

Ideally, if you can let the flames in your fire pit naturally die off, that’s the best way to extinguish them. By doing this you avoid quick changes in temperature, which can cause cracks to happen in the stone. However, this isn’t always possible and you should still keep water on hand for extinguishing the flames, especially for an emergency situation.

Fire Pit Tools

Having the right set of tools can also really help you take care of your fire pit. We recommend a scoop or shovel for ash, a long poker, and some fire tongs to move around the logs and keep an even burn. This small purchase will greatly improve not only your fires but also the condition of your fire pit over time.

Contact New England Hearth & Home

Fire pits are an excellent addition to your backyard or patio area. We offer custom fire pits design and installation that can offer style, warmth and a great change of pace to your backyard area! Please give us a call at 781-562-0771 or contact us here.

How to Shade Your Deck or Patio This Summer

retractable awning

Getting sunshine is one of the best parts about having a functional deck or patio to lounge at during the spring and summer. These outdoor spaces are great for sunbathing or other outdoor activities, but too much sun can also be a problem. Having control over how much sun you want, when you want it can really come in handy, especially if you’re already sporting a sunburn. This is why retractable awnings for your deck or patio is a trend coming back in a big way.

If you’ve ever tried working from home while the sun is filling your screen with glare, then you know the struggle. Shade is the only solution to this problem, and large canopies and patio awnings are a great way to do it.

Retractable Awnings

When planning out the design of your deck, there’s no shortage of choices for awnings. One of the most common, and most practical options is a retractable awning. These extend, retract, and can even be easily removed depending on your preferences or the weather. They filter out harmful UV rays while also giving you a break from the harsh sun. Depending on your needs, they are available both motorized and manually retractable variations. Motorized awnings give you the convenience of retracting and extending at the push of a button, while standard awnings offer less moving parts and complications.

Canopy Awnings

Alternatively, you could look into a canopy style awning. These are great for geographic areas that are a little drier or that have warm weather year round. However they don’t perform well with heavy snow or rain, so we don’t typically recommend them to our New England clients.

For those of us who do have to deal with tougher winters and wet seasons, sometimes a metal deck awning is the right fit for a client, but it certainly doesn’t offer the same flexibility or summery feel of a retractable awning.

Shade Sails

If you’re looking for something a little more low key and flexible, shade sails are an easy-up and easy-down solution. They come in really any color or style you can imagine and are usually a little more affordable than the other options. While this thin fabric won’t offer much protection from the elements they do still provide some much needed shade and can truly be an accessory to your home.

Contact New England Hearth & Home

If you’re looking to turn your backyard area into your own personal oasis, you’ve come to the right place! We offer awnings, fire pits, and even outdoor kitchens that help you transform your backyard area! Please give us a call at 781-562-0771 or contact us here.