Modern fireplaces not just about heating the house, they are also about interior design. They are still functional and economic, but their aesthetic value has increased so much so that they can often be classified as art pieces. There are more more styles to choose from than there ever were before, and anyone, can find the perfect gas fireplace for any home, be it large or small, urban or rural, and regardless of their particular sense of taste. In the past stone fireplace surrounds were more for protecting the house from the flames and storing ambient heat, even if they were beautifully crafted, but the most contemporary fireplaces can provide heat while also contributing to any interior design schematic. So much so, in fact, that they are often the primary fixtures in a room, and set a certain tone for the interior design schematic altogether.
Despite the availability of other materials, stone is still a popular material to build contemporary fireplaces out of. The procedure for producing one of these modish modern stone fires generally involves four stages: design, construction, delivery and installation.
In designing contemporary fireplaces, the project commences with a basic design concept. Then a simple measured image is drawn up, which then is transformed into a life-size representation that permits a more detailed look at the moldings and the carving details so that more minute dimensions can be determined. After all of this information is ascertained, the details are sent to a stone mill, and the materials are ordered (10-ton blocks are commonly ordered as a starter piece, but each project will require something different). At this point a three dimensional representation of the drawing will be created. Some artists describe this process, which is the most time consuming part of the creation of modern fireplaces, as "finding" the sculpture inside the stone block. The drawings are transferred to the stone to the exact measurements, with specific adjustments made according to needs.
Then the images are shaped, and all the details are historically carved out of the stone with specialized chisels, hammers and other tools. Then the pieces are shipped and delivered to wherever the fireplace is to be installed.
In the end the fireplace is installed by a stone mason, who will connect the carved piece or pieces directly to the wall with specialized galvanized wall ties. The shaped stone pieces are usually connected together with bronze pins, the gaps filled in with mortar, and finally sealed with grout material. The whole process can take many days to complete, but the result is a magnificent custom modern fireplace with a distinct style.
Contemporary fireplaces have increased in popularity because they double as functional industrial design-oriented heaters and interior design-oriented décor. They house real living flames that can be fueled by wood, gas, or other fuels. They are great sources of heat and enjoyment, and generally raise the value of the home by at least as much as they cost. They can be viewed either as functional art pieces or art-designed appliances, and are the ultimate marriage of the utilitarian and the aesthetic.