Without poetry, to live is simply to exist. ~ Dominique Imbert, Creator of Focus
For years now, fireplace trends seem to have been more concentrated on the look of the surround than the actual fireplace itself. All sorts of gorgeous materials have been introduced like concrete, cultured stone, and stainless steel to make the fireplace wall a beautiful focal point. But what about the actual box itself where the action happens? Certainly we’ve moved from horrid heat sucking monoliths to high efficiency inserts. The option for gas as opposed to wood-burning has become commonplace and easily accessible in North America. But essentially, the fireplace has remained a boring little box which can only be located in homes with venting capabilities.
Life Outside the Box
For those of you who would enjoy a little poetry in your lives, let me introduce you to life outside the box. A company called Focus, its headquarters in France, has reinvented the fireplace and proved that, with a little creativity, a fireplace (not just it’s surround) can be art. Focus fireplaces can be inserted into a wall, hung from a wall, or suspended from the ceiling. Many of these fireplaces can be either wood burning (with low CO2 emissions) or gas, but they have also created a Bioethanol burning fireplace which I will expand upon below. The thing which I think I appreciate most about their creations are that, although in the catalogue all the fireplaces are shown in modern spaces, they can easily suit a wide variety of styles. Let me show you some examples.
Going Green and Free
Bioethanol fireplaces are just starting to pop up around North America and Europe. Essentially, the combustion of ethanol creates only water vapour, making these types of fireplaces very easy on the environment. It also allows the fireplace to be placed anywhere in the home, even in apartments that were not built with any way to vent smoke and fumes of wood and gas. They create a warmth that is adjustable (like gas) and a fantastic ambiance from a table top or from within a wall.
According to their catalogue, Focus has only one model of Bioethanol fireplace but I suspect, as the popularity grows, they will produce others.
Do you think we really need to settle for a box? Certainly not.
For more information on Focus see their international website: