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Hearth is at the heart of a home.

WITH fashions constantly changing make sure you don't leave your fire surround in the dark ages.

Traditionally the heart of the home, a fireplace is a simple but effective way of bringing warmth and a focal point to a room. Fashions have evolved greatly over recent years and now whether it's a contemporary ultra modern flat fire you're after or a Victorian style cast iron center piece for your room then there are a whole range for your to choose from.

Most people will opt for Living Flame fires, this realistic fire effect is highly popular in modern houses and city apartments, as they give off heat and provide a view of a 'real fire'. You can choose from deep red glowing coals, dark coals, logs for a more conventional look, or alternatively there are modern styles such as crushed crystal and pebbles.

More contemporary fireplaces often have a metallic finish.

Choose from bronze, brushed steel and chrome for that fabulous designer look. If you're opting for a traditional fireplace, black and brass finishes continue to prove popular.

Surrounds and mantelpieces add an important and dominating final touch and there are all kinds of style and varieties available to suit modern and traditional dAcor. Cast iron Victorian styles are well liked but wooden surrounds are seeing a current surge in popularity in light spring/summer shades such as pine and beech. One of the most fashionable current designs is a simple solid wooden mantel with a chunky top shelf.

Even if you don't have the facilities for a fire then you can still create an excellent focal point with a fire surround and hearth then create your own center. You can use an array of candles still giving you the feel of a fire, although do ensure they aren't going to be knocked over, especially if you have children or pets.

You could also use an arrangement of flowers, with spring on its way this is a perfect way to refresh your home as well as creating a beautiful focal point for your home. Plus you can get fire bowls, which you can put in different areas of your room or even in the middle of your fire surround maybe with some pebbles.

The choice currently available is excellent and you can benefit from a blend of the latest technology and the best in classic or contemporary design
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Copyright 2005 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 24, 2005
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