Ribbons of Fire: 10 Artfully Minimalist Fireplaces
Long and lean and sleek to the core, these gas-burning fireplaces make a powerful contemporary statement
When it comes to fireboxes, homeowners seem to be gravitating to fire ribbons — gas flames that are wide but shallow, appearing literally as ribbons of fire. The look is contemporary but minimalist, with no faux logs. Instead flames rise from rock, sand or glass. The idea isn’t to provide the illusion of a wood-burning fireplace, just to add the warmth and beauty of a flickering flame.
In this modern black and white home in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood, interior designer Nicole Hollis made the black firebox and yellow flames the art on this monumental white wall.
Architect Mark English warmed the look up here with the addition of Virginia Ledgestone, a natural wood veneer. Even from the side you can see that a single row of flames can have a big impact.
The fire is the focal point in this Washington, D.C., area home. Shinberg Levinas Architectural Design created this custom fireplace, demolishing a brick hearth, installing a new hood and flue for the existing chimney, and recessing a perforated gas pipe in the hearth.
A fire ribbon lends itself to several specialized applications, such as a long firebox. Ibarra Rosano Design Architects installed a 6-foot-long model by Montigo in this home.
The fireboxes can be long or short. This more compact model in a room created by Terrat Elms Interior Design looks crisp surrounded by Athens Silver Cream marble slabs from Ann Sacks.
The narrow profile of a fire ribbon also makes it a natural for a see-through firebox.
A wide hearth can be beneficial to homeowners who pair the television and fireplace on the same wall. Jae Chang Design created the fireplace shown here, which is nearly 48 inches wide and 16 inches tall. By placing the television to the side of the flames, which is possible with a long hearth, the designer was able to keep it low without worrying about heat damage.
Designer Tanya Schoenroth mixed the modern and the rustic in this dramatic ribbon fireplace. The natural gas unit is completely custom; the contractor worked closely with building inspectors to make sure all codes were met.
This fireplace is an off-the-shelf Town & Country model from Rustic Fire Place, but it came with options. “It runs on natural gas or propane, with choices of colors for firebox panels and with either glass or river rock. It can be vented several different ways depending on where it is installed,” says Mike Dawson of Rustic Fire Place.
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