It is simply a sad fact that a great many homeowners (me included) with hearths in their homes fail to realize the significance of fireplace screens when it comes to their décor. Far too often, we tend to view fireplace screens more as simple hearth accessories that provide some safety function rather than opportunities to add character and depth to our entire interior design scheme. However, when we take the time to choose the proper finish, fireplace screens can completely unify the entire hearth area and make it the focal point of the room.
Before any time is spent thinking about the finish, however, it is important to first decide whether or not the fireplace screen will be functional or decorative. If we intend to use our fireplace screen and place it in front of the hearth opening in order to prevent flying sparks from igniting our beautiful flooring, then we must limit our choices. Stained glass and many glass fireplace screens are not designed to withstand the heat of an actual fire and are instead only meant as a decorative fixture for the hearth area (however, please note that many “tempered glass” fireplace screens have in fact been designed to withstand the heat of an actual fire so shop accordingly!).
Once you know the intended purpose of your fireplace screen, it is time to think about the finish. When it comes to complementing your décor, the trick is to start with the hearth area and then expand outward. For instance, you want to first unify the fireplace and this is accomplished rather easily by making sure that the finish on all hearth accessories is the same or at least complementary. Now if this is your first fireplace and you do not have any hearth essentials such as tools, wood baskets, andirons, etc. —then you are in luck because the world is literally your oyster and you can choose any finish you like for your fireplace screen. Do keep in mind that once the hearth is unified, you will then want to coordinate with other furnishings in your décor so try not to go too crazy.
But, like many of you, I struggled with the choice of finish not only for my fireplace screen—but for all the hearth accessories as well. If you are having some trouble deciding the most appropriate finish for your décor then you must first decide the design scheme of your home—is it modern or more traditional? If you have a contemporary home with clean and simple lines, then here are some good options to consider: stainless steel, nickel, or chrome. Now for a more traditional home, wrought iron is often a good choice that will add to the rustic appeal of the décor. Brass is another great finish for fireplace screens in traditional design schemes.
Should you still find yourself drawing a blank when it comes to the right finish for your fireplace screen, a great idea is to look at the light fixtures to see what kind of metal accenting they are made with and then coordinate the hearth accessories accordingly.
Pamela Tice is the owner of home decor websites specializing in unique Fireplace Screens and a Candelabras . Visit http://www.fireplacescreensetc.com to get your hearth ready for the heating season and turn your ordinary fireplace into an extraordinary one.