Form and Function: How to Choose a Fireplace Screen

bhjhjWhen choosing a fireplace screen, you don’t have to decide between form and function. A screen can simultaneously protect your home and make your fireplace the focal point of the room.

First, Function

Safety comes first. When using your fireplace, you’ll need a screen in place if there are rugs or other flammables nearby. Even if your floors are tile or stone, you should use a screen any time you’re not actively keeping an eye on the fire. This will ensure that logs don’t roll out, embers and sparks don’t escape and nobody falls in. After the fire’s gone cold, a screen keeps working, making sure that Rover won’t take a romp through the ashes.

Some screens consist of a single flat or bowed panel that may fit into the opening of your fireplace or extend beyond it 1 to 4 inches. Folding screens have three, four, or even five panels. These extend beyond the fireplace opening 10 to 12 inches, allowing the screen to be arranged in safe, stable and attractive ways. For easier access, some screens have doors.

Next, Form

There’s a decorative fire screen to complement every decor, from classic to designer, from simple to ornate and from utilitarian to whimsical. Fire screens may be made of tempered glass or metals such as iron, steel, bronze, brass or copper, in matte, burnished, weathered and other finishes. A well-chosen fire screen can serve as key safety equipment during cold weather and continue to be an eye-catching interior design element through every season.

The style may bring the feel of Tuscany into your living room; it may feature stained glass or a handcrafted silhouette of a tree. The screen may be a work of abstract sculpture or a vintage Art Deco concoction. You may find you prefer it to be a piece of functional fine art.

Some fireplace screens are purely decorative, offering no protection against fire. These can enhance the appearance of fireplaces that are not being used. They can be made out of almost any material, such as mirrors or needlepoint or decoupaged wood.

Your fireplace may be something you use often or purely decorative. Whatever its function, there are screen options that fit your design aesthetic and protect your space.

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