Some Like It Hot

Dan Davis Designs - Fireplace
Dan Davis Designs // Photography courtesy Dan Davis Design

For a distinct focal point that’s destined to become a favorite feature, nothing beats having a fireplace in your home. They add light, warmth and character to any room.

In new construction, Dan Davis, co-owner of Dan Davis Design in Ferndale
(, sees more fireplaces being installed in master bathrooms and lower levels. With existing structures, they’re often part of the renovation plan. “We’re redoing a lot of them,” Davis said.

Today’s styles typically complement the overall aesthetic of the home, whether traditional, contemporary or transitional. Classic materials, such as tile and stone, are in demand, along with mantels.

“Almost everyone has a mantel,” Davis said. “Most people want that display area.

“It’s a warm place to gather, and it can be a beautiful architectural feature. There’s a real romance to it with the sentimentality of family gathered around the fireplace.”

Hearthcrest gas fireplace
Hearthcrest gas fireplace // Photography courtesy of Hearthcrest Fireplace

Hot Spot

Karen Kimble, general manager for Hearthcrest Fireplace in Grand Rapids and Byron Center (, said fireplaces are one of the most-desired features for homeowners today and having one increases more than the dollar value of their home. “They provide warmth and comfort while adding a luxury feel to any space,” she said.

Gas fireplaces are the most popular, according to Kimble. They are safe, highly efficient and convenient. They come with “fan systems, remote controls, electronic ignition, battery backup for power outages and front options to suit a variety of decorative styles all add to their desirability.”

Current designs include traditional looks with nearly invisible glass and screens or contemporary linear styles with LED lights, fire glass, shapes, stones or driftwood media options.

Hearthcrest wood-burning fireplac
Hearthcrest wood-burning fireplace // Photography courtesy of Hearthcrest Fireplace

Wood-burning fireplaces still are requested by those looking for the authentic fireplace experience that today’s zero-clearance models can provide at a much lower cost than the traditional Mason-built fireplace.

Kimble said electric fireplaces are on the rise too, with more authentic looks, LED lighting, heat or no heat options and contemporary or traditional styling.

When it comes to fireplace facing, there are a variety of styles available, from shiplap to clean lines and traditional stone. Other popular looks include ledge stone, cabinetry on either side, accent lighting and impressive tile selections.

“For centuries, people have loved to gather around a fire, and it’s no wonder people feel like the fireplace becomes the heart of the home,” Kimball said.

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