OK, right now I think there's one thing we can all agree on - it's time for cozy. When you see the snow piling up outside, and the wind is blowing, and the weather forecast is cheerfully calling for another 3 to 5 inches, it's time to make a cup of hot cocoa, grab a blanket and a good book, and cozy up. And, of course, what's the best way to add warmth? A beautiful, blazing fire in the hearth. Nothing is more inviting than a warm, glowing fireplace, and whether you have decorative gas flames or the crackle of a traditional wood burning fire, you'll quickly see then need for one of winter's must have accessories - a fireplace screen.
OK, sure, you can go to a big box store and get a plain one that covers the flames, but if you choose the right firescreen, it can become a beautiful piece of year round decor. The right firescreen can transform an empty mantel into a showpiece even during the warmer months, but it's all about picking the right one for your home. And, if you are like most people, you may not know where to start. At My Swanky Home, we're fireplace screen experts! Here are four quick tips to help you choose a firescreen that will beautify your home for years to come.
1) More than Just a Pretty Face - Quality Counts!
Before we even start with size and design, we need to to begin with the essentials. A firescreen is more than just a pretty piece of decorative art. If it's going to go in front of any sort of a fire, it has to be safe. Look for a firescreen made of steel, wrought iron, or some other type of heavy metal. A flimsy firescreen may tip over easily, so make sure to choose a firescreen with some weight to it that stands sturdily. Also, a firescreen that's cheaply made may seem to save money in the short term, but in addition to being dangerously tippy, it may be prone to warping from the intense heat. A firescreen needs to be a workhorse and more than just a pretty face!
2) To Mesh or Not to Mesh?
Once you start shopping, you will quickly see that firescreens tend to come in two basic styles - with mesh and without. Which feature you choose is extremely important, and should be determined by the type of fireplace you have and how you plan to use the screen. Firescreens without mesh will often have a tag like "decorative only". This is because they should only be used where you don't really need a firescreen, but are buying one to enhance the look of your mantel. A fine mesh backing is a must for a wood fire, because that mesh catches stray sparks and embers. A decorative-only firescreen without mesh can be beautiful, but should only be used with a gas flame or an unlit hearth.
3) The Nitty-Gritty - Getting the Perfect Fit
Firescreens come in lots of shapes and sizes, but most fall into three basic design categories - flat panel, three panel, and multi panel.
A flat panel is the easiest for determining size - just measure straight across your fireplace opening, and see if it fits!
Folding firescreens (both three panel and multi panel) can seem a little more complicated, but are easy to fit once you understand the basics. The measurements of a firescreen given on product information usually show the dimensions when the firescreen is laid flat. To determine whether a firescreen will fit your hearth, measure the opening you want to cover. A good rule of thumb is that a folding firescreen should measure 10"-12" wider than the opening you want it to cover, so that it stands sturdily on its own without tipping (this is not needed for a single panel firescreen).
4) Which design is right for you?
Firescreens come in an array of beautiful designs, from ultra-minimalist to gorgeously ornate baroque. Choosing the right one really depends on the look of your room and your personal taste!
One of the most common mistakes that people make is choosing a firescreen with a design that they like without thinking about how it will fit with the rest of their decor. If your hearth has a simple look, choose a minimalist design or one with a simple Art Deco pattern of geometric shapes. A more ornate pattern with scrolls and swirls is beautiful in a home with a vintage style or Victorian design. If you have a farmhouse look, choose a classic, or one with a naturalist or organic pattern.
Choosing the right firescreen doesn't have to be difficult - if you follow the tips above, you'll find a piece that will enhance your room and be a functional piece of art!
And, as a special bonus for reading this article, use coupon code FIRESCREEN2022 to save 15% on any of our beautiful fireplace screens or pieces!