Whether custom-made from floor-to-ceiling or a prefabricated model, a double-sided fireplace could be the element of warmth your space is missing. Due to their dual-facing design these special contraptions offer twice the form and functionality of a regular fireplace and provide two focal walls and heat on both sides – sometimes in two entirely different rooms as well.
A big advantage of these models is that they require only one flue and one chimney, and can work in just about any home. Plus, there are several design and usability advantages to having one of these modern fireplaces at home.
'A double-sided fireplace can also add an extra layer of style and sophistication to your home,' says interior designer Jeanette Fusco. 'Whether you choose a modern design or a classic look, a double-sided fireplace can help to enhance the overall look and feel.'
7 ways to include a double sided fireplace in your home
1. Place it in the middle of intimate window seating
Even a small living room fireplace can be double-sided, installed right in the middle of your intimate seating, perhaps the one by the window. Not only will it allow you to cozy up but it will also offer balanced heating to all those seated around it.
'A big advantage of double-sided fireplaces is that they're very versatile,' says home improvement expert Hara Lessandra of Untamed Creatures. 'You can install them in almost any room in your home, including the bedroom, living room, and even the kitchen or a small intimate spot. If you're considering adding a fireplace to your home, definitely consider a double-sided model.'
2. Use one as a divider in a large bedroom
If you want to upgrade your bedroom from ordinary to extraordinary, consider dividing it with a floor-to-ceiling double-sided fireplace. Consider stainless steel horizontal panels or a stone fireplace that feels welcoming and gives off enough warmth.
‘One of the main advantages of a double-sided fireplace is simply that they are cheaper to run because they heat multiple rooms at once,' says Ivo Iv, founder of DecorHomeIdeas (opens in new tab). 'A double-sided fireplace's efficiency is outstanding compared to having multiple heating systems throughout a home - and they look brilliant too.'
'If you want to escape the smoke and ashes but want to benefit from a double-sided fireplace, then choose the electric version,' says Robert Johnson of Coast Appliances (opens in new tab). 'Double-sided electric fireplaces can help separate spaces while maintaining a light and visual flow. Installing an electric fireplace in the wall between two areas allows you to enjoy the cozy warmth from either one.'
3. Install one between the dining and living room
Make the most of the wall dividing the dining room and living room by installing a fireplace within it. This will ensure that guests stay warm, comforted, and snug no matter where guests are seated.
Incidentally, for multi-purpose spaces like this consider a four-sided fireplace if the room has several more corners, niches, and seating areas. This is also a great way to divide a room without blocking too much of a view.
4. Go for a fireplace that heats indoors and outdoors
A classic indoor and outdoor fireplace is especially convenient when you're hosting a large gathering of people, and the guests oscillate between the living room and terrace/garden. You want to make sure both areas are warm and cozy so that socializing isn't hampered.
'A double-sided fireplace creates a focal point and adds an elegant aesthetic appeal to any space,' says Chris, an interior designer, and the founder of CabinetSelect (opens in new tab). 'This type of design is especially beneficial for open concept homes or rooms that have a view of each side, as the fireplace can be enjoyed from two locations. It can also be used to separate two distinct spaces while providing warmth, ambiance, and visual appeal.'
'By having a double-sided fireplace, you can maximize the space in your home,' says Chris. 'Instead of installing two separate fireplaces, one on each side of the room, you can combine them into one design and create a grand statement piece that visually ties together two rooms. This also eliminates the need for a chimney and can free up extra space to be used in other ways.'
5. Use it as an architectural feature in an open plan layout
'This fireplace distinguishes the social and the reflective ends of the open plan living area between the cozy living room and dining, allowing a hierarchy to activity and divides the room without creating a complete physical separation,' says Kurt Crisp, principal architect at Buck&Simple.
'By centering the fireplace, we were able to achieve a practical way of heating all the living areas while offering a strong visual aesthetic that is shared among the kitchen, dining, and lounge rooms,' says Kurt. 'The owners have a beautifully maintained 60's Mustang and we felt that we could replicate this love of engineered excellence with a Paul Agnew double-sided fireplace, in the same appreciation.'
6. Install it along the corner wall
Have a large, open-plan living room? Install a corner fireplace that heats the entire room, evenly, without pulling too much focus away from the space's design and decor.
'Due to the robust glass that surrounds the flame in double-sided fireplaces, these fireplaces are far safer than many other types,' says designer Irene Graham. 'This is especially convenient if you have children living in your home. Whether you are interested in a two-sided linear fireplace or a wood-burning double-door fireplace, there are endless ways to customize each, and the doors are always fully operable, allowing you to choose whether you want them open, closed, or completely removed with a fires creen. Pick out the stone that will surround your fireplace, the patina of your doors and handles, log sets, fire screens, and so much more.'
7. Consider one in the bathroom
If you want a luxurious, spa bathroom look, consider a double sided fireplace that keeps the shower area and the rest of the room warm and toasty at all times.
Sure, bathroom fireplaces are relatively rare. But for a design-conscious homeowner, this can be another new way to add extra functionality and a touch of newness to this space. Though fireplaces designed for the bathroom aren’t necessarily a thing, you can definitely find bathroom-approved ones that are ideal for the space, and won’t overwhelm you.
Aditi Sharma Maheshwari is an architecture and design journalist with over 10 years of experience. She's worked at some of the leading media houses in India such as Elle Decor, Houzz and Architectural Digest (Condé Nast). Till recently, she was a freelance writer for publications such as Architectural Digest US, House Beautiful, Stir World, Beautiful Homes India among others. In her spare time, she volunteers at animal shelters and other rescue organizations.
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