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Norfolk by Design: Fireplaces

PUBLISHED: 11:09 29 November 2016

The decorations are up and Lanassir is ready for her first proper Christmas at her Norwich apartment

The decorations are up and Lanassir is ready for her first proper Christmas at her Norwich apartment

Lanassir Lawes

A fireplace gives a focal point to the room as well as bringing warmth and colour

The fire is within the full-length travertine-effect tiled wall The fire is within the full-length travertine-effect tiled wall

It is hard to believe that it is almost a year since I moved into the centre of Norwich. This time last year my flat was still a building site! I finally moved in the Friday before Christmas. With that in mind I am classing this as my first proper Christmas here and am really looking forward to it - complete with decorations that colour coordinate with my décor!

It can be difficult to create a cosy ambience in open plan living spaces. A fire is always a good way to do just that. There was a gas fire in the property when I purchased it, but after an inspection it was noted that the flue no longer meets regulations. As the flue passes through the flat above before leaving the building, it wasn’t possible to change it easily. It is always worth checking out any gas appliances when moving into a new property as safety regulations do change, and as appliances age they may fail and become unsafe.

The alternative solution was to install a modern flame-effect electric fire; these have improved so much over the years and I tend to use them in a variety of projects. Personally I believe the success of the effect is down to the way that they are installed as part of a scheme, with the electrics planned so that they cannot be seen. A trailing lead ruins the seamless look of the room. If you decorate the wall surrounding the fire differently to the rest of the room it can give the same type of definition as a traditional fireplace. Split faced tiles work really well due to their thickness, as the fire sits within the tiles. The snug sitting area between my dining space and raised lounge area is now the perfect place to enjoy a sloe gin or two on a cold winter’s evening by the tree.

A current project that I am working on has an eight-metre-long lounge that needed a large feature fire but not necessarily a lot of heat, therefore a panoramic electric linear fire was the perfect solution. I designed this into a complete media wall covered in travertine-effect vinyl with mirrored recesses at the sides for displaying photographs and candles. A U-shaped sofa is being made the same width as the media unit to create a cosy space within the vast room. That’s just one of the last pieces that I have on my “install before Christmas” list - I had better get back to it!

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