Nothing matches the cozy atmosphere that only a traditional fireplace can create with its crackling logs! However, why not enjoy it in a safer way while also helping diffuse its heat evenly and making a consistent decorative statement?
A fireplace screen can truly upgrade your room, creating a red-hot fire experience.
However, it's important to take some time to choose a fireplace screen that works both with the fireplace itself and the rest of the room.
1. Decide what type of fireplace screen you need
Fireplace screens come in all sorts of sizes, styles and materials. While that's great news, it can also make it harder to choose the right one.
That's why the best way to start browsing them is to first figure out which type would match your needs the most:
Traditional freestanding fireplace screens are a simple, versatile solution. Consisting of a single panel, they can either be flat (usually coming with legs and resulting in a more streamlined look) or bowed (to add a subtle three-dimensional vibe);
Paneled models mainly range between three and five sections. As well as promoting safety by minimizing direct access to the fire, they also result in a more decorative look;
Fireplace screens with doors have risen in popularity over the past few years: because they allow you to reach the logs through them without having to physically move the entire thing, they're particularly recommended for people who struggle to lift large items or suffer from back problems. Needless to say, they're also incredibly cozy, rustic and traditional;
Folding fireplace screens are a more flexible option. They still result in a three-dimensional look and can sometimes be similar to paneled models, but they can be stored away during warmer seasons without taking up much room at all. They also allow you to reach the fire more easily by moving just one side of the screen;
Finally, spark guards (either as freestanding models or curtains) are simpler, lighter options usually made of mesh. As the name suggests, they focus on stopping sparks and embers from leaving the fireplace area. This makes them a better option if you usually sit right by the fire to make the most of its heat and are not particularly interested in the decorative side of things.
2. Calculate the right size for your fireplace screen
Don't wing it! Start by measuring the opening of your fireplace, then add at least:
- Two inches in width
- One inch in height.
This is the minimum needed to ensure safety.
However, from a decorative point of view, this choice can also depend on the style and size of your entire fireplace: if you feel like the screen would look too tiny, you can easily go bigger!
3. Find the right material for your needs and room
Because of their location and purpose, it's vital that fireplace screens are made of fireproof materials:
Metal is the most popular option. Durable, reliable and easy to maintain, it still preserves the view of the fire since these models usually involve an iron or copper mesh design. However, some particles of dust and ash could still find their way through those holes;
Glass has become increasingly popular and it's the best option if you want to fully enjoy the dance of the flames. We mainly recommend it to households that prefer sitting away from the fire, using it to warm up the entire room rather than enjoying its direct heat by sitting next to it. Keep in mind, though, that any dirt will show more clearly, so you must clean your glass fireplace screen regularly;
If you want to combine the elegance of glass but add a colorful touch, you can opt for stained glass models;
Alternatively, if you were only planning on using your fireplace screen for decorative purposes rather than when the fire is actually on, you can experiment with other materials too… even wood!
4. Choose the right style and design for your interiors
To achieve a consistent result, it's important to consider your fireplace screen in relation to its surroundings:
- Decorative three-paneled screens work better in traditional rooms and, when they're full of details, with more ornamental styles like French country and shabby chic;
- For a minimalist or contemporary result, opt for streamlined options, either as a single-panel or glass model;
- If you're thinking of a metal design, you could look for a finish that matches your existing materials, from copper to iron;
- Stained glass can help you reinforce art deco or Tiffany interiors;
- If you want to add a majestic and classic touch, you can look for Victorian-style brass models with lots of swirling waves and curls.
5. Don't forget about safety!
You must also consider how you're going to handle your fireplace screen: if you struggle with weights, a lightweight foldable option or one with doors will be the easiest ones to use or move.
If you have small kids crawling or running around, you could consider solutions like a lockable fireplace screen or even adding a baby safety fence.
Fireplace With A Protective Screen