Have you noticed that the design world is obsessed with crystal right now? Even the humblest of rooms are sporting crystal chandeliers and ceiling fixtures, like this one from DVI.
Toronto’s streetscape has its own crystal at the Royal Ontario Museum, in the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, created by architect Daniel Libeskind. (photo by Elliot Lewis)
Crystals have even crept into our techie devices, on cell phone cases and USB’s, like this one from Swarovski.
Is it any wonder that we want to bring our crystal obsession to the hearth? Whether you have a wood-burning fireplace, or an electric or gas insert or wall-mounted fireplace, there are ways to personalize many fireplaces with crystals.
If you are the owner of a traditional wood-burning fireplace, you may want to create a new look with candles, like the one below, in a room designed by Ty Larkins. Take it to another level by adding glass crystals around the candles. Imagine how pretty this will look when the candle light reflects off the glass!
Electric and gas fireplaces today generally fall into 3 categories:
- Traditional with logs — you won’t have options to add crystals, as your logs are fixed. However, as a traditionalist, you are likely okay with this.
- Transitional without logs – these have a traditional shape, but come with rocks or crystals rather than logs. The media inside your fireplace may be changed to other colours or sizes.
- Contemporary linear, with logs, rocks or crystals – these are wide with a slim profile, and often mount ON the wall rather than IN the wall. Some units have fixed logs or coal bed, and you won’t have the option to change these. However, most units have loose media such as stones or crystals, or removable logs, and you can create a variety of new looks.
Here are 6 examples of alternative glass media in Amantii, Dimplex and Dynasty linear electric fireplaces. Find the one that most closely resembles your linear gas or electric fireplace, and get ready to rock your fireplace!
In this Amantii fireplace, the standard plastic crystals are shown on the left, with optional glass pebbles on the right in copper and black.
In this Dynasty fireplace, the standard white and clear rocks are shown on the left, with the same rocks mixed with optional white glass pebbles on the right.
In this Dynasty fireplace, the left side shows all black glass, while the right side shows a combination of white and black glass. Both are optional; this unit comes with white and clear rocks, as shown above.
In this Dynasty fireplace with blue flame turned on, standard gray and clear rocks are shown on the left, with optional white and blue glass crystals shown on the right.
In this Dimplex fireplace, standard gold reflective glass crystals are shown at left, with optional reflective white glass at the right.
In this Dimplex fireplace, standard gold reflective glass is shown at right, with optional clear glass crystals shown at left.
- Beware of black, blue and dark glass media – they may block too much light to be effective in your fireplace. In our trials with electric fireplaces, we found that they looked great in Dynasty, okay in Amantii (when mixed with something lighter), and not good at all in Dimplex.
- Glass media come in several forms:
- Pebbles, which are smooth, and look at bit like candies
- Crushed, which really means ‘broken’, in both ¼” and ½” sizes
- Crushed reflective, which is broken and mirrored, in both ¼” and ½” sizes
- Glass media that is ‘crushed’ or broken, has sharp edges – protect your hands with gloves, and use caution when handling it