Warming without the Blaze

New CA-Modern story takes the fireplace from flaming hearth to personal art gallery
Fridays on the Homefront
Even with today's air quality regulations, we can still enjoy our once-special home fireplaces. CA-Modern's new story 'Warm Your Hearth' shows how. Above: Dancing flames sculptural insert from Aura Life. Photos courtesy fireplace product manufactuers

Is your home's fireplace retired—burning no more? Has it been reduced to a lonely hole in the wall—without purpose or meaning?

Then perhaps it's time to turn to 'Warm Your Hearth,' a feature in the new Fall 2021 issue of CA-Modern magazine that speaks to fireplace resurrection. Click here to view a PDF version of the story.

'Warm Your Hearth' encourages us to enjoy that once-special living room feature of our homes in this changing world where air quality regulations have impacted fireplace activity.

As we begin to usher in the holiday season, this is an ideal time to take a look at a dozen creative ways to accessorize our fireplaces and perhaps even transition them into revolving art spaces we can savor all year long.

  Fridays on the Homefront
Woodland's 'Pilgrim' single-panel contemporary fireplace screen.

Offering a dozen decorative design options, from amping up your fireplace with a designer fire screen, like Woodland's hand-forged 'Pilgrim'—a mid-century-styled screen that will please most any Eichler homeowner—or, for a seaside touch, a white faux coral display from Pottery Barn, we hope you'll get inspired.

A particularly timely topic covered in the article touches on current regulations that affect fireplace operation throughout the Bay Area. In today's ever-changing world, it's important for homeowners to be aware of air-quality regulations and how they impact the usage of wood-burning fireplaces.

Adopted to protect public health and limit particulate pollution, restrictions may limit or ban live wood-burning fires at particular times. Created in 1991 by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the 'Spare the Air' program covers seven Bay Area counties with a mission that focuses on educating and assisting residents to reduce air pollution.

  Fridays on the Homefront
Pottery Barn's white coral.

According to sparetheair.org, "During the cooler winter months, more than one-third of particulate pollution comes from wood smoke. On some days, in certain areas, wood smoke can account for up to 90 percent of particulate pollution."

Furthermore, "on cold, calm days, wood smoke can become trapped close to the ground by an inversion layer, typically formed when a layer of warm air acts as a lid over a layer of cooler air. Inversions prevent the air below from rising, which causes pollutants to build up."

During times when these types of conditions are anticipated, a 'Spare the Air' Alert is issued and using all wood-burning devices is prohibited.

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