A fireplace can add coziness to any room, so think outside the box (or the usual living room or den). They can be installed in bedrooms, kitchens, dining rooms and even bathrooms to create a unique and welcoming space, whether your design preference is modern, traditional or somewhere in between.
“There are multi-sided see-through fireplaces that you can put between two rooms,” says Tom Malinowski, manager of Thousand Oaks Fireside and Design in Thousand Oaks. “Another option is a three-sided fireplace that has two long sides which can also function as a room definer, and that’s usually placed between a living room and dining room or den. They are also sometimes installed between a master bedroom and the master bathroom.”
Other places he and his team have installed fireplaces are in man caves and even in a wine cellar.
“You really don't want a whole lot of heat in a wine cellar, but the arched fireplace we put in looked very cool,” he says. “It was kind of cave-like.” Whatever the size or shape of a room, or the reason for wanting a fireplace, he and his staff will find the best option for your needs.
“In our area, fireplaces are not so much for heat,” says Tom. “They just make the space they’re in a lot homier. And, there’s something about the organic feel of fire and bringing it indoors.”
Since California is cracking down on greenhouse gas emissions, which are produced by natural gas, electric fireplaces have become much more popular, he explains.
“The technology is getting pretty intense as far as creating a product the public is willing to purchase rather than something really cheap looking like the old-fashioned ones with orange lightbulbs.”
Electric is also a great alternative if your house doesn't have gas. Others choose them because they want to be more environmentally friendly. Another benefit of electric fireplaces is that you can place them absolutely anywhere.
“You don't need to have a chimney or anything like that and they’re very easy to install,” says Tom. “They can even come with a heat feature.”
Thousand Oaks Fireside also installs fireplaces in outdoor spaces such as cabanas, outdoor kitchens and in kitchen islands.
“These are typically vented for a wood-burning unit or ventless for gas,” says Tom. “We can do vent-free fireplaces outdoors, because there's no carbon monoxide issues like there are inside.” California has banned vent-free units indoors, he explains.
Outdoor kitchens are immensely popular.
“Just as an indoor kitchen serves as a gathering place, so does an outdoor kitchen. It’s a great place to have a summer party. The sky is the limit with outdoor offerings—barstools, refrigeration, ice makers, even outdoor televisions. We even have glass front doors and drawers that are back-lit and change colors.” Almost anything that can be put in an indoor room to make it comfortable can be put outside.
“We also work with directly with contractors,” says Tom. “If the homeowners already have somebody designing and building their outdoor island or kitchen, we collaborate with product offerings, cut-out dimensions and design help.”
Pizza ovens using wood or gas are also in high demand for backyards.
“We have all different Italian-made models from Alfa Forni, and we also carry ceramic cookers, which you can use to, say, smoke a brisket for 12 hours or 15 hours.”
Thousand Oaks Fireside also offers fire and water features for backyards.
“We have several manufacturers of regular fire pits, but we also deal with a company called The Outdoor Plus,” he says. “It’s a local company that creates water and fire features where you have fire coming out of the water. So, you can hear and see the water coming over the edge, but then you have a fire pit in the middle of it. It looks like something out of Las Vegas.” These come in a variety of designs, depending on your style and preference.
In addition to fireplaces, the shop also carries a wide selection of high-quality fireplace accessories, mantels, charcoal and gas barbecue grills, and there’s a whole room dedicated to mailboxes.
Thousand Oaks Fireside is part of a three-store chain that includes Encino Fireplace Shop in Encino and the Floyd S. Lee Fireplace & BBQ in Pasadena.
To find out more, and to see some of the fireplaces and other options available, visit ThousandOaksFireside.com.