Fireplaces are the most striking features of any living room and were one of the first and most essential fixtures to appear in the home. The difference between a fireplace and a mounted photo or a new lick of wallpaper is that it serves a very practical purpose. In fact, if we go back as far as the days before electricity was common place, a fireplace was a source of survival during the winter months.
But over the years, the emotional attachment we have with fireplaces has become much more complex, with different shapes, sizes and designs. Some prefer a retro look that still burns using coal, whereas others see it as a simple supplement to their central boiler, turning the heat on and off with the flick of a switch.
What’s more, the styles that are most popular change on a cyclical basis, meaning designers must plan ahead. This is a process that J Rotherham Design Director Jamie Rotherham knows all too well.
Jamie said: “Today there is a lot of market research that basically involves looking on the internet to see what people like at that particular time. Well if you’re looking at it from an aesthetic point of view anyway.”
He explained that the look of a fireplace will stay in fashion for far longer than cheaper items like clothing and music because the price they command makes them more of an investment, adding: “Although styles do change every year, it’s not like we set out to design a new range every year.
“It’s more than a one-year investment. It wouldn’t be very economical to come up with a new one every 12 months.”
The director went on to say that this has a noticeable influence on the setup at the company’s factory in Holme-on-Spalding Moor, East Yorkshire.
Anticipating changing trends means that the production line has to be reactive, ready to switch and start producing fireplaces that have curved rather than pointed corners, or a frame made from a different material for example. So what is the company expecting to see in terms of upcoming trends in the fireplace market heading into 2015?
A conservative approach
Jamie admits it is difficult to exactly predict trends that will not materialise for months or years, but believes an understated look continues to be what many customers are after.
With the sleek interior design that is found in most modern houses and flats – characterised by features like shiny chrome kitchens and bleach white bathrooms – he believes fireplaces will be following a “geometric” and “clean-cut” design trend in terms of shape, adding that defined corners and calm colour schemes could well be the order of the day in 2015.
Well defined corners help the outer perimeter of the fireplace look fitted and tidy, while still giving off an air of premium quality.
Kind on the wallet?
This news could be of particular interest to those who want a new fireplace, but need to work within a strict budget. Understated, “clean-cut” designs are often achieved through machinery as opposed to having to apply job production with specialised staff.
Inevitably, this reduces the cost for the manufacturer and means the retail price could well be more affordable than you think.
Is now the right time to invest?
With this trend ahead of us and taking into account Jamie’s admission that fashions in the fireplace market often stick, now could be the perfect time to think about a new centrepiece for your living room.
Modern technology and ever more advanced machinery are bringing down the cost of fireplaces and what would once have been a luxury reserved for the super-rich is now a commodity that can instantly transform the ambience of your home without breaking the bank.
To take a look at the fireplaces on the market that could be lighting up your home next year, browse the classic and modern ranges that can found at J Rotherham