Fire - In a Good Kinda Way

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Let me be one of the first to welcome you to October. It'??s here. Officially. What this means for us Southern Californians, where things are very Bikini Beach and perfect 72 degree weather every day of the week, is that we are finally putting away our flip flops and putting on a shirt (or a light merino wool sweater for me because I'??m like an ice box all year round). It'??s actually getting colder on this coast. I'??m not talking '??hello? AAA? Can you shovel my car out?'? type of cold. Trust me, I'm not complaining. Don'??t worry.

On the contrary, I'??m a big fan of chilly weather. Scarves come out of the back of the dresser. Another layer of blankets are added to the bed (my side anyway; my Better Half is a walking furnace and I'??ve still not found a way to turn the thermostat down). And most importantly, the Boy Scout of my childhood manages to get a fire roaring in our 100 year old fireplace.

If this is you.... We need to talk.

If this is you.... We need to talk.

Having a real life bona fide fire (not a little purple gas flame) in the winter is like having fresh flowers in the spring. There really is nothing, and I do mean nothing, that can compare to curling up on the floor in front of the fireplace with a great movie (or book; whatever trips your trigger as my father would say) and a glass of wine. So much so, that I feel for my apartment dwelling friends who don'??t have access to this kind of medieval technology not just because they'??re missing out on the crackle but also because they have no place to hang their stockings.

Never fret my flame-less friends! Around my house, I'??m the Mother Hen and I have come bearing gifts. The gift of fire that is. Is it me or is there something very caveman-like about that statement?


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Ashley Gel Fuel Fireplace from Real Flame

For the Pre-War Walk-Up
I'??m a fan of gel-fuel fireplaces. They are alcohol based (don'??t try and put it in your martini), require no ventilation, and absolutely no wood, gas or electricity. Have you figured out why this is so great? Because you do not have to worry about carrying a cord of wood up three flights of stairs. Yeah. Awesome. And with the Ashley from Real Flame, you get all the stateliness of a traditional mantle so that it will seamlessly blend in with any number of styles. Images via Real Flame.



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Cube from EcoSmart Fire

For the Los Angeles Loft
Yes, it'??s another gel-fuel fireplace. But this my friends, is a work of contemporary art. Real Flame plus sleek stainless steel and glass. It'??ll look great next to your Wassily chairs. Even better, EcoSmart lives up to their name using Bioethanol which is touted as being an environmentally friendly, renewable energy (even if it does make the price of corn rise'?¦ never been a fan of corn anyway). As an aside, I'??ve seen EcoSmart'??s flames in person and I will say it is probably the only one I'??d actually have in my own house. Wait... is that a personal endorsement? Images via EcoSmart.


For the Hip Pad
Normally I wouldn'??t show you an image and then spoil the fun by telling you that I don'??t have a clue who makes the item pictured. But I'??ll be honest'?¦ I was just so smitten with this piece of fire bearing furniture that I had to show it anyway. Sorry gang'?¦. This piece may be more scarce than a leprachaun riding a purple unicorn but I'??m in love. It actually makes me want to line my fireplace with gold facets just to see the glimmer. Images via '??If you can tell me you'??ll win my undying affection'?

Brandon Smith is principal of the San Diego based spatial design company D.Coop. Focusing on sustainable, workable, and budget friendly design, he provides In The Box solutions to Out of the Box questions. You can follow him on Twitter @dcoopsd

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