The Beauty of Fireplaces

Fireplaces have become a very popular feature for modern interiors (yes…even for our Durban clients).  This is totally understandable as fireplaces not only create that wonderful atmosphere of warmth and comfort, but they are also a striking feature and an immediate a talking point in any interior.

When it comes to choosing your fireplace it is worth doing a little bit of homework first to see which type is going to be the best suited for your interior.  The 3 main types available are:

  • Gas Fires
  • Wood Fires
  • Bioethanol Fires

I’ve tried to explore and summarize each type so you can hopefully be a little more prepared when making your fireplace selection:

  • Vent Free Gas Fires

When my clients talk about introducing a fireplace into a design my thoughts usually jump straight to vent free gas fires.  This makes a lot of sense as we are so often running gas lines into new build houses anyway due to the increasing use of gas cooking in the kitchen.  Gas fires are more expensive to run than a closed wood fireplace, but they provide instant heat without having to make, light and maintain a fire. You merely switch them on, adjust the flame size (heat output) as needed, and switch them off. These burners are vent free, meaning that they do not require a chimney/extraction so very little building prep is required.

While vent free fireplaces are perfect for those open plan lounge/ dining room spaces, they are not permitted in a bedroom unless there is a permanent natural draft extraction, and it is imperative that they are installed by a registered installer.

We work closely with Beauty Fires who offer an amazing range of styles, sizes and finishes to suite different aesthetics and heat various size areas from 60 square meters up to 200 square meters.  Choose from suspended fireplaces, drop-in gas burners, built-in fireplaces, wall mounted fireplaces, freestanding and dual sided fireplaces.


  • Closed Combustion Wood Fires:

So we can see why gas fireplaces have become so popular in new build homes, but let’s not forget the traditional wood fireplaces and see what progress has been made over the years.

As I explored this topic further I was intrigued to see the most beautiful (and modern) wood fireplaces, and in some cases the more traditional type still exist but with a lovely quirkiness that I really enjoy.  These closed combustion wood fires mean there is no smoke in the room, less mess and fuss than a traditional open wood burning fire. These fires also use less wood and burn far more effectively and efficiently than open fires….and I just love that feeling of nostalgia when enjoying a traditional wood fire.


As our specialists I asked Beauty Fires to give more information on the types of wood fires they have on offer:

“Freestanding wood fires are a great option to consider when adding a fireplace to an existing space. They are easily retrofitted in no more than a few hours in a standard single storey installation. Beauty Fires offers a wide variety of freestanding options from traditional cast iron stoves to modern steel units with a simple and clean aesthetic. One must discuss the options with the fireplace specialist as the units vary in their heat output, so be careful to ensure that you purchase the unit that will produce the right amount of heat for your size area.


Built-in wood fires are a very popular choice when replacing an old open wood or open vented gas fireplace as they produce far more heat and are lower maintenance. These fires are simple to use and not laborious in cleaning and can heat up to 520 cubic meters at the low cost of burning wood. We offer both single sided and double sided built in units. The double- sided units are great for center placement in large open spaces either built into a chimney breast or with an exposed flue exiting the roof.

TOP TIP: Always keep in mind when planning the layout of your new home that the wood fires have a chimney that needs to exit the roof so be aware of the second story layout and what will be situated above the area where you want the fireplace to go”.

  • Bioethanol Fireplaces

I must admit my knowledge of Bioethanol fireplaces has been very limited up till this point.  It turns out that this is an easy solution to various problems that may arise when considering adding a fireplace to your interior design.  Bioethanol Fires do not need any formal installation as they don’t require gas lines, electrical points or vents/chimney.  They are completely self-contained, you pour the fuel directly into the burner and light it with a lighter. They provide instant heat and do not omit any unpleasant odours.  They can therefore be installed in a bedroom without any concerns.

Beauty Fires advises: “It is imperative that you chat to your fireplace specialist about the best biofuel solution for your space as you need to use the correct size burner in the area to ensure effective heating”.

Beauty Fires offers biofuel units than can heat up to 360 cubic meters. Their selection is quite beautiful and ranges from built-in, freestanding (mobile), wall mounted, drop-in and suspended options to suite any aesthetic.

Fireplaces create such a beautiful setting, and with us all feeling the cold right now these fireplaces look so cozy and inviting.   Thank you to Beauty Fires for the information and the images they provided.  For more information on these fireplaces please visit the Beauty Fires website or use the contact details below:

  • Cape Town: 021 461 9821 or
  • Johannesburg: 061 102 9494 or

I hope you have been inspired or at least learnt something new.  For more information on Jossi Design or interior design in general please visit or email us at with your design query.


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Passionate about Design

With an eye for the finer details and a passion for creating breathtaking end results, Jossi Design is one of Durban’s most recognised and celebrated interior design agencies. Practicing in the industry for over 15 years, we’ve cultivated strong relationships with clients across the country and internationally.

Committed to style, creativity and uncompromised service, Jossi Design strives to deliver eye-catching design that carefully considers function, comfort and style. Through a keen interest in emerging and current trends, we aim to achieve the right balance of contemporary chic and timeless finishes that reflects all client personalities and individual tastes.

Founded by Jocelyn Jones in 2006, the business has evolved to encompass a broad spectrum of design projects in all sectors of interior design.