There is an epic battle being hashed out in living rooms far and wide. In one corner is a fire-spewing giant as old and as beautiful as time itself. In the other corner a machine beaming images in from all over the world… and also from Netflix! The fireplace vs. the television. Which one will rise above and become your living room’s aesthetic focal point!?

Okay, maybe this decision wasn’t so dramatic in your household but there is a definite shift happening that is decades in the making. Frank Lloyd Wright saw the fireplace, the hearth, as the literal heart of a living space. It was meant to be both central in his blueprints as well as central to the very culture of a family.  In Wright’s time, the fireplace provided both form and function for the family living space.

Bidore 140 by Element4

“We love being able to see the fireplace from the kitchen since we spend so much time there.”

Families today are structured a little different than they were when Wright’s Robbie House or Falling Water were constructed. Overwhelmingly, the television has taken over the role of the fireplace as the point of central focus in our living rooms. As technology becomes more prominent in our daily lives the elegant combination of form (aesthetics) and function (usability) will be key to the evolution of good home design.

One Colorado family took on these two competing behemoths and came out cozy.  Claudia and Patrick already had a fireplace in their Denver home. Claudia said, “We had an old wall unit in that space before that was all full of shelves that were always cluttered with kids toys. We wanted something that would look clean and beautiful.” They also wanted something efficient enough to kick out some heat on a cold winter’s night. Enter the Bidore 140 by Element4. We asked her, What does your fireplace add to this space? “Definitely warmth (in look AND feel), a sense of coziness, and a nice focal point for the room,” she replied.

However, with two young children, a pristinely modern, TV-less living room just wasn’t an option. “My husband did a lot of research on his own and he came up with the idea of a cabinet to hide the TV.” This turned out to be a great idea. And don’t worry Mr. Wright, the heart of the home has not been sacrificed. In fact, now they can watch Frozen with their two children and warm their toes at the same time.

Bidore 140 by Element4

Custom TV cabinet

So there is my grandiose theory on how TVs and fireplaces can have a symbiotic living room relationship. Claudia, anything to add?

I will say this, “once we had the beautiful fireplace we didn’t even want to LOOK at the TV anymore!” Well I guess you won this round fireplace…

Bidore 140 by Element4

Special thank you to Distinctive Mantle Designs for their beautiful install.

Posted by: Cory John Ploessl
Cory is the Marketing Manager for European Home.  He has an MFA in Sculpture from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston.  He writes about fireplace and modern design on the European Home Blog.

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