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Vintage Conversion

When EcoSmart Fire’s U.S. Marketing Coordinator came across a vintage, wood-burning fireplace she knew it was the perfect opportunity to breathe new life into a mid-century classic with a BK5 Bioethanol Burner. Being a part of the EcoSmart Fire family means having an innate desire to work with sustainable design principles – it’s more than a job, it’s a way of life. “The culture at EcoSmart Fire is so energetic, creative, and entrepreneurial that you can’t help but be inspired on a daily basis,” explains Kim Rodgers, U.S. Marketing Coordinator. “And to top it off, we get to work with some amazing installation imagery from world-class architects and designers, so the creative wheels are always spinning!”

As a staple of the mid-century modern home in the 60’s, conical fireplaces provided a vibrant alternative to the traditional hearth. Their availability in various colored enamel or porcelain finishes only furthered their popularity and helped usher in a new era of self-expression in fire design. More than 40 years later, these vintage fireplaces are seeing a resurgence in popularity within the design community and lending their classic shape to clean burning conversions.

After spending most of its life as an indoor, wood-burning fireplace the conversion to a bioethanol fueled, outdoor fireplace started with a thorough cleaning. Not only was the inside covered in messy soot, but the mandarin red enamel had lost its luster, “It’s amazing what a little warm water, dish soap, and elbow grease can do, and luckily that was the hardest part!” says Kim.

“Installing the BK5 bioethanol burner was as simple as placing it inside the fireplace and surrounding it with rolled marble decorative stones. It really couldn’t have been easier.”

The final step to this retro conversion was simply closing the flue so all of the heat produced by the e-NRG bioethanol fuel wouldn’t escape up the chimney. Instead, it radiates off the interior curved belly and pushes the heat directly out. The merging of an old design with new technology proved incredibly seamless. “It’s as if these fireplaces were originally designed with ultra-efficient, clean burning fire in mind,” says Kim.