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Fireplace screens are a lovely addition to any fireplace. In addition to their aesthetic value, they keep children and pets away from the fire and deflect snapping embers back towards the fire, protecting the surrounding carpet and floors.
Fireplace screens come in a wide variety of styles and price ranges. The traditional version consists of a black, three-paneled wrought iron frame. The panels are hinged to one another but move independently, and are filled with a fine black steel mesh screen. Positioned in a semi-circle on the hearth, the three-paneled screen contains embers, provides protection, and provides a handsome frame for the fire. If firewood is to be added, one of the side panels can be folded back to allow access.
In addition to the traditional fireplace screen, there are many other styles to suit every need, taste and decor. Some are extremely ornate with intricate dense tendrils and fleur de lys. Conversely, brushed nickel screens with glass panels are handsome, stark and austere. Single paneled, bowed fireplace screens are somewhere in the middle, tasteful and classy.
Rather than sitting on the hearth, some fireplace screens are designed as single panels that fit flush inside the fireplace opening. Still others are mesh drapes that hang from a valance installed over the hearth and center-part like curtains when a chain is pulled. This latter style is especially suited to fireplaces with unusual dimensions, as it can be inexpensively custom fit.
One of the most popular types of fireplace screens employs double doors in the front panel which open outward from the center. The doors are especially convenient because wood can be added to the fire without having to pick up the screen and move it aside. Fireplace screens can also come with matching fireplace utensils and a firewood holder for a complete set.
In the off-season, summer fireplace screens can add beauty and color while hiding the blackened interior of the fireplace. Fan-shaped "peacock" screens in polished brass or silver pewter are a beautiful example. Some summer screens come with matching candelabras.
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