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I’m thinking about getting an electric fireplace – what are my options

The question

I love the look and feel of a fire on a chilly night. What can you tell me about the electric-fireplace options on the market?

The answer

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Many of the new electric fireplaces have a sleek, modern feel and float above the floor, not requiring a hearth. Typically, they are long and linear and accented with pebbles or glass, so no one is going to mistake the light show for the real thing.

Alternatively, you can opt for a more traditional-looking model featuring logs and what (in some cases) looks like an authentic fire, but is actually just a soft, sunset-like glow.

The most convincing one that I've seen involves a relatively new technology called Dimplex OptiMyst, which uses water vapour lit from beneath the logs to create "flames" of red-orange mist. All you have to do it light a fire-scented candle, place some random logs nearby, turn on your electric fire and no one will be the wiser.

Dee Dee Taylor Eustace is an architect and interior designer. Follow her on Twitter: @ddtaylordd. Have a design dilemma? E-mail style@globeandmail.com.

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