Fireplaces were replaced by TVs as the focal point of the home years ago, but now the fireplace is fighting its way back to prominence as more homeowners are opting for a new shape-- a rectangular box, low to the ground, to accommodate the flat screen TV above the fireplace.

But today sleek, modern fireplaces, with flush facings, oblong shapes, glittering glass and light-show effects, are designed to fit in better with the sharp angles and edges of modern décor—especially those of flat-screen TVs, which are often mounted right above.

Going are the days of the traditional fireplaces consisting of the firebox, where the actual fire burns, the smoke chamber, which directs the exhaust gases away from the room, and the chimney or flue, which takes them up and out of the home. The mantelpiece facing into the room is a place for displaying family photos or holiday decorations.

With 69% of today’s fireplaces sold as gas-fueled, "direct vented" fireplace can be installed without a chimney that allows vents to be installed through almost any exterior wall. These direct-vent fireplaces are sealed combustion systems that can be created in any shape and size.

A recent introduction from Regency Fireplace Products features a four-foot-wide rectangular firebox that's suitable is size and shape to a wide-screen TV. When surrounded by stone, this fireplace fits in well with any traditional or mountain design.

When framed with a sleek faceplate, the result looks a bit like a computer or a TV screen and is popular with designers looking to create a contemporary modern design.

Also on the rise are wide screen designed fireplaces that provide options for creating a "blinged out" fireplace with crushed crystal glass and an "illusion" panel that gives a sort of light show when the fire is turned off.

Always popular are the "see through" fireplace models that can be enjoyed from separate rooms (an excellent choice between master bedroom and master bathroom) and three-sided "peninsula" fireplace configurations ideal for separating dining rooms from kitchens or living areas.

For home remodels in Colorado, the fireplace is an essential design and heat element of the home. Today’s fireplaces are not only more stylish but also more energy efficient and a help in creating a more stylish and a more comfortable home.

Andy Sikora is licensed Colorado Springs building contractor and master plumber. For additional information, contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit us online at