Electric Media Fireplace Do Exist!
The only time I visibly squealed in a store in public was a few months ago. I was standing in the middle of Big Lots admiring their fireplaces when I noticed that one said “Electric Media Fireplace Center”. I didn’t know that it existed until then or that you could even have a TV close to heat.
Why I Need One & So Do You!
I spend a lot of the winter months sitting close to a space heater. Then I turn it off and go about my business until I get cold again. I figure I could at least be watching TV during this time. Some manufacturers do say that putting electronics on top may be a problem even though it’s made for a tv. I also like that the glass is supposed to stay cool on the fireplace because I accidentally burned my hand on the glass of a gas fireplace though. The biggest downside I can see is that the flame might look a little bit “cheesy” or fake. However, it has to be better looking than that space heater I’ve been sitting in front of.
Pros & Cons of an Electric Fireplace Media Console
I was so excited as to be embarrassed in public just because it solves multiple problems. I really want some kind of a fireplace to lay in front of in the winter like I was used to growing up but I live in an apartment and they usually aren’t too keen on tenants building in fireplaces. However, I would also have competing focal points on one wall because there’s only one spot to put my TV. Plus, I want my apartment to have a little bit of detail and character to it and this gives the feeling of added architecture.
I decided to wait and shop online. I also wanted to see if they would go on clearance in the summer. I wasn’t thrilled with the cheap fake oak versions at Big Lots and wanted something with more storage. It seems like in the summer months at least at Amazon it’s about 30-40% off of what it was when I checked in the winter just in general. There are also more styles and price points to choose from.
Remember that you’ll need room for your components too. This might be open bookshelves or closed doors. You also need a shelf between the TV and the fireplace to hold DVD players.
High and Low End Models
Always check the weight requirements and how deep it is to ensure that your TV will fit. Remember that you’re going to need space for other components too. This is why I gravitate more towards the expensive entertainment set look. I find that it looks more like a built in when it has bookshelves on either side of it.
A pretty inexpensive brand seems to be Stone gate. You can find many versions for under $300. Check the BTUs because this probably won’t heat a whole house. The descriptions tell you how many square feet it can heat. It’s usually around 400 square feet. If you like the idea of zone heating or you’re just in one room throughout the day this saves you the cost of heating the entire house. I mostly just want it because I’m cold all of the time. So whether you have a few hundred to spend or a thousand there are many options to choose from. I find that the more oversize it is the more it will feel like a built-in. Narrow looks are great for solid black or espresso pieces where you want a pretty modern look. Corner units will usually be a little bit cheaper too.
Fireplace Media Center Styles for Every Room
Sure, most people have the same black or silver flat screen TV and the same gaming consoles. That doesn’t mean that your room has to feel overly modern. I love how this takes the same TV that everyone has and can give it a French Country or farmhouse vibe. You can always stick with black finishes and smoked glass shelves to keep it sleek and contemporary. For the French style consider something like an Antebellum style with a shutter type of doors and a distressed painted finish or weathered wood.
A big reason that I skipped the Big Lots purchase was that it looked more like a portable one than a built in. The SEI Cartwright line is successful at this with more of a tile or faux slate look. This works well for a country theme but the neutral colors make it suitable for any type of theme.
Lift Cabinets: Techy Electric Fireplace TV Stands
You might want a little bit more versatility. I recommend this style if you aren’t a big TV watcher or if you don’t have a formal living room for entertaining. When guests are over you can just press a button and the TV basically disappears. I watch too much TV for the added expense to be worth it.
So is this going to be a big energy hog? Some descriptions say that it isn’t going to use any more than a coffee maker.
I also love this look because it’s portable. That means that while it might be part of my living room now, someday I might use it in a bedroom if I live in a house with a “real” fireplace. If you’re short on space like me or just hate how modern your TV is then considering a fireplace, media center, and bookshelf all in one!