We love learning about the story behind some of the brands we know and love, some we know but others are new and inspiring- such was the case with Aurora Suspended Fireplaces. When director, Melissa decided she wanted to use a suspended fireplace in the living room at Ayana House only one name strung to mind, Aurora- but it is what we learnt about the brand next which really blew us away. As designers and Australians we always value the craft and tenacity of Australian made and crafted products, especially in a mass produced world. Aurora is one such brand with all of their incredible products crafted by master artisans locally here in Australia. The quality was instantly evident when the fireplace was installed on-site, the skill and weight of the materials are unmatched across the Australian market.
It is important to also note that Aurora is a family business, something we know quite a lot about as our own businesses are built off the partnership of our directors. Chloe, one of the owners at Aurora told us that their customers are at the centre of everything they do, “our customers can call and speak to the person who designed their fire or the head boiler maker who makes them if they have a technical question”.
We met up with Chloe and asked her about Aurora and why wood fires seem to be making such a comeback on the residential market.
What is your design aesthetic?
We love organic minimalism. Neil is our designer, he loves fire and he is also a surfer. The inspiration for the first two fires (The Aether & The Hearth) came from droplets of water. We enjoy the juxtaposition between water and fire and the first two designs were all about melding water with fire in very uncluttered, restrained organic forms.
Why do you think it is important that people consider wood fire as opposed to other heating methods available in the Australian Market?
From an environmental perspective, wood is a responsible choice. Residential wood-fire heating has scored a better environmental rating from the NSW Government, alleviating the concerns of many homeowners about the ecological implications of wood heaters.
According to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment’s Building Sustainability Index (BASIX) system, residential wood-fire heating scores a better environmental rating than gas or electricity.
Here’s a few more great reasons:
- Wood is a renewable energy source
- It doesn’t contribute to global warming
- It doesn’t lump home owners with ‘bill shock’ at the end of the quarter when they see how much their electric heaters have cost them
- Its reliable and always works even if there’s a blackout
- The radiant heat from a fire warms both the soul and the body!
- Its romantic
- It soothes you and reduces cortisol levels
- It’s cheaper to warm your home with wood then electricity.
- You can cook on a wood fire – our fires make a great pizza oven.
How important is the fireplace design to quality of the heat and the overall impact on the space in the home?
Design is everything but combining design and functionality is at the heart of our design process. It must be versatile, functional AND artistically/aesthetically beautiful.
In terms of the overall impact on the space in the home; we feel that the beauty of an open fireplace is all about bringing a little bit of outdoors, indoors. Bringing people together in the way that people have gathered around camp fires and open fires for centuries to be safe, to swap stories, debrief and unwind and come together at the end of the day with a common fireside ritual.
Most modern homes don’t have open fireplaces any more so this ritual is being lost. We wanted to create an open fire that fitted the modern home and lifestyle, with equal concern for design and aesthetic value as much as for function.
Having a fire in our home has transformed our family life. When its fire season there is a different rhythm to family life, the ritual starts with chopping the wood and the kids hunting for kindling at dusk, then lighting the fire with me or Neil and everyone tends to stay gathered in our open plan living room while the meal and the fire are being prepared rather than escaping to their rooms until called for dinner.
The design of the fire with its 360-degree rotation in our open plan living room means the fire ‘comes with us’ throughout the evening -whoever is preparing the meal doesn’t have to miss out as the fire is directed towards the kitchen while its being lit and stoked.
Then we swivel it to the table while we eat or all the way around to face the deck if its summer – if its summer the meal is often prepared in the fire as we have a pizza party and marshmallows out on the deck.
Then after the meal we face it to the lounge and often the TV stays off and the fire and stories or games take the place of Netflix.
Can you tell I love my fireplace? … yes, yes we can!
What styles/finishes are you thinking best reflect design this year?
That’s a hard one – everyone has an opinion, don’t they? I’ve heard design is moving away from curves, but the architect that told me that was specifying one of our (curvy) fireplaces in their very angular design to offset the strong lines of the home itself.
For those that don’t enjoy curves, we are soon to bring out our new model; The Elemental. This fireplace is the ‘left of centre’ fireplace for those that enjoy the asymmetry in life.
Although personally I don’t think curves will ever go out of fashion!
I did hear that dark metal is going to be all the rage in 2017 which is great for us!