The NAHB recently completed a survey, What Home Buyers Really Want, polled 4,000 homebuyers who have recently purchased or plan to purchase a home in the next three years to determine the most desirable features.  Fireplaces were ranked by almost half of all participants as a desirable feature with 48% rating a wood-burning fireplace and 55% choosing a gas-burning model. Based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 41% of newly constructed homes have fireplaces pointing to their continued popularity.

There is no doubt that sales of gas fireplaces are increasing. The benefits of gas fireplaces are well-known, they are attractive and convenient; generate heat instantly and are extremely safe and through a remote control provide homeowners with pinpoint control.  We can expect the continued growth in the sale of linear, and contemporary gas fireplaces in 2020. Their flexible design allows them to be installed in different areas of a living space.  The new trend is that linear contemporary gas fireplaces will make their way to less modern styled living rooms and in a wider range of homes.

Here are some of other trends to keep an eye on:

  • Bigger is better. Gas fireplaces are getting larger, in some cases they’ll get up to a 1,000 square inches of glass. Rectangular shaped fireplaces will always be popular but in recent years have expanded to new home construction and renovation.
  • Clearing the clutter with multi-sided and corner fireplaces. The trend towards newer homes and renovations with open floor plans is leading to corner and multi-sided fireplaces becoming the preferred shape when adding a fireplace to a larger room.
  • A growing demand for controllable heat. With new construction materials that are energy conscious homes are becoming well-insulated and don’t need as much heat. Controllable heat allows owners to keep heat at an even rate saving energy and $$$.
  • Fireplaces designed for the outdoors. More outdoor fireplaces will be designed for patios and gardens. From built-in fireplaces to portable bio fireplaces, fireplaces can go anywhere you want them.
  • The return of classic modern to interior design. The advantage of classic modern styles is that they are simple, clean, sophisticated design instead of overdoing it. Modern materials often include steel and glass, but they can also make use of woods, marbles and other simple materials.
  • Alternative materials and techniques that create a unique look. Fireplaces are being constructed with a range of materials from marble to limestone. Using a technique of stacking the rock, designers will have a lot more choices.

While 2020 will see the many interior design trends such as glass lighting and tapestries make a return, we can expect technology to drive the market with a focus on energy efficiency, the smart home and unique fireplace designs.

Summary: In 2020 fireplaces are still ranked by as a desirable feature by homebuyers as almost half of them prefer a wood-burning or a gas-burning model. Technology will drive the market and trends including energy efficiency, the smart home and unique fireplace designs.