Although there are more convenient ways to heat your home, there's nothing quite like sitting around a roaring fire, is there? It's almost primal. Makes you want to bring out a bongo and start a tribal dance circle. No? Just me?

In fact, there's a theory that the contented feeling we get from staring endlessly into a fire is one of the reasons the flickering of colour and light on a TV can be so relaxing. Ever found yourself staring at the TV and realised you haven't actually been paying attention? Perhaps that's why!

In any case, here are some hot fireplace ideas to incorporate in your home for some winter warmth and relaxation...

Outdoor Fireplace

A covered external courtyard is warmed by a fireplace

While outside's probably the last place you want to be in winter, an outdoor fireplace can dramatically extend your alfresco season. In a sheltered, covered area, an outdoor fireplace can get you outside even on cold rainy days.

Double-sided Fireplace

Highway House by Room 11 (via Lunchbox Architect) Timber Houses, Fireplaces, Joinery, Louvre Windows, Timber Deck, Eames Chairs, Sliding Glass Doors, Timber Ceilings

Highway House by Room 11 (via Lunchbox Architect) Timber Houses, Fireplaces, Louvre Windows, Eames Chairs

Why limit yourself to a boring single sided fireplace when you can have two? At this Hobart home, the fireplace serves both inside and a covered outdoor area.

Fireplace Room Divider

Canada Bay Residence Fireplaces, Joinery, Brick Houses, Concrete Floors, Louvre Windows, Timber Floors, Kitchen Cabinets, White Kitchens, Skylights, Lounge Suites, Timber Ceilings

Fireplaces are a great feature, so it makes sense to make the fireplace a statement. What better way than to incorporate the fireplace into a room divider to subtly delineate the spaces in an open-plan design?

Suspended Fireplace

Mountain Retreat by Fearon Hay Architects (via Lunchbox Architect)

The most luxurious and sculptural of fireplaces is the classic, suspended fireplace, Gyrofocus, originally designed by Focus in 1968. While there are now numerous replicas and competing designs on the market, you really can't go past the original. In this case, it's hard to know what looks better, that view, or this classic suspended fireplace?

Freestanding Fireplace

Brunswick Extension Fireplaces, Rugs, Living Areas, Armchairs, Knot Pillow Green, INEX>FLOOR

A fireplace is a beautiful thing to have in the home, but they can take up a lot of space, particulalry if they're only used on special occasions. A freestanding fireplace is a great way to get the best of both worlds. They don't take up as much space and, as in this Brunswick extension, if they're raised off the floor, the fireplace doesn't impinge on the space too much.

One Last Fireplace Tip

Walter Street Terrace Fireplaces, Joinery, Brick Houses, Concrete Floors, Butterfly Chairs

By putting a brick or concrete wall behind your fireplace, you maximise its effectiveness by harnessing the power of thermal mass. Long after the fire has died down, the wall behind will continue to radiate warmth.

What's your favourite fireplace idea?