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Modern fireplaces

Think outside the firebox for a sleek and stylish look

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Made-to-order modern

The choices in fireplace fronts made of concrete ― a quintessentially contemporary material ― are ever expanding. These three manufacturers offer a particularly good range of options. Most concrete surrounds must be custom-sized to firebox dimensions, so cost can vary widely (typically between $2,200 and $6,000). Labor and complexity will also add to the total. For more information on contemporary fireplace designs, check out Ideas for Great Fireplaces (Sunset Books, 2004; $15).

Flying Turtle Cast Concrete The company emphasizes a handcrafted approach to integrally colored concrete in a variety of vibrant hues; 209/530-1611.

Doverra Simple rectilinear shapes, some of which resemble picture frames ― such as the company's Clybourn and Ravenswood mantels ― are made with fiber-reinforced cement; 847/285-1902.

Sonoma Cast Stone Specializes in colorful, lightweight concrete in a range of textures; 888/807-4575.

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