Shopping for Fireplace Tools – The New York Times

Shopping for Fireplace Tools – The New York Times

Because the fireplace is usually the focal point of a room — and all the furniture is arranged around it — the accessories that go with it matter. Especially the fireplace tools, which not only need to look good, but are also used to tend the fire and clean up after.

“Nice fireplace tools are essential, but good ones are hard to find,” said Steven Johanknecht, a founding partner of the Los Angeles-based design firm Commune.

A great set of tools, Mr. Johanknecht said, “just finishes off the room, but too often it’s something that people don’t really consider.”

At Commune, “almost every residential project we do has a fireplace,” he said, and the firm’s designers have used a wide variety of tools for homes ranging in style from Tudor to midcentury modern. Sometimes they struggle to find just the right ones, so they have even designed a steel set of their own, with square handles and a bronze patina.

“We’re always looking for something that makes the fireplace special,” Mr. Johanknecht said, “but still allows the fire to be the star.”

  • How large should the tools be? “It’s all about the scale” of the fireplace, Mr. Johanknecht said. If you have a big stone mantel, you need beefy tools, but for compact midcentury-modern fireplaces, smaller, slender tools are often better.

  • How important is the stand or container? Because it’s on display, the holder is just as important as the tools, Mr. Johanknecht said: “That’s 50 percent of it.”

  • Should the tools be simple or ornate? It depends. “At the high end, tools can be works of art,” Mr. Johanknecht said. But “if you can’t afford something special, I would stick with something very simple.”

Hand-forged iron tools available with wall mount

About $420 for the tools and $186 for the mount at AllModern: 844-860-9688 or

Hand-forged iron tool set with polished handles

$830 at Arteriors: 646-797-3620 or

Steel poker, shovel and brush with walnut handles

$345 at MoMA Design Store: 800-851-4509 or

Hand-forged iron tool set by Jefferson Mack

$325 at Restoration Hardware: 800-762-1005 or

Powder-coated steel set with beech or walnut handles by Emma Olbers for Eldvarm

From $575 at Lekker Home: 617-737-7307 or

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