A modern fireplace can be categorized as such because of the latest technology that facilitates its operation. A natural wood burning fireplace can be converted into a modern type ignited by natural gas, propane or electricity. There are also modern eco-friendly ventless fireplaces fueled by bio-ethanol which do not have any smoke emission. Bio-ethanol combustion produces heat together with a tiny amount of water vapor and steam. This method eliminates the need for a chimney or flue. Technologically advanced features and futuristic design make up a modern fireplace.
Contemporary fireplaces have increased in popularity because they double as functional industrial design-oriented heaters and interior design-oriented décor. They house real living flames that can be fueled by wood, gas, or other fuels. They are great sources of heat and enjoyment, and generally raise the value of the home by at least as much as they cost. They can be viewed either as functional art pieces or artistically-designed appliances, and are the ultimate marriage of the utilitarian and the aesthetic.