Meet the Maker: Aurora
Some of our fondest home memories include cozying up with family and friends next to the fireplace on a cold winter’s night, playing games and sipping hot cocoa. We truly believe that the fireplace is often the hub of the home. And that’s why we love to include suspended fireplaces in projects where we can and we have been long-time fans of Aurora Fireplaces, more recently having used it in The Barefoot Villa at Byron Bay. These Australian made suspended fireplaces combine the appeal of wood heating with a gorgeous silhouette which celebrates modern interior design. Read on below to learn more about Aurora Fireplaces and the benefits of including a suspended fireplace in your home…
Why would someone want to consider including a suspended fireplace in their home?
Someone would want to consider included a suspended fireplace in their home as it is a move away from the traditional square box in the corner of a room, or against the wall. It is usually the wow factor or statement piece in a room that is used as a functional work of art. It has dual functionality as a fireplace and a pizza oven and is the perfect place for the family to gather, talk, watch the flames and share a pizza.
If someone is interested to include a suspended fireplace in their home, what's your advice on choosing the right product from your range?
The firebox model is mostly an aesthetic choice. The Aether has different curves to the Hearth and a different opening. The fuel choice is a little different, here are some questions that we usually ask our customers…Will it be the primary source of heating for the house? Do you prefer the idea of burning wood or the convenience of Bio-ethanol fuel? Is there an issue with putting a flue up through the ceiling? Will you use the fire to cook in? The answers to these questions and more will determine which firebox and which fuel you will choose. There are different colour options, however most people choose the classic, flat matt black finish.
What’s the benefit of having a suspended fireplace as opposed to another type of fireplace i.e. A traditional open-hearth fireplace, when it comes to the design of a space?
The beauty lies in the 360-degree rotation of the firebox, which allows you to rotate the fire to face the direction you are sitting. We have an Aether in our living room and it faces towards the lounge for most of the time, when we move outside onto the deck, we rotate the fire a quarter of a turn to face out towards the deck and slide back the doors. It’s as if the fire follows you out onto the deck.
How can someone figure out where to place a suspended fireplace within their desired space?
We are always happy to work closely with the Architect, designer, builder or end customer to discuss placement of the fire. We will look over the house plans and use the installation planning section on our website. If the customer is retrofitting into an existing building, we offer a visualization of your fire service. This entails the customer emailing photos of proposed locations and we insert the fire into the photo, it’s a very useful tool.
Where are your offices based? What’s a day in the office look like for the Maker?
We are located a 20-minute drive South of Byron bay, in Ballina, NSW. A typical day in the office starts with a coffee on the way in to get the motor running. I check my email to see if there is anything that requires urgent attention and get onto that straight away. This could be talking to installers/builders that are installing that morning and need advice whilst they are onsite. Once the urgent task is over, I go into the workshop and talk to Noel who is the workshop manager and discuss the plan for the day and how we tracked yesterday and how the rest of the week is looking. Then, head to the end workshop to talk with the metal workers and see how they are getting on. Back to the office to talk with Annie who takes care of all business, sales/marketing and many other things. Get onto the other not so urgent emails, materials ordering, freight booking, and organizing the upcoming and outgoing orders, look at financials to see what I can or cannot spend. I will be in and out of the workshop and office several times depending on what is happening out in the workshop, this will take me up until lunchtime. If it’s a very busy day I will eat at my desk, if not take a lunch break. After lunch will look much the same as the morning, but in the afternoon, I try to put time aside to work on the new projects that are going on in the background. This could be new products that we are prototyping or new international markets that we are looking to enter and also try to do a little forecasting and research. Ongoing conversations with Annie throughout the day, throwing ideas around and collaborating decisions.
We are currently launching in the US and Canada and I’ve been spending time over there the past few weeks. Setting up warehousing, training the sales and technical support and meetings with distributors and dealers/retailers. I was lucky enough to attend a trade show in New Orleans last week. Being in New Orleans was an experience and it was great to see what is going on in the Fireplace industry over there. - Neil McCarthy, CEO/Engineer Aurora Fires