Let me guess…you can’t get those sweet 70’s fireplaces out of your mind since my last mention? Me neither. I’m pretty much ALWAYS thinking about them because very few things in life are better than strange old fireplaces that look like they are going to eat you up. So, what’s left to do but covet more for every room? (You’ll find my unsolicited buying tips at the end and you can check out my Preway here!)
My fireplace is a vintage Preway, but Malm and Majestic are other brands to look for. (Malm fireplaces are actually still in production, so if you are filthy rich and/or want to buy a Malm new you can! Shop like it’s 1975 at the original Malm or like it’s 2015 at Design Within Reach.) Otherwise, your options are eBay or Craigslist. I suggest Craigslist all the way on this one. They sell on eBay in the $500-$1,000 range. Skip that. If you have the patience to comb through every “fireplace” and “fire place” listing your local Craigslists you will be rewarded. If you don’t have that kind of patience, keep an eye out for common listing titles like freestanding fireplace, wood stove or even a chiminea (and various misspellings of the word). Other often used terms are cone, retro, 60’s, 70’s, groovy, and even ugly. Don’t be offended: The brand is usually not listed because sellers have no idea what they have and are just looking to clear these things out of their space for their generic remodel.
Preways, as far as I know, only come in one shape. The orange and green fireplaces in the photo above are Preways. Their screens have a handle on each side and they should have a metal band around the flue that sometimes says Preway. There are several different leg/base configurations. Vintage Malms come in all kinds of shapes, as do the new ones, including the Preway shape and the smaller, taller cones. Majestics, less common in my experience than the others, are usually identifiable by their gold knobbed screens with a “Majestic” nameplate. They also make the taller cones and some other interesting shapes. I believe they are the only maker of the square shape, like that tapered legged beauty in the first picture.
If you are thinking of installing the fireplace in your house, I would place a priority on finding one with all parts intact. Replacements can be hard to find and expensive. Personally, I would never pay more than $400 and would only pay that for the exact model and color I wanted in perfect condition. Also, I would familiarize yourself intimately with installation code or, better yet, hire a professional to install. Burning down your house down or carbon monoxide poisoning is never worth it.
If you are just looking for a place to burn logs in your backyard, you don’t need to be so picky. Though, you may want to lean towards the junkier ones out of vintage-stuff-moral-obligation…DWR recommends buying their stainless version for outdoor use because the enameled ones will rust. I imagine this is the same with older models. I was planning to put mine outside originally but it cleaned up so nicely that I felt guilty destroying its finish with weather. I see lots of rusted specimens on Craigslist in the $50 and less range.
I know it’s almost summer and all. But winter is coming, so better get on it! Thanks for reading!