NOVATO — Even if your home has been remodeled to today’s style and standards, one aspect may still be obsolete: your fireplace. Here are a couple of ways to bring an outmoded fireplace up to date:

1. Aesthetics

Whether they were built in the 1980s or the 2000s, most fireplaces are composed of the same elements: a prefabricated firebox with glass, bi-fold doors framed in brass. Unfortunately, regardless of its construction date, a fireplace made of these elements tends to look passé. To update the look of your fireplace, replace those glass-and-brass doors with a custom-made, wrought iron fireplace door. These doors can be made to order and even include specific designs such as emblems or images. By simultaneously evoking old-world charm and modern-day chic, an iron fireplace door will lend your home the touch of character it was previously missing.

2. Health and environmental impact

In California, wood-burning fireplaces are gradually going extinct due to ever-tightening health and environmental regulations. In addition to winter “Spare the Air” days (which can occur for weeks at a time depending on air quality levels), wood-burning fireplaces are prohibited in new construction residences. Furthermore, some communities require homeowners to remove wood-burning fireplaces (or convert them to gas-burning) prior to executing real estate sales.

Considering the trending trajectory of state legislation, a smart step for updating your wood-burning fireplace is to convert it to a gas-burning unit. Fortunately, this is relatively easy and inexpensive—you just need to install a gas line and a gas log set. With a custom-designed gas log set made from crushed lava (a material that has already been naturally fired by nature), you can recreate the authentic look and feel of a traditional wood-burning hearth while doing away with the associated health and environmental concerns.