Home Zone: Portrait-style fireplaces pack a punch of passion
Jan 12,2007 00:00 by Linda Pescatore

Here's something that may make your house a bit more steamy this winter while pulling the plug on those electric scent-making air fresheners.

Lopi, the largest wood, gas and pellet stove company in the U.S., is now the first maker of gas fireplaces and cast-iron stoves to offer a built-in aromatherapy feature.

That is good news for anyone wanting to experience the fragrance of "Love Potion No. 10" as they and a partner watch the dancing flames of the nearby fireplace.

BEHIND THE LOOKING GLASS - Several of stove company Lopi's designs, including this Looking Glass 'portrait-style' fireplace, can accommodate an aromatherapy oil warmer hidden in the keystone. CNS Photo.
OFF THE SHELF - A folding workstation keeps the garage in order while keeping needed items close at hand. CNS Photo courtesy of Racor Inc.
CAN-DO - Rather than fumble through dark recesses, you can keep frequently used spray cans and flashlights handy with a vertical can rack made of anodized aluminum. The design was inspired by the auto racing industry. CNS Photo courtesy of Racor Inc.
Made of ylang-ylang oil derived from the flower of the cananga tree, Love Potion No. 10 is believed to relieve high blood pressure and aid skin problems.

But the point here is that the No. 10 product, with a history as a South Pacific aphrodisiac, "excites the senses with a sensual, intoxicating fragrance perfect for romance."

The fragrance dispenser is hidden in a special nook in the keystone of the fireplace, above the fire. Aromatherapy compartments can be added to a wide range of Lopi stoves and gas fireplaces.

The company's Looking Glass model, a 21-inch-wide, 12-inch-deep "portrait-style" fireplace, was designed for bedroom and bathroom use. It can also be integrated with kitchen cabinetry. When no fire is lit, the Looking Glass is a classically styled wall mirror. With the touch of a button, the fire ignites and the mirror fades away.

The Looking Glass comes with a convection fan that can heat an area as large as 650 square feet, and is available in both top-vent and rear-vent models. Prices for the cast-iron, portrait-style model range from $1,500 to $2,600.

If romance isn't in the cards, the company offers two other oils for its products: "On Cloud Nine" - with a hint of lavender to calm and relieve stress - and "Somebody Wake Up Edna" - with a eucalyptus base to stimulate and energize, and improve mood and memory.

Come to think of it, after Edna is awake it may be just the time for fanning the flames with a quick change to "Love Potion No. 10."

Lopi dealers can be found by visiting www.lopifire.com or calling 800-654-1177.

- Carl Larsen


When you need to keep several useful items handy, disorganization often results. Designers at Racor Inc., an Idaho manufacturer of garage storage systems, were inspired by the auto-racing industry to create a new line of products, called RacorPro(plus), with both speedy installation and speedy access to tools and supplies in mind.

The new product line won't rust or corrode because it is made of heavy-duty anodized aluminum that also resists stains and damage from chemicals, according to Racor. The pieces clean up using soap and water. With predrilled holes and hardware included, these organizers go up quickly using a screwdriver and a stud finder.

The RacorPro(plus) Folding Workstation is a multitasker. Along with three 5 1/2-inch deep shelves to store items like motor oil, car waxes and cleaning supplies, the workstation has a work tray that holds as much as 100 pounds when folded down. When it's not needed, the tray folds up, out of the way, and locks into place. An extra-long towel bar will accommodate two rolls of paper towels. The workstation retails for $190.

Another nifty idea is the RacorPro(plus) Vertical Can Rack, which fills your need for speed by holstering six of your most commonly used cans - such as spray paint, lubricant, insulating foam - securely at a 45-degree angle. The rack sells for $50.

Of course, these versatile products aren't only for the garage. They may be just the thing to organize a kitchen, pantry, laundry room or workroom.

The RacorPro(plus) line is sold online and through major catalogs and retailers nationwide. For more information visit www.racorinc.com.