Thousand Oaks Fireside and Design: Sparking Inspiration 7

When Bob Vartanian was thinking of adding to his chain of fireplace retail stores (Encino, Glendale and Pasadena), he looked northward and noticed that Ventura County was lacking in its offering of a quality fireside, hearth and barbecue store. Vartanian was also aware of the changing role the fireplace and hearth products were taking with regard to interior design. He knew that in order to successfully open a new fireplace and barbecue showroom in Thousand Oaks, a different way of displaying and servicing the customer had to be achieved.

A peek into Thousand Oaks Fireside and Design reveals the result. Store Manager Thomas Malinowski notes that the showroom has “a high-end club feel about it, with its black ceramic floors, halogen spot lighting and red carpet room,” adding, “When the space was being remodeled to become Thousand Oaks Fireside and Design, people would stop in and ask what kind of restaurant or bar this was to become.”

The store is as far from the traditional “mom-and-pop” fireplace hearth store as one could get. Replacing many of the old standbys of a diminishing wood-burning era (tool sets, wood, baskets, pot belly stoves, etc.) are modern displays of efficient gas fireplaces, dynamic and useful retro-fit options for existing fireplaces and dazzling electric fireplaces that can be placed nearly anywhere.

“The market has changed, and there is a growing trend for an exclusive designer showroom for our products,” Malinowski states. “Our clientele has become more design-oriented, and the fireplace is looked at as a focal point in the room, not just a forgotten black box under the mantel.” The store is a favorite source for interior designers, contractors and architects, as well as the public. Vartanian planned the store to be a place for people to relax, get inspired and visualize our products in their own homes. Malinowski adds, “We are filling in the design palette for our clients.”

The visually appealing showroom is not limited to fireplaces. There are stone and wood mantels, enviable custom-built outdoor kitchen islands containing the latest grilling equipment available, pizza ovens, outdoor heating solutions, fire pits and an entire room dedicated to mailbox options. Step “outside” into the barbecue annex where you’ll find a simulated backyard grass area, a sky mural on the ceiling and a tropical mural backdrop that will surely put you in the mood to remodel your backyard space.

“It’s our job to present all the possibilities and advantages of our product lines and inform the client of how to achieve the desired outcome with regard to fireplace and hearth design and outdoor living spaces,” Malinowski says. “Our primary goal is to inspire people and show them the value of what we provide, which is not only a new fireplace, barbecue or mantel, but a lifestyle.”

Featured brands include Heat and Glo, Heatilator, Twin Eagles/Delta Heat Grills, Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet, Luxor Outdoor Kitchen Products, TEC Infrared Grills, Infratech, SunPak, California Outdoor Concepts and more.

Visit Thousand Oaks Fireside and Design at 104 East Thousand Oaks Blvd, in Thousand Oaks, Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Learn more at 805.496.6660 or online at