35 Fireplace ideas for stunning, cosy interiors
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A fireplace can be a stunning asset for a home. It offers comfort when it gets cold, while also serving as an interesting focal point for your space. It’s no wonder many homeowners are thrilled with having a new fireplace installed or upgrading their existing one. Moreover, there are many styles and fireplace ideas to try - from classic designs to more contemporary looks.
Choosing a fireplace requires a certain amount of deliberation. You have to consider your budget, the level of maintenance you’re ready to commit, design preferences, and the type of fuel source for your fireplace. This guide will provide you with different design inspirations, so you can plan how you make your fireplace stand out.
Modern fireplace design ideas
1. Go for organic luxe
You can't go wrong with a simple black fireplace juxtaposed with natural materials and tones and set against a crisp white backdrop. So-called “organic modern” is a popular contemporary look. It blends tactile natural materials into a black and white setting for a subtly elegant effect.
2. Blonde wood and terrazzo
Sometimes a masonry fireplace can seem a little cold. Choosing a wooden fireplace surround can be a good option to generate a sense of warmth even when the fire isn't on. A black fireplace contrasts beautifully with a light palette of white paint and pale timber. A slab of terrazzo also adds a lovely texture.
3. Supersize it
When it comes to modern fireplace ideas, there's a current trend towards oversized, sculptural surrounds. You’ll find so-called ‘honest' or authentic materials like steel, concrete, and stone. Stacked stone creates a powerful centrepiece for a modern living room. It contrasts beautifully with the light colour palette and tactile soft furnishings.
4. Modern black with a wood stack
One of the things people love about wood-fuelled fireplaces is the fact that a wood stack can become a pleasing design feature in itself. Even if you go with a gas fireplace, you might still choose to install a wood stack purely for aesthetic purposes and to generate those cosy vibes.
5. Black with pale timber mantel
Fireplace designs can be endlessly customised. You can use a huge variety of materials for the fascia (the front piece around the firebox), surround, and/or mantel. It can be as simple as adding a piece of timber to serve as a mantel and contrast with a black surround. Above it is a great place to hang artwork but consider getting some help hanging your pictures so that they are perfectly positioned.
6. From soot to soothing
When your fireplace is not in use it can simply become the dramatic backdrop to your decor. Clean your fireplace then decorate the empty space as you please.
You might also like: Creative empty fireplace ideas to decorate an unused space
7. Wood stack integrated fireplace design
A practical fireplace setting often incorporates an adjacent niche for storing logs. Set the fireplace against a black slate backplate and elevate it on a raised concrete hearth that can also hold pieces of fireplace decor. A storage niche will give you a nicely utilitarian, minimalist, and modern design.
8. Coloured fireplaces
Fireplaces don't need to be black—you can find them in all colours. If going for a bold-coloured firebox, it might be better to choose a smaller size so you don't overwhelm your living space with the colour.
9. Metallic and dramatic
If you want modern, industrial-chic fireplaces, you'll love the designs by San Franciscan designer Nicole Hollis. Her designs create unique looks for interior spaces. Some of her works feature a combination of oversized brass panels finished in silver nitrate, a black metal surround, and a black tiled fireplace interior. These give off that dramatic, moody and bold vibe!
10. Minimalist modern
A centralised fireplace feature wall is minimal and perfect for those who love a streamlined modern look. Add a wood stack niche to introduce more visually pleasing forms and shapes. Downlights are a similarly minimalist element that enhances rather than competes with the light of the fire.
11. Modern black against heritage white
Interior designers suggest sticking to the style of your home when choosing a fireplace design. But, rules are meant to be broken. Even if you have a period building, you aren't limited to a traditional fireplace surround native to the home's period. So, go ahead and fit out a heritage home with a contemporary, matte black steel fireplace.
12. White modern farmhouse
For a look with nice contrast, consider a fireplace with a white surround and a smaller black firebox. It will blend harmoniously into a whitewashed palette. The less imposing look of a fireplace like this allows the fireplace decor to take centre stage. Just add an abstract artwork in complementary tones and your favourite ceramics, vases, and other artifacts to match your intended fire hearth ideas.
Stonework, concrete, and brick fireplace ideas
13. White-painted stone fireplace
Stone is a traditional fireplace material and will bring instant nostalgic vibes to any setting. You'll find this material in some outdoor fireplace ideas, but it's also great for indoor settings. For a rustic or farmhouse aesthetic, giving a masonry fireplace a whitewash ensures it feels extra clean and inviting. If you love the rustic look, we have plenty more rustic living room ideas.
14. White marble
For a striking fireplace surround with plenty of wow factor, choosing a natural stone like marble looks both modern and timeless. Consider a custom fireplace surround that extends the length of the wall, making the absolute most of the beautiful stone. Minimalist glass and timber floating shelves above the fireplace can make a style statement, as well.
15. Marble glam
Timeless marble is a classic material for those who love a traditional look for their fireplace. The stone brings instant sophistication and class to a living room. Add an ornate mirror to bring elegance to the space. Display dramatic candelabra on your mantelpiece.
16. Ceramic bricks
Have you heard of the Finnish modernist architect Alvar Aalto? His chimney designs are quite inspiring, consisting of a mix of ceramic and construction blocks. There's beautiful texture and colours, such as a palette of burnt orange and soft grey. It's worth checking out for inspiration and getting more fireplace cladding ideas!
17. Beautiful basalt
A fireplace is an ideal way to feature the amazing colours and textures of stonework in a living room. Consider dramatic basalt or your favourite local stone for a wonderful finish.
18. With concrete flooring
A freestanding stove creates a focal point in an open-plan living area. For freestanding fireplace ideas, you can start by adding industrial chic concrete flooring and mixing it with organic materials, such as timber shelving and woven baskets.
19. Classic grey brick
If you prefer a more classic look, a traditional brick fireplace may be for you. Consider painting it a lovely pale grey. And if your fireplace doesn't have a mantel, you can always create a faux one to increase your fireplace decor options.
20. Rendered concrete walls
Rendered concrete fireplace, with its dreamy, cloud-like effect, can be a lovely addition to your living space. Amp up the Nordic flavours with a soft neutral colour scheme and natural, textured materials.
21. White brick fireplace
Nothing says mountain home more than a masonry fireplace, especially one with stylised antler fireplace decor. Go for a large whitewashed brick one and modernised with a poured concrete hearth. If you’re one for open fireplace ideas, this design might work out well for your space.
Other fireplace decor ideas
22. White millwork
The fireplace is often the focal point of your living space. You can attract even more attention to the area with detailed wall panelling that draws the eye inwards. A bold artwork above the fireplace will also serve to further highlight the feature wall area.
23. Surrounded by books
A home library nestles around a simple black fireplace is among the popular living room fireplace ideas. Intricate white millwork adds elegance and further texture to the space. Check our blog too for more living room idea inspiration.
24. Simple Scandi
A simple fireplace design can be elegant and suit a home with Scandi or coastal vibes. When the fireplace itself showcases a minimalist look and remains unadorned, you can enhance the space around it. Create visual interest with shelving full of lush plants, woven baskets, and ceramic ornaments.
25. Mantel and mirror
A fireplace mantel presents plenty of opportunities for playing with fireplace decor. A popular styling element for mantels is a mirror. Go for simplicity if you have an intricately carved fireplace surround. And why not get some help hanging your fireplace mirror to ensure it's perfectly placed?
26. Japanese minimalist
For a truly dramatic centrepiece to your living room, consider a striking statement fireplace. Get inspiration from the fireplace designs of Japanese architect Uno Tomoaki. He creates raw steel, wood-burning stoves with a wonderfully strong industrial, factory-like appeal.
27. Highlight the fireplace
The placement of your fireplace can be tricky if you have a television nearby. You can install TV cabinets with sliding doors to conceal the electronics. This will allow your statement fireplace to take the stage.
For a fresh and clean, bright, and breezy living room, go for a streamlined fireplace column. Grey-veined marble cladding around the fireplace can go well with stone flooring. Meanwhile, timber-clad steps add warmth and contrast. For a contemporary aesthetic, environmentally-friendly and neat bio-ethanol fireplaces are perfect and practical.
29. Yellow painted
Love an avant-garde interior? Take your rustic, industrial-inspired, neutral-toned living room. Fuse it with a pop of yellow paint to define the fireplace surround. Yellow is an unusual colour choice for a fireplace surround but is the best option if you are looking for bold tones!
A fireplace setting is a great way to introduce shapes and angular lines into your home. A simple black box fireplace surrounded by smaller timber boxes for storing wood can showcase a minimalist look.
31. White retro style
A retro-style white firebox is unusual but blends perfectly into a whitewashed interior. Add black accents to your lighting and other decors for more emphasis.
32. Simple white
If you don't want your fireplace to be the major focal point of the room, white is a great choice for the surround as it visually recedes into the wall. Another idea is to have a zero-clearance fireplace installed, which means it's built-in completely flush to the wall.
33. Globular fireplace
For an unusual fireplace with a wow factor, look for globular, galactic-style fireplaces. Suspended from the ceiling, they take up no floor or wall space and have a retro, mid-century aesthetic. You can sometimes find vintage globular fireplaces on the marketplaces, or you can have a replica custom-made with help from your local handyman.
34. Black fireplace
There's something very satisfying about logs neatly stacked beside a fireplace. This also makes a great rustic design feature, adding plenty of natural texture and pattern. If you choose a wood-burning fireplace, think about how you will incorporate your wood stack in a visually appealing way. For example, you can place them alongside floating shelving with similarly symmetrical and repetitive elements. You might keep your logs in a metal trolley on wheels for convenience.
35. Corrugated iron feature
A rustic chic living room can look stunning with an oversized, rusty corrugated iron fireplace surround. An oversized surround can also cleverly conceal any flue or chimney. Add metal chairs to complement the feature and an animal hide rug for softness and texture.
Choosing the right fireplace
Many people love the romance of a traditional wood-burning hearth, whether an open one or a closed, updraft stove (potbelly). But these days you can get a faux ‘dancing flames' effect even with non-wood burning fireplaces. Your choice depends on whether you want to wood, gas, or ethanol as your fuel source.
Wood offers a pleasant choice if you're after that mesmerising flickering, snapping, and crackling appeal in your fireplace. It also has the advantages of being renewable and easy to source. You can even use the ashes in the garden. However, wood can be bulky and needs safe storage. You'll also require regular cleaning for your fireplace.
Choosing a slow combustion heater or an airtight firebox instead of an open hearth is the most efficient option for wood-fuel fireplaces. Even if you have an existing open hearth, you can always go with a fireplace insert to improve its heating functionality.
Gas heaters are a great option for burning cleaner fuel but still provide that ambient flickering flame appearance. They can burn natural or liquefied petroleum gas, and can be flued or unflued. Either way, this will require a well-ventilated room.
Open gas models are more decorative and emit less radiant heat, but closed gas (or balanced flue) models with glass fronts are efficient and help maintain air quality. Unlike wood-fuelled fireplaces, flued gas models can be flued horizontally, which makes them perfect for small spaces. The disadvantages of gas heaters are they need more maintenance and great care.
Another clean-burning option is ethanol. Bioethanol is derived from living plants, meaning it's a renewable resource. Fireplaces that use bio-ethanol need neither chimneys, flues, or vents. However, you still need good ventilation due to the production of water vapour and carbon dioxide. Many people prefer ethanol as a fuel because it creates no smoke or ash. Most units can be self-installed and require low maintenance. You can also convert an existing gas or wood fireplace to an ethanol one with an insert.
In all cases, the fuel is flammable, so ensure you have a fire extinguisher nearby and have fire alarms installed by an expert.
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Which of these fireplace ideas is your favourite? Remember to style your space in a way that the pieces complement each other. If the work is beyond the usual DIY, hire a professional to install your fireplace. Plan how you want to revamp the space and give your interiors that well-deserved upgrade!
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FAQs on Fireplace Designs
It’s not unusual to find fireplaces in many homes today. Fireplaces are becoming trendy because they offer both style and function for homes. These not only boost the elegance and level of cosiness of a home but also increases its value. Fireplaces are not just great additions to living rooms; bedrooms and outdoor living spaces are also areas where homeowners install fireplaces for added comfort and warmth.
Fireplace installation can be simple or complex, depending on the type of fireplace you want to add to your home. Traditional fireplaces with expansive stonework or elaborate masonry may require more construction. However, modern fireplaces and pre-built inserts can be easy to accomplish for a DIY project.
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