A fireplace is a focal point of whatever room you put it in. It represents warmth, the family coming together, and the smell of a crackling wood fireplace is unmistakable.
While a traditional fireplace style dominates home walls, modern fireplace inspirations update these features to give them new life and style.
This handy guide will lead you through designing a new fireplace and how you can update your existing fireplace to have a modern finish.
Where can you Install a New Fireplace?
If you’re looking to add in a new hearth to your home, then you may be wondering where exactly you can install a fireplace. The answer is: anywhere! From bedrooms to bathrooms, or even dining rooms, any room can have a fireplace.
While installing a complete wood-burning fireplace in an interior part of your home is difficult, it could be possible if the room has an outward-facing wall. Gas and electric fireplaces are easier to install in interior spaces and safer.
A brick fireplace is commonly found in the living room, making it a convenient heat source and a room’s focal point. The wall where your fireplace lies is often the same wall where you hang your TV or have an entertainment center with a lot of shelving.
Fireplaces that are surrounded by wood paneling and storage units are an elegant way to hide the clutter of the living room, cords, and children’s toys.
The style can suit whatever you want. Choose a dark wood and exposed brick surface for a dark-academia look. On the other hand, a slightly distressed finish around the fireplace can give it an antique country feel instead.
Put your feet up on your coffee table and enjoy the heat during cold winter days, spending time with family watching movies under a cozy blanket.
Bedrooms used to have fireplaces in them frequently; however, now that central heating is a prevalent feature in a home, fireplaces have fallen out of style.
Having a real wood-burning fireplace can also be potentially dangerous if too much gas is allowed to gather in the room instead of safely leaving the house through the flue. However, having a real-fire fireplace in your bedroom can make you feel like royalty of old.
On the other hand, electric and gas fireplaces are perfect for bedrooms.
Fireplaces have become less common in kitchens and bathrooms with modern inventions like stoves, ovens, and water heaters.
However, too many, the epitome of luxury is having a fireplace in every room what’s more luxurious than a decorative gas fireplace in the bathroom to enjoy the ambiance while you soak.
A hearth in the kitchen can also be a great addition, especially if you enjoy the taste of food cooked over the fire in Dutch ovens. Many now decide to get a pizza oven over a traditional fireplace in kitchens. If your kitchen also functions as a dining or living space, a fireplace can add familiar warmth to the room.
This can also create a feature wall that can start conversations and will help you create a particular mood.
Traditional vs. Gas Fireplace
Having a real fire burning in your fireplace is still a great option if you add a fireplace.
A traditional hearth has a unique charm that is difficult to replicate with an electronic or gas alternative.
The sounds and smells of a crackling fire aren’t the same—though some do offer experiences that are kin to a real burning fireplace. It’s easier to get lumber when you need it, whereas finding gas may be difficult if you suddenly require your fireplace.
That means that a traditional fireplace makes it less expensive to heat your home with central heating.
A gas fireplace can be much more convenient. This is especially true if you don’t want to do any major renovations on your home. A third party can maintain them if you have a warranty or provide them through the installer. Gas fireplaces also have a distinctly modern look, with glass settings and crystal beds, but can look like traditional fireplaces.
Both kinds of fireplaces need to be maintained to keep them safe. Traditional fireplaces need to have the flue cleaned to ensure enough airflow, while gas valves may need to be checked in a gas fireplace to ensure no leaks.
Protecting Your Floor
If you decide on a traditional fireplace, make sure that the floor around the fireplace is fire resistant. If it’s not raised above the floor, tiles laid before the fireplace’s opening will prevent potential fires and prevent coals from staining hardwood or carpet.
No matter what kind of fireplace you get, always make sure to keep flammable furniture several feet from the open flame to avoid hazardous situations.
Fireplace Design: Inspirational Ideas
This is where the two paths meet. Whether adding in a new fireplace or refurbishing your current one, you need inspiration! The best way to get that is online by looking at photos (and articles like this one), which can help pinpoint your needs and wants to make the best decisions for your house.
Consider the following design ideas when considering decorative accents in your space.
An all-white fireplace, or an all-black fireplace for that matter, can unify disparate design elements and materials.
This may be especially key if you’re updating your current fireplace. If you don’t like the existing finish on wood, stone, or concrete fireplace, it will be easy to paint it a single color. In the end, it will look clean and simple, and the color will be easier to touch up and maintain.
Whitewashes can be applied more readily to raw brick surfaces that have never been painted before. You can create one at home by mixing white latex paint and water, this mixture will spread quickly, and you’ll keep the original brick texture.
In a monochrome room, always consider adding visual interests through texture to keep the design appealing and creative.
Tiles are timeless, from simple white tiles to tiles covered in intricate chintz floral patterns.
There are a lot of unique tile patterns you can lay around your fireplace. Many companies also custom make tiles for those who aren’t satisfied by the available selection of tiles in your area or a contractor’s catalog.
Custom tiles can include any imagery, and often you don’t have to buy a whole set. Buying even one or two custom tiles as accents on the corner of your fireplace can make the house feel like yours, even after you’re long gone.
If you’re building or refacing a fireplace, there is nothing wrong with the classic bricks. They are elegant, simple, and are great for those who love the rustic style. Remember, many kinds of brick, not just the earthy red colors that might first come to mind.
Ask a designer or contractor about the brick options and decide on a color and brick size that you like best.
Marble is a fantastic stone. Elegant and effortless, marble has a depth of color and richness, making it an enduring staple in construction since humanity started quarrying and using stone in architecture.
You can use marble around the entirety of your fireplace like tile. On the other hand, you can also use marble as a focal point instead by topping a clean wooden base with a marble mantel.
Ideas for Updating Your Fireplace Design
If you have a fireplace that needs some love and care, you may need some easy tips for updating your fireplace design. Before you do any updating, make sure to clean your fireplace thoroughly.
A fresh coat of paint can be the easiest way to update any part of your home, including the fireplace.
While you may opt for a monochrome scheme, as discussed, you should be afraid to go bold instead. A bright orange fireplace color can make a powerful statement in a primarily White room.
Mantels are great for holding sentimental pictures of the family, safely keeping candles, and displaying essential items to our family. Many newly built home designs build fireplaces without mantels and facades that reach the ceiling.
While some consider it a cleaner look and don’t appreciate a mantel if you’re looking to use that empty wall space for display, adding a mantle is a cost-effective way to utilize that space again.
Instead of replacing the entire façade of your fireplace, adding a simple mantelpiece can tie the fireplace with the rest of your furniture. Coupled with other design updates, like paint, the whole aesthetic of your room could change from cold to warm, or vice versa.
Consider a wood mantel.
Creating a New Façade
You can replace the old façade of your fireplace without a significant construction process by using a prefabricated surround that easily fits over your current look.
You can get a pre-made or customer surround that can change the look of your living or dining room, and even a bedroom. They are easy to install and are not much of a hassle.
You may find an old health surround while antiquing or other parts that you like, like an ornamental apron or decorative legs that you’d like to include in a new design. Because these won’t fit on top of your current surroundings like a custom or prefabricated replacement might, installing them may take a bit more work.
You have to remove your previous fireplace parts. Some adjustments or repairs may also need to be done to the new facing to ensure it will fit the other one and be strong enough to withstand the potential wear and tear of being in your house.
Finally, you want to pull all these pieces together. The final touches make or break the look of a room, so consider these final thoughts.
Mirrors and Miscellaneous Decorations
A mirror above the fireplace or on the opposite wall is a great way to add more light to a room.
If you’ve added a mantelpiece, you can add more light by lining it with candles. Other family heirlooms that are nearly as vital to the family as its members can also be proudly displayed here to show what your family’s heart stands for.
A soft rug in front of a hearth is mandatory for making a cozy living room fireside sitting area.
Make a nook for people to sit in that’s near the hearth. When it’s not used for cooking, this will be a great place to relax and read a good book. Also, consider how installing hooks can help make the fire more functional, and don’t forget the fire stokers that you’ll need to keep on hand.
Keeping Warmth in Your Home
Whether you decide to have a wood-burning fireplace, or a gas one, there are many benefits of having a fireplace in your home, and the visual appeal is the least of them. A fireplace can help you cut down on heating bills in the winter while reducing the humidity in your home. It’s often a feature that increases resale value if you’re ever ready to sell, so updating can keep this asset valuable.
From the bathroom to a bedroom, adding a fireplace will bring coziness and a point of interest to any wall.