Fireplace Design Ideas

fireplace design

Fireplace design ideas can jumpstart any room makeover project.

Adding Character to a Room

Virtually nobody will argue that a fireplace adds character to a room. Even in sunny, warm climates, such as Florida, homeowners sometimes request a fireplace be added to building plans simply because they like the look that a fireplace brings to a living area. In other areas of the country, a fireplace may be the primary heating source, so its importance focuses more on functionality rather than aesthetics.

Gas Fireplace

For those who live in houses that don't have a chimney and fireplace, there is also the option of purchasing a ventless fireplace. Ventless fireplaces use gas-heated logs. The look of a fireplace is obtained when a mantle is placed around the gas heater, adding the look of a fireplace to any room. Most of these heaters are run with a thermostat, so the fire ignites and switches off based upon the temperature of the room. Some may even have blowers added.

Gas fireplaces are often purchased to replace an existing fireplace as well. These are actually vented fireplaces, using the existing chimney as a vent source. These fireplaces are so powerful that, when used with the blower, they can heat several rooms. Again, large mantles in a variety of styles and designs can be purchased to surround the heater, creating the cozy, warm look of a working fireplace without the mess of ashes, wood, etc.

Electric Fireplace

Another popular fireplace option is the electric fireplace. These are ventless heaters that radiate heat, with some even providing the crackling sound of real logs burning. Again, you can purchase mantles in a variety of styles to decorate your home.

Making Decisions

Fireplace design ideas run the gamut from traditional oak mantles to elaborately scrolled artwork. Which design you choose has a lot to do with the budget and the décor of the rest of the room.

  • What style do you prefer? Contemporary? Classic? American traditional? Eclectic? Once you've decided on a style, you can begin looking for a design that fits your preferences.
  • How will the fireplace be used? Is it in the kitchen, living room, bedroom? Will you use it as a primary heating source? Do you live in a warm climate, and you really only want the fireplace for looks?
  • Will it be the focal point of the room? For many living areas, the fireplace does serve as the primary focal point, and if this is the case in your room, you'll want to play up your fireplace's features.
  • Are you completely remodeling an existing room or in the process of building? If so, you can choose the décor of the rest of the room from the design of the fireplace you select.

Fireplace Design Ideas

Fireplace design ideas can be as simple as redoing an existing fireplace or special ordering a custom designed fireplace. There are so many choices available, including the following:

  • Wooden Mantles-Choose from oak, cherry, maple, etc. You can purchase an unfinished mantle and paint it any color you like as well. Mantles also are available with additional decorative wooden accents, too.
  • Marble Designs-Marble fireplace designs will add elegance to any room. Marble comes in a variety of colors and designs that will match virtually any décor. You can use the marble on the mantle and/or around the sides and on the hearth.
  • Ceramic Fireplaces-If you have a traditional wooden mantle, you can jazz up the look by adding ceramic tiles around the sides of the fireplace. Apply the ceramic in the same manner as you would a ceramic floor. Choose small or large tiles, and continue the look onto the hearth as well.
  • Paint Projects-An easy-on-the-budget choice is to simply paint an existing mantle and/or the ceramic tiles that surround the fireplace. There are lots of faux finishes, such as crackling or feathering, that will add a unique look to any fireplace.

Finally, for more ideas, check out the Better Home and Gardens site or the HGTV site.

Fireplace Design Ideas