We no longer build fireplaces for physical warmth. We build them for the warmth of the soul. We build them to dream by, to hope by, to home by. -Edna Ferber
It’s the classic Christmas scene; a family gathered together, all cozy around the fireplace with a crackling fire warming the room. It doesn’t have to be Christmas to enjoy the warmth and beauty of a fireplace. Even if you aren’t using your fireplace, it adds a cozy and welcoming focal point to the room.
Whether you’re looking to improve on your current fireplace or add one, these ideas are sure to help you get started. Check out these fireplace surround ideas to create a stunning focal point for your living room or any other room in your home.
1. Fireplace Mantel Ideas
The mantel on your fireplace is the decorative shelf just above the surround. It was originally added to fireplaces during medieval times as a hood to catch the smoke and ash generated by the fire. Thankfully, modern technology has addressed that issue, and your fireplace mantel is mainly there for looks.
For the most basic of mantels, you can mount a floating wood beam. Leave it bare and let the beauty of the wood shine through. Or add corbels underneath and paint it a color, and have it blend in with the rest of the fireplace structure and the decor of the room.
If you love the look of vintage, check out your local shops for a recovered fireplace mantel. You can find some beautiful and deeply intricate mantels that feature a wide variety of motifs. All you have to do is mount it to your wall, and you have a complete fireplace mantel.
Other options have the mantel built out of the materials used for the surround, such as brick, stone, tile, or marble. The mantel you choose should match the style of the fireplace and make sense in your home. An overly ornate Victorian fireplace mantel won’t make sense if you have a modern Craftsman home.
2. Fireplace Tile Ideas
When it comes to creating a unique yet durable look for your fireplace, you can’t go wrong with tile. This popular building material is easy to maintain and keep clean while also adding color and texture to a room.
The trick making the tile look good around your fireplace is to choose the right size. The larger the fireplace surround and the larger the room, the bigger your tile should be. This will keep it looking proportional to the space. For smaller fireplaces and surrounds, a colorful and patterned mosaic tile can look beautiful.
The traditional use of tile is to use it immediately around the fireplace, just below the mantel and on the hearth. A modern approach is to use tile here, but then extend it above the mantel shelf and up the wall to the ceiling.
One way you can elevate the look of your tile fireplace design is to use travertine or marble tile. These will give your tile fireplace a luxurious look. For a fireplace that looks more natural, use tile materials that replicate the look of natural stone. You can use a stone veneer that will give you the look of stone without the cost and installation challenges.
3. Electric Fireplace Ideas
Let’s face it; having a real fireplace with wood is a lot of work. You’ll need to get wood, build your fire, and clean up afterward. Then there’s storing the wood while you’re not using your fireplace. An electric fireplace is a modern solution.
You have two options; a vintage-inspired fireplace oven or a built-in modern system. A vintage stove is a mini box that is either styled out of wood or looked like wrought iron. You place the stove in your fireplace, and you’re done.
The modern option is an insert that you fit into the fireplace. You pick the insert that matches the dimensions of your fireplace, then install into the open space. A beautiful roaring and crackling fire can be ready at the push of a button.
4. Faux Fireplace Ideas
You don’t have to have a chimney to create the look of a fireplace in your home. Faux fireplaces give your home cozy and welcoming feelings without a living room remodel or dealing with an actual fire in your house. It can also provide you with a focal point for your room.
When creating your faux fireplace, start with deciding what wall you want it on and the size you’d like. Your fireplace design idea doesn’t need to be big or extravagant. A small hearth where you place a few candles will be enough to create the effect.
Place a freestanding electric fireplace stove in the space, and now you can generate heat. These vintage-inspired stoves will give your home a warm and welcoming touch.
For the look of the fireplace without any fire, fill the space with wood. This gives the idea or impression of a fireplace and the natural look of wood.
5. Painted Fireplace Ideas
The easiest way to update your fireplace is by painting it. A coat of paint and your fireplace will look completely different. A simple and streamlined option is to paint the fireplace the same color as the wall.
Another option is to take the opposite approach and paint your fireplace a contrasting color to your wall. If your walls are white or a light color, paint your fireplace black or a dark color. This is an excellent option if your fireplace is a bit dated, and you want to hide some less attractive details.
Don’t be afraid to gold bold with your painted design, though. This is your home, so choose colors that you love and create a design that makes you happy. You could create geometric shapes, polka dots, stripes, squares, or diamonds. Create the shape you want with masking tape to create clean lines.
6. Marble Fireplace Ideas
Marble is one of those materials that will immediately elevate your fireplace and make it look luxurious. You can use it to create the marble surround or use it to create the entire fireplace wall.
The modern approach uses large, smooth sheets of marble to create clean lines and let the beauty of the stone be the feature. The classical method involves carving the marble into decorative and intricate designs. This fireplace mantel idea works well in large rooms that can support such a big statement piece.
7. Modern Gas Fireplace Ideas
Walk into a newly built luxury home or the latest trendy bar, and you’ll see gas fireplaces. These are fireplaces, fire pits, and fire tables that have a fuel line supplying the fire. Modern fireplaces use this style because it looks sleek, and there are plenty of options to make your fireplace perfectly match the rest of your home.
The traditional look is to have faux wood for your flames to flicker through. But for a more modern look, try glass rocks or stones.
For new fireplaces, consider creating yours as a corner fireplace or in a wall that divides two rooms. This will create a statement in not just one, but two rooms of your home.
A concrete fireplace with a glass enclosure will create the ultimate in modern decor.
8. Stacked Stone Fireplace Ideas
When creating a stacked stone fireplace surround, it’s all about picking the right kind of stone. The stone you choose will depend on how rustic you want your fireplace to look. Larger and more irregular stones will be perfect for that mount, country, or farmhouse. While more uniform stones will look beautiful in a contemporary or modern craftsman style of home.
For a small hint of nature, only place the stones in the surround. Then frame the stones with a tile or wood mantel. To make a bigger statement, continue the stones further. Continue to stack them to the ceiling and out to the left and right. This will give the impression of the stone fireplace extending up and out of the house.
While stones that are similar in color create a uniform look, choosing stones with some variation adds dimension and detail. This adds natural color to the room.
There’s also the possibility that your home already has stacked stone. Sometimes, the stone already present is just ugly. Painting it can allow you to keep the look of the stone while improving its appearance.
9. Wooden Fireplace Ideas
Choosing wood to create your fireplace is a smart choice. You have a ton of freedom in how you style your wood fireplace. Starting with the most rustic and basic, you could buy a few rough-hewn beams of salvaged wood to frame your fireplace.
The next step up would be to use plain beams that are more finished. This showcases the wood grain and protects the wood. Stain and varnish the wood to bring out the beauty of the wood and give it a sheen.
For something a bit fancier, you can opt for smooth wood panels that have trim. This craftsman decor will create a statement with elegant, subtle details. Then if this isn’t enough detail, you can look for a traditional carved wooden mantel. These are reminiscent of Victorian and medieval mantels with tons of intricately carved designs and varnished to a high shine.
Don’t be afraid to paint your wood. While this will hide the wood grain, it can brighten and modernize the look of your fireplace. This is most easily done with white paint, but any color that matches your home’s decor will work.
10. White Fireplace Ideas
A white fireplace looks beautiful no matter what style it is. The all-white motif looks clean and bright. The best part is that it doesn’t matter what your fireplace looks like right now; you can easily create this look.
If you have a brick fireplace, you can paint them white as an easy way to do a fireplace makeover and update the look of your living room. Other options for a white fireplace are if you have a simple concrete or wood fireplace. You can keep your fireplace looking modern with clean and square shapes. Or you could go more traditional and add trim to create a wainscoting look.
Consider adding a reclaimed wood mantel to your all-white fireplace. This is a beautiful accent that will break up the white color while adding natural warmth to the room. If reclaimed wood is too rustic for your home’s decor, then consider adding a polished hardwood.
This will give your fireplace a more luxurious look.
Fireplace Surround FAQs
How do I decide what material is best for my fireplace surround?
Think about the style and decor of your home. A quaint home that has a farmhouse or cottage feel will look beautiful with a wood or brick fireplace surround. A modern home will look nice with a tile or stacked stone fireplace. While a luxurious high-end home will look beautiful with a marble fireplace mantle and surround.
Can I convert a traditional fireplace into an electric or gas one?
Yes, you can! All you need to do is purchase the required equipment for the new style and hook it up to a system. Electric fireplaces are a box insert that you will fit into the available space. Then you either plug them in or hardwire them into your home. A gas fireplace will require a fuel line to a tank that supplies the fireplace. You’ll then have a distribution line with several holes that the gas escapes from where the fire appears.
Can I remove a fireplace from my home?
Yes, you could, but why would you want to? If you don’t plan to use the fireplace, turn it into a faux one. Be sure to block off the chimney to prevent moisture and animals from getting in. Then close the damper, and you have a beautiful firebox nook, and you can decorate it. If you want to create a smooth wall, enclose the firebox with brick, wood, or stone.