Classic fireplaces create calm atmospheres
Everyone wants a warm, welcoming home. For some, cozy interiors mean a structured, ordered, and formal layout where precious possessions are displayed and clean lines reflect a well-managed household. If this is you, go for a formal hearth with a classic mantel of marble, alabaster, slate, or Moroccan tiles. These materials lend themselves equally well to a streamlined ultra-modern style. Beautiful fireplaces need surrounding by formal furnishings conducive to entertaining and family gatherings; two couches opposite each other across a low coffee table is hard to beat; replace one with a chaise-longue or armchair group for a less structured look. A white-painted wooden mantel around a marble hearth sets a classic tone for a vintage room design. The mantel is your opportunity to express individuality; try to resist clutter, and display only one or two beautiful vases, photographs, or a painting to enhance the atmosphere of calm.
To create a more easy-going ambience or a country house feel, choose a surround of stone, distressed wood, or painted brick. For an outdoor fireplace, rustic stone is a top choice or for a modern interior, and the chimney breast for a glass-fronted gas fire can be clad in reclaimed white pine for a contemporary yet relaxed tone. If you have a working fire, remember that the flames themselves will set the tone for the color scheme. You could enhance the glow with shades of orange and cherry, or complement it with sage green, greys, and natural wood for contrast. For a non-working fire, display flowers, plants, logs, or chunky candles in the hearth and it will remain a focal point. Before you decide, test your ideas with a 3D apartment plan using 3D home design software from Homebyme; it will help to take the guesswork out of a major design decision!
5 tips to choosing the right fireplace for your lifestyle:
Fire is a natural element; it needs natural materials surrounding it for a classic look. Marble, alabaster, and slate always look good for a classic design. Glass and metal create a contemporary look, and rustic stone, reclaimed wood, or brick offer a relaxed feel.
Remember the fireplace is the focal point of the room whether it has flames or not. Allow your furnishing arrangement to cluster around, rather than creating a second focus.
Resist the urge to use the mantel as random storage space… maintain the focus with one or two beautiful objects such as a couple of books, framed photographs, or a style-signature painting to give the room character.
Flatter the flame with toning oranges, citrus, and cherry tones in rugs and throws, or contrast in cool natural shades like slate, grays, soft green, or natural wood.
When the fire is not burning, don’t forget it is still the focus. The hearth makes a natural display frame and showcase for dried grasses, flowers, vases, or an artistic display of candles.