How to style your fireplace

Written by in Renovating

A modern fireplace

It’s only old-fashioned thinking that leaves the fireplace as simply a hole in the wall within home design. How to style your fireplace should be front-of-mind when redesigning or building a new home, and the possibilities are endless. If you are simply looking to restyle it, then the structural design of the fireplace, whether it be in terms of its period of construction or its physical dimensions (it may not have a mantle, for one), is not a restriction but a guideline within which you can bend the rules. Be innovative and draw some inspiration from these stylish and modern fireplace designs. 

Floor-to-ceiling timber



An increasingly common design inclusion in modern fireplaces is the wall-length wood feature, either practical or display only. A great option during winter is to stack your fireplace with logs to accentuate it as a feature within the living room, or to have a designated recess for logs. To make it easier to maintain the space, as well as create a brilliant backdrop to the logs as their number is gradually depleted during winter, install a metal shell inside the recess that reveals itself slowly as the months go by. 


Out-of-context designs



Colours and materials (tiling and timber) that feel more at home in Mediterranean seaside villas than cold wintery days are becoming increasingly popular in modern homes. Timber and metal mantles juxtaposed against heat-resistant tiling make a great statement and buck the trend of traditional brick fireplaces within the home. 

Minimalist fireplaces



The possibilities are endless when styling your fireplace in a minimalist aesthetic. The levitating, reversed mantle in the above example is brilliant for both its reversal of common fireplace designs, as well as for its ability to lighten the visual weight of the stone and concrete. All that is missing is a bold piece of art, either deeply hued or bright and unapologetic, to inject more life into the design and transform the area into that of a home rather than a designer home.

Separate mantlepiece


Easily installable brackets provide the best solution for fireplaces without mantles. They allow you to play with the height of the mantle, as well as its dimensions and materials. If done well, like the above, they can also seem like they have been their for a century. 


Timber overmounts



More easily achieved with gas fires, timber over-mounts or buildouts are a contemporary way to feature the fireplace within the home, increasing the sense of warmth during those colder months.

A hint of what lies beneath



If your home’s construction allows it, revealing the history of a fireplace can be a great way to add layers of context and depth to your home. The above reveals just a little of the brickwork within the fireplace, peaking through against a still relatively traditional colour palette and mantle design. You could go further and incorporate different styles and materials to make these layers even more noticeable, such as tiling or the floor-to-ceiling recess for wood storage.

Optical effects


One of the most innovative examples of modern fireplace design, the above fireplace uses the very simple and innovative effect of a linear perspective to draw attention to the fire. The simplicity of the timber cladding, as well as the width of the panels, helps to accentuate this focus. You could do this for either a gas or traditional fireplace.

Use your height advantage

Townhouse renovation by Steven Harris Architects.

For those with the room and who are renovating or building, use height to your advantage. The above design brilliantly minimises the traditional emphasis placed on the actual firebox, and instead uses height and the four lines to make the buildout stand apart from the wall, while drawing the both eye up to the ceiling and then down again to the fireplace. Even for those with regular ceiling heights, similar line designs, even continuing along the width of the wall can be a great way to play with your fireplace designs.