There’s nothing like cosying up to an indoor fire, and the heat, sound and warm glow are almost impossible to replicate anywhere else. Installing a fireplace can bring a stunning focal point to your living room, and with the cold weather approaching, a coal or wood burner is wonderfully practical too.
As their popularity grows, fireplaces are becoming more and more affordable, as well as energy efficient, and it’s now not that unusual to see fireplaces in other rooms of the house such as the bedroom or kitchen. With so many materials and design ideas out there, there’s a fireplace available for every budget and style, but it can be tough to know where to start. Read on for some chic design ideas for the modern home and start gathering some inspiration for your next interior upgrade.
One of the first things to think about is whether you’d be happy with an electric fireplace, or if you want the real deal by installing a coal or wood burner. Choosing to have an open fire may affect the layout options available, but electric fires can look just as stunning with the right surround or design. Talk to your builder or designer if you’re looking for an unusual shape or anything beyond the traditional square surround design, and they can advise you what will fit best in your home.
This stunning sedimentary rock is versatile, durable and sure to make a big impact in any room. A limestone fireplace brings a natural yet modern feel and the material can be left plain, or hand crafted into any number of intricate designs by a trained stone mason. They can also be used with electric, gas or natural material fireplaces so can be adapted for nearly every home.
There are several different types of limestone too, from the honey-cream coloured Cotswold limestone to blue or brown-veined Great Tew or the light grey Portland limestone. The stone is easy to clean, however it is soft and naturally absorbent so you will need to apply a sealant to keep it fresh. Masonry work is also highly skilled, and as limestone is a natural product, it can be on the expensive side. However, if you look after it correctly a limestone surround will last a lifetime, and create an impact like no other.
For a truly modern design, a glass fireplace is a striking option, and the perfect compliment to a light, minimalist design. A glass chimney with clean, straight lines could make an unusual talking point, and will allow lots of light into the room no matter where it’s placed. A glass front for a traditional stone fireplace can also add a modern twist and provide a protective shield if you have pets or young children. There’s no need to worry either as glass fireplaces are perfectly safe, and designed to withstand the increased temperatures. They are manufactured from tempered glass which uses heat and compression methods, making it more durable than regular ceramic glass.
Anything goes here, as long as it’s not rectangle or square! Wall mounted fireplaces can be made even more unique by using a modern, curved design to reflect the flames inside. Curved fireplaces are also said to disperse heat more effectively which could save you money on heating bills. If you have the space and the ambition, a large flume tube in metal or glass looks fantastic and is a real talking point.
Angular or triangle shapes also look sensational, and bring a current geometric feel to a living space. A triangle fireplace can be economical in terms of space, too, if you have a smaller or awkwardly shaped area then a fireplace in the corner can save valuable room. A geometric design also doubles up as an art feature and brings new interest, especially if your style is black and white or very minimalist.
A splash of colour in an otherwise neutral room is so eye catching and a modern way to introduce colour without it being overwhelming. For a particularly contemporary look, bypass the surround altogether and install a small fireplace straight into the chimney breast. Then paint a block colour in a square all the way around for a striking focal point.
Wall mounted fireplaces are a great space saver for smaller homes who still want the warmth and look of a roaring fire. They’re also nearly always electric, so you can really play around with the position and design, as they don’t require a gas supply line or flue.
Homeowners can place an electric fireplace almost anywhere, you could add one to the bathroom for a luxury cosy feel, install a long thin rectangular fireplace under the television or play around with the surround materials – the choice really is yours.
Electric fires are also affordable, easy to install and require little maintenance, as well as being more environmentally friendly as they don’t burn gas or coal.
Modern wood burner
It is possible to incorporate a traditional wood burning stove into a modern home, there are plenty of contemporary designs available that are an update on the country classic. Try combining a traditionally shaped wood burner in steel or cast iron with a long, sculptural chimney or a dark wood column with a square glass box for the fire in the middle. These types of designs evoke the traditional shapes and feel of a rustic wood burner, but the clean lines and dark materials would fit in well with a modern, minimalist room.
A no fire fireplace
A fireplace without an actual fire might sound like a waste, but it can be a really stunning focal point for your home, and requires a lot less maintenance. Many period homes have old fireplaces that have long been boarded up, so if you don’t have the time or money to convert it into a working fire, drawing attention to it in other ways ensures this feature won’t go to waste.
A favourite option is the combination of a slate fireplace surround with lots of greenery in the hearth; many antique designs can be brought up to date by piling lots of cacti, succulents or spider plants into the space to create a modern indoor garden. Alternatively, hang a modern print or piece of art, or pile up books for an alternative look.
There’s perhaps no material more modern than sleek metal, and it can bring a futuristic look to somewhere unexpected like the bedroom or bathroom. There are more variations than you might think, too, from polished stainless steel to beaten effect copper or iron for a more industrial look.
A popular option is to install a steel mantle shelf as a flash of metal instead of an entirely metal surround, which can be expensive and not as durable as limestone. A steel mantel over the fireplace is incredibly sturdy, and despite conducting heat well, the heavy steel acts as a heat protector so any objects you place on top will be safe from the heat of the fire.
If you’re looking for a stunning piece for your home, then the limestone fireplaces created at Wrights Campden are truly one of a kind. All hand finished, we carve our fireplace surrounds to your specifications, meaning they can be any size, finish or specification you wish. Each piece of stone is completely unique too, so you can be sure you’re getting an exceptional product that you won’t see anywhere else. Choose a design from the portfolio or come and talk to the expert team of mason workers if you had something specific in mind. Together we’ll ensure you have the perfect limestone fireplace surround for your home; whether that’s smooth and contemporary or intricately carved for a rustic look. Visit our website today to see more of our fireplaces and other architectural stonework available.