With local temps finally starting to warm up, it may seem like a strange time to write a piece on fireplace design… but great ideas and inspiration don’t discriminate with the seasons! My clients are building, no matter the time of year, and a common design feature in almost every new home it seems is a killer fireplace feature wall. Thinking of building, or revamping what you’ve got? Read on for a few top-notch eye-catching ideas…
The Linear Looker
Sleek, modern, and simple… a linear fireplace is a feature on its own, regardless of the materials you choose to clad it with. If you have a large wall you plan to build this into, you may need to consider framing out a linear structure to help elongate the scale of the unit – think offset mantle, or a series of floating shelves – otherwise you may end up with a puny looking (but savvy, nonetheless) feature wall.
The Metal Maven
Forget tile… why not think sheet metal, custom cut into cubist panels or offset bands to finish off a facade in need of something stunning and unique. Talk to a metal fabricator, someone who can measure on site and install afterwards… you likely don’t want to tackle a finicky project like this on your own.
The Stone Stunner
Perfect for more rustic retreats, or homes needing a heavy dose of organic texture, cladding your fireplace surround floor to ceiling in rough cut stone or natural slate is always a stunning finish. Do away with a mantle and decoration above your fireplace, and follow the stone up the wall… an uncluttered approach is best for a bold statement.
Kill two birds with one stone by installing a see-through unit, giving both a living and dining room, or kitchen and family area the benefits of ambient warmth and shimmer. For closed in spaces, the visual from one space through to the next by way of fireplace will help to expand your spaces and make them more interconnected. And then there are 3-sided fireplaces; cap off an end wall or divide a wide open space with one of these beauties and create a super chic atmosphere in the process.
When you think of concrete, you may not immediately envision a fireplace wall… however, using the minimalist material in horizontal bands on a large feature wall may be just what the modern doctor ordered for your contemporary spaces.
The Library Lover
What’s cozier than a chair to curl up in, when nestled in beside a roaring fire, flanked by a collection of your favorite books, trinkets, and keepsakes? For spaces needing a softer, less contemporary feel, a fireplace built into a nook or wall with shelving stacked and styled with literary bits and pieces truly helps to create a warm and inviting area to settle down in during long winter nights or lazy Sunday afternoons.
Crispin Butterfield owns Urban Theory Interior Design, and has been designing savvy residential and commercial spaces across Western Canada for the past 14 years