There was a time when the fireplace, known as the hearth, was considered the heart of the home—and for good reason. It was where most household activities took place, including cooking and warming water for bathing and household cleaning. It was also the only source of the home’s heat. Today we have a range of appliances that handle these tasks more efficiently, and the fireplace serves a mainly aesthetic purpose. It is wonderful to warm a room during the winter—literally and figuratively—and the decorative possibilities are endless.
Stone adds a natural element into your decor and harkens back to a simpler time when the hearth was the heart of the home. It connects your design to the natural world. You could add a rough-hewn timber mantel for a rustic look or use stacked stone for something a little more modern with a sense of natural order and balance. If you are looking for a cabin or farmhouse charm, stone is a great way to go.
Brick is a classic. While it has been around a long time, it is widely associated with the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It was used in Victorian homes and early industrial era buildings. Brick has a tidy look that can be dressed up with a simple, classic mantel. Set a mirror over the fireplace to make the room feel more expansive.
While brick reminds us of the early industrial era, concrete is most definitely a modern industrial material. It offers a sleek look that is great for modern fireplace design. If you are going for a clean, minimalist style, concrete is the way to go. Use the same concrete to shape the mantel for a design that is focused and unadorned.
Ceramic tile offers a great variety of possibilities. One of the most fun is using bold decorative tiles to turn your fireplace into a work of art. The fireplace is often the focal point of the room, and it can be a major conversation piece, too. If you want to show off your creative flair, use colorful ceramic tiles in your fireplace design.
Slate will give your fireplace and thus your room a very high-end feel. Whether you use stacked stone for a more rustic design or use tiles for a cleaner presentation, slate is sure to look like a million bucks. The good news is that it comes in a variety of colors so that it will fit with your room design.
No matter what look you’re going for, your fireplace design can help make the focal point of your room a conversation piece. Whether you want the fireplace to seamlessly blend into the room or to stand out, the right design will get you the look you want.