Hearth and home are terms forever entwined. History and literature are littered with the heartwarming images of families gathered around a roaring fire. While we tend not to rely on our fireplaces for heat or cooking anymore, fireplaces still remain an integral part of most home design. Whether traditional wood-burning, free-standing wood stoves, or natural gas or propane inserts, the romantic visual center of most living spaces is the fireplace. Just because the fireplace has been a home fixture for centuries does not mean it is spared the whims of fashion. Trends in fireplace looks come and go, as they do for many home fixtures.
So what’s trending in fireplace looks today? Traditional looks are always in style, though often tweaked for the moment — often with the simple tweak of a mantle or even simply a coat of paint. Modern looks range from futuristic mid-century looks to more industrial styles. We’ve got a list of some of the latest looks in fireplaces.
1 – Reclaimed wood beam mantelpiece
Reclaimed wood beams can turn a basic spec home brick fireplace into a farmhouse fireplace stunner. This is also a great look for industrial or rustic decor. Depending on how strong your DIY skills are, this can even be a weekend makeover project.
2 – French Chateau style fireplace
If you’re looking for that feel of old world charm without the expense or rough edges, this French Chateau style fireplace look may work for you. Thick columns and smooth planes make this a look that works with many decor styles from traditional to farmhouse to contemporary. This style is an excellent way to give your room a lived-in historical feel while still giving you lots of transitional and contemporary decorating options.
3 – Oversize mantelpiece/chimney
One way to dress up a standard size gas insert fireplace is to build out the mantel and chimney to make the piece feel much larger and more grand. This is a beautiful example of how to do just that, turning a classic insert into a stunning focal point for your living space. Note the built-in entertainment outlets on the mantelpiece to enable television mounts, a great way to use the space efficiently.
4 – Woodstove nook
If a free-standing wood-stove is more to your tastes, this nook idea may give you the best of both worlds. This allows you to slightly recess the stove so it’s not taking up valuable real estate in your living space and also to dress up the area behind it with bricks or stone, as was done to stunning visual effect here. This gives your living space the feeling of a built-in fireplace with the heating advantages of a free-standing wood stove.
5 – Tall and slim
While you may hope and dream you’ll have a roaring fire in your home, sometimes you just don’t have the square footage to make it work. Fireplace trends are showing several new options for those who want the look and feel of a fireplace but may not have the space. From condos to townhomes to apartments, solutions like this thin and trim custom wood-burning fireplace can give you all the look of a beautiful mantelpiece while working within your specific space limitations.
6 – Corner fireplace
Forget about those spec house corner fireplaces that looked like an afterthought! The new trend for corner fireplaces is to keep all the warm convenience of a fireplace while also maximizing decor potential. The new corner fireplace trend focuses on dynamic furniture layouts to keep the fireplace at the heart of your design.
7 – Pass-through
Pass-through fireplaces appeared on the scene a few decades ago as a sort of novelty, but now they’re being built into home design in a truly show-stopping way as is seen in this gorgeous rustic stone masterpiece. Often used to unite living and dining spaces, or even living and kitchen spaces, these fireplaces have moved beyond trend to staple in high-end traditional, farmhouse, and rustic home designs. This is a look that can work with wood-burning or gas inserts, or as glassless gas fires as seen here.
8 – Light brick
You may have thought this look got left in the 1980s, but it is back in a big way. Pale brick from whites to grays to light pinks and blues are popping up in fireplace designs everywhere, like this stunning floor-to-ceiling number. If you happen to have a pale brick fireplace, consider a new mantel or even just a fresh paint job for your existing mantelpiece to show off your trendy fireplace.
9 – Mixed finishes
Sometimes you have a perfectly functional fireplace that just needs a little spruce up. If you’re looking for a creative treatment for the standard gas fireplace insert you inherited in your present home, mixed finishes like this wood and tile matchup can create tremendous visual interest and give your living space a conversation-starting focal point. And if you have any handyman skills, this is a makeover you can potentially achieve on your own. Think about on-trend eye-catching tile, unique wood or stone finishes, and even plaster finishes to make this look truly your own.
10 – Tall firebox
This jaw-dropping extra high firebox can work in a host of decor styles. In this case, it works beautifully to accommodate a free-standing wood-stove, but it can work with a gas insert or traditional wood-burning fireplace as well.