Creative fireplace ideas have given us some incredibly unique and in-
novative designs in recent years . . . and it's just the beginning! Rapid advances in technology provide an increasingly broad range of oppor-
tunities to exceed the limits of "conventional" fireplace design!
For example, the in-wall fireplace design pictured above features a dra-
matic firebox surround inspired by Art Deco motifs. An efficient wood burning unit, the "Baroko" was created by French designer and manu-
The bold and daring design that follows is from Boley, another innovative European fireplace design
and manufacturing firm, based in the Nether-
lands. A combination of corten and stainless steel, it features a gas-
fueled fire bowl.
But let's begin with the basics . . . . .
Start to generate fireplace ideas for your special fire space by sizing up your room . . .
What are the dimensions (length x width)?
How high is the ceiling?
What is the architectural style of the room?
Unless you plan a major remodel, the existing room dimensions and ceiling height are essentially "fixed" and will help you determine the appropriate size and scale of your fireplace. The room's architectural style will give you some direction in choosing a compatible
style for your mantel. However, if you don't like the existing look of your room, you can often change it
by simply adding or replacing moldings and furnishings to give it an architec-
tural style makeover that better suits your personal style.
Another important consideration is the actual location or placement of your fireplace within the room. Factors to consider in making that determination include . . .
Zero Clearance Fireplace - a masonry fireplace will generally require more space than a zero clearance, or prefabricated unit, and will likely require additional structural support, including footings, due to the extra weight of the masonry materials.Fuel Type - i.e., wood burning, natural or propane gas, gel fuel, electric, pellet, etc. (due to air quality concerns, some state and local ordinances restrict the type of fuel that you can burn; be sure to check with your local housing authorities)
Vented or Ventless Gas Fireplace - i.e., whether or not it needs to be vented to the outside and,
if so, can it go directly through a wall (hori-
zontally) or does it need to go through the roof (vertically)?
Style of Fireplace Mantel - is it a classic or formal style that needs to be positioned for symmetry and balance, or is it informal and casual, allowing for a more asymmetrical room arrangement?
Existing door and window openings - to optimize traffic flow, as well as views to the out-of-doors.
Furniture Placement - to optimize the gathering space for family and friends around your hearth.
And now for the really fun part of coming up with fireplace ideas: color and texture . . . the icing on the cake! This is where you can let your creativity soar to the outer limits of fire space. Due to advances in technology, you now have more opportunities and choices than ever before to express your artistic vision and distinctive style. Just a few examples of additional fireplace ideas include . . . . .
Translucent stone panels that can be backlit for dramatic effect.
Glass tiles and murals that morph into a rainbow of hues as the heat exposure changes.
Highly polished metals and alloys for a sleek contemporary look.
Unique, one of a kind shapes and forms for a truly custom look.
Richly colored and intricately veined marble and onyx slabs.
Semi-precious stone slabs that incorporate a dazzling arrangement of quartz, amethyst, petrified wood and fossils.
Thinly cut gemstone slabs of lapis lazuli, malachite, and jasper to provide an extraordinary burst of color.
Unique fire sculptures that make a distinctive design statement.
Lionize Your Stone Fireplace Surround!
If you prefer a more rustic look with stone, here's an idea that can be used on both indoor and outdoor fireplaces with a wide variety of natural stone types. By using contrasting stone sizes, shapes and colors, a stone mosaic can be worked into the stone fireplace surround with great effect. The striking mountain lion mosaic that follows, with a close-up on the right, was crafted by Robert Pierson of California-based Pierson Masonry.
A Regal Casting for Your Castle!
If a more formal, old world look is more to your liking, but without the cost of a natural stone mantel and overman-
tel, here's a great alternative. Install a relatively simple, unadorned cast stone or gypsum mantel and overmantel, and apply (if you are among the growing number of enthusiasts learning the craft) or hire a professional to apply a faux finish, such as shown in the ex-
ample at right by Dana Leigh Mural Art. Not only will you realize a significant savings, but you will have a multitude of opportunities to customize your hearth. The end result? A beautifully
crafted and uniquely personal fireplace
surround . . . . . fit for royalty!
As you navigate this site, you will discover a host of fireplace ideas to help you plan your own special fire space. Add a little imagination, and the sky's the limit . . . or is it?
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Back Issues of e-Newsletter
December, 2012 -- Issue #08
Inspiring Ideas for Creating a
Victorian Christmas Fireplace!
Summer, 2012 -- Issue #07
Unique Fire Features for
Your Back Yard or Patio!
April, 2012 -- Issue #06
How to Build an Outdoor
Stacked Stone Fireplace!
March, 2012 -- Issue #05
How to Create a More
Surround by Extend-
ing it Upward!
February, 2012 -- Issue #04
How To Create A Cozy
January, 2012 -- Issue #03
How to Create a Striking Plasma
TV Fireplace Surround!
December, 2011 -- Issue #02
How to Create a
November, 2011 -- Issue #01
How to Create a Cozy