How to Treat a Fireplace

September 17, 2012

Fireplaces warm your home in more ways than one. Over the years, one of the challenges homeowners have mentioned to me is how to accessorize a fireplace. A fireplace is often a focal point in any given room. Personally, I am not fond of placing plasma televisions over them. However, it certainly is an option. I think how to approach it depends on the style of the fireplace, the function of the room in which it is located, and — most importantly — if it has a mantel or not.

The surround of the fireplace can be made out of wood, natural stone, cast stone or simply tiled and trimmed. As for hearths, they can be raised or at floor level depending on the firebox, and they can incorporate contrasting materials or match. It is about the overall look. More often than not, clients will select gas fireplaces over wood-burning. In addition, you may want to consider one of the newer fireplaces, which have become quite popular, such as “Heat & Glo” fireplaces.

Remember: If you are renovating or doing new construction, consider the option to place at least one outlet discreetly over the mantle for Christmas lights or even lamps. When you have completed art and accessories, you then have the challenge of looking for a screen. Sometimes the screen itself can be a work of art or very understated.

Regardless of your final selections, the ambience and warmth that a fireplace brings a space is well worth the challenge.

Rather than one large painting, we stacked four botanicals and added charm and warmth to the room with books and pottery. The fireplace surround is cast stone.

By placing two electrical outlets directly above the mantle, we were able to add lamps. The chocolate brown faux suede luster and stone finish set off the oil painting.

We found this huge original painting that fit into the recessed area with only one inch to spare. This created tremendous drama in the room and balanced the equally dramatic drapery.

We did an insert for art with the drywall and kept a simple contemporary look.

Here we have simple glass tile for the surround, great art and perfect lighting.

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