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Tips for incorporating a fireplace into your living room

When it comes to fireplaces, people have very different preferences. Some love the crackle of a roaring open fire, while others (including me) love minimal gas designs. There are pros and cons to each option, but, just as importantly, you need to think about how your fireplace will sit within the rest of the room and how you can style it to create a feature that pleases your eye. Check out these smart options to start you off.

Think about the look of a fire when it’s not in use

Fireplaces are mostly unlit or switched off during the day or at warm times of the year, and you really want them to look attractive when they are dormant. This look is just so pretty: the pale limestone and herringbone brickwork sit so well together, and the overall look is in harmony with the calm and muted colour scheme of the rest of the space. For a light, bright room, this would be a dream design.

Check out marvellous makeovers for your mantelpiece

Frame your TV above the fireplace

Finally, someone has successfully achieved the ‘TV above the fireplace’ look – so hard to get right. The dark fireplace surround and matching charcoal-painted chimney breast work perfectly with the dark frame of the TV. The herringbone stone at the back of the fireplace also lifts the space and stops it from looking dreary. If your layout means you need to position the TV over the fireplace, this is how to deal with it!

Find the perfect fireplace surrounds


Consider freestanding

If you’re more concerned about warmth than the look of an open fire, wood-burning stoves are the most energy-efficient option. They can easily be tucked away in a cosy corner and a wood-burning stove feels like an old friend to me – the one who dishes out the hugs and love – as it gives out masses of heat while taking up minimal space.

Tuck it away

Fireplaces don’t have to take centre stage. Consider positioning yours somewhere it will blend in unobtrusively, as in this room. Having said that, I think only a simple, floating gas fireplace can get away with not being centre stage. Anything bolder in this room and you just wouldn’t know where to look – at the TV or back to the fire? In this case, it’s a success.


Make a feature of the chimney breast

How the chimney breast looks is just as important as the fire beneath. This is the perfect spot for a winter retreat, I can almost hear the crackle of the fire and smell the timber cladding as the room warms up.

See more cool ways to use wood cladding

Keep it minimal

This scheme is so super-modern that even the fire daren’t fall out of line – surely there would be no spitting hot embers or great billows of smoke here! The lack of a mantel and grate, as well as the uniform surface material, keep the look incredibly simple while still creating mesmerising flames.

 

Use the versatility of a floating fire

Now this is how you do a floating gas fire! I love this long line of flames that runs under the TV – something that would be extremely tricky to achieve with a real fire. Be aware that these fires don’t give off a huge amount of heat, but if you want to create a visual impact, this is the route to take. With a flick of a switch, you get gentle warmth and cosy atmosphere.

Choose an eye-catching surround

This just looks stunning. I love the elegant marble design, which really softens the heavy frame of the cassette wood-burning stove. This stove design isn’t available in the UK, but the surround would work to soften an open fire, too. The mantel is simple and clean, with just a neat carved detail, leaving the tiles to draw the eye.

Abigail Owens, Houzz Contributor

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