Is it time to update your fireplace? Or do you want to install a new one? Fireplaces can start to look dated pretty fast, especially since trends change and the fireplace is the center focal point of the room. And if you're engaging in chimney repair already, consider updating the look.
There are a lot of design ideas that you can use to update even the oldest fireplace or bring a new one into your home.
1. Your Materials: Steel, Stone, Concrete, Wood, Brick, and Tile
While there are many designs, materials are often more noticeable. There are conventional materials such as wood and brick, and more adventurous materials such as steel and tile. Consider the materials that you're using throughout your room and the types of accents you want.
Since a fireplace is a focal point, you can go very bold with it. Brightly colored tile or stained concrete can invigorate a room that is otherwise neutral. Think about what you want to be the main emphasis of your room. Do you want it to be cozy and natural? Or elegant and modern?
2. Your Fireplace: Wood-Burning, Gas, Fake Logs, or Stones
Once you've figured out what materials you want to use, take a look at the fireplace itself. There are wood-burning fireplaces, which are classic, comfortable, and fill the room with scent. There are also gas-burning fireplaces, which are easier to use but can present a danger if they aren't well-maintained.
You also need to choose what you want to decorate your fireplace. Do you want stones? Ceramic logs? Or nothing at all? A traditional wood-burning fireplace won't require additional decor, but a gas fireplace usually has some natural decor inside it. Think about whether you want to invest in purchasing (or finding) wood to burn.
3. Your Mantel: Traditional, Built-In, or No Mantel at All
Mantels are probably the area in which most fireplaces need to be redesigned. Today's mantels often host televisions, but that's actually not ideal. Televisions shouldn't be subject to the heat that comes off a mantel.
If you want a more traditional mantel, you can create one — but do keep in mind that if you're going to put a television there, it will need to be seated in a way that protects it. You may also want to consider a built-in recessed mantel, or just not having a mantel at all.
It depends on what your goals are for your room.
4. Your Location: Is It an Existing Fireplace or a New Fireplace?
If you have an existing fireplace, it's pretty obvious: you want to keep the existing fireplace where it is. To do otherwise would be pretty expensive. But if you're putting in a new fireplace altogether, you'll need to figure out where it goes.
There are direct-vent fireplaces which can be added to virtually any exterior wall. These aren't that expensive, though they are going to need to vent through the wall. If you want a traditional fireplace that vents upwards, that's going to need to go through your attic. That's going to be pretty expensive, but it may very well be worth it, especially if you're looking to improve your property value, which things like chimney repair and replacement will do.
5. Your Hearth: Do You Want a Fireplace Surround or Not?
Not all fireplaces today have a hearth. A hearth is the platform around the fireplace, also known as the fireplace surround. Having a platform can make your fireplace bolder and more noticeable while also improving safety. However, it will also take up more space, which may be a downside in smaller, cozier rooms.
If you do want a fireplace surround, you also need to consider the material it's made from. Often, the material will be different from the material of the fireplace itself, intended to make the design a little more interesting and complex.
6. Your Decor: What Do You Want Around Your Fireplace?
Don't forget that your fireplace is about more than just the fireplace itself. You'll also want to consider the decor around it. If you have a large mantel, you may want to put things like vases, photos, and eye-catching decor on it. Love the holiday season? Make sure you have room to display the decorative pieces you like. If you have a flat wall, you can consider placing things around it.
Are you ready to redesign your fireplace? If you think chimney repair may be in your future, it's time to contact an expert for an inspection.