A fireplace is one of those rare design elements that is right at home in any space -- living room, study, bedroom, kitchen, or even the bathroom. And the beauty is, you don't need a lot of extra space to incorporate one. From sleek chrome-and-glass to traditional mantels to exposed brick, the possibilities for materials and styles is virtually unlimited. Here are a few of my favorites.
A fireplace should be more than functional -- it should be a relaxing haven where you can kick back with a good book, a hot drink, and your memory or daydream of choice. I like how this unique corner fireplace doubles as a toasty bench.
Blending old-fashioned design with contemporary sleekness, the glossy black finish of this freestanding fireplace is a nice complement to the black lacquered staircase. This style fireplace is ideal for smaller spaces.
Pairing a fireplace with a unique architectural flair is a great way to draw the eye to the hearth. In this contemporary space, the fireplace has been strategically built into a curved corner for added dimension.
There's nothing like an open-air fireplace to add warm up crisp outdoor evenings. Extend the patio season with a roaring outdoor hearth. I love how the stone chimney doubles as an exterior decor element, contrasting nicely with the cedar shingles.
A fireplace in the master suite helps to create an ambiance of romance and relaxation. The understated design of this one lends functional warmth without overpowering the room. I also love how the clever sliding door conceals the fireplace when not in use.
A marble or granite hearth exudes sophistication, and also provides peace of mind by protecting the surrounding areas from heat damage. Here, the dark earth tones of the fireplace blend nicely with the gleaming mahogany furnishings, perfect for a study.
There's nothing like a traditional mantel to grandly showcase artwork and home accents. In this room, the majestic molding surrounding the hearth serves as a grounding focal point for the visually arresting wall decor.
Good books and roaring fires just seem to go hand-in-hand. I love how this hearth is built into a wall of floor-to-ceiling bookcases, creating a wonderfully inviting reading nook. The dark wood and granite are delightfully contrasted by the playful, buttery upholstery of the seating suite.
Who says a hearth has to be used just for fires? It also provides a convenient nook for the creative display of artwork, flowers, candles, and more. I love how the exposed brick of this fireplace creates a rustic, loft-style feel.