Make Your Fireplace the Focal Point
17 Ways to Light Up Your Fireplace with Wall Treatments, Artwork, and More
Shawn Gauthier August 8, 2011
I'm a freelance writer and design enthusiast who believes the best design is collected, not decorated, and that homes should always be as comfortable and functional as they are chic. In addition to writing for Houzz, I work as the Head Copywriter for Layla Grayce and Zinc Door.
I'm a freelance writer and design enthusiast who believes the best design is collected,... More
The main function of a fireplace is to provide warmth, but it’s also a great spot to punch up a room’s style. That said, the fireplace can prove to be the perfect place in a room to create an unexpected focal point. Whether it be lining the interior of the fireplace, seeking an unusual surround or throwing in unexpected shades of color, there are several ways to make it stand out. Here are 17 different eye-catching ways to make the most of your fireplace.
Float your fireplace. By installing a freestanding fireplace into a recessed wall, it provides a three-dimensional feel as well as opportunities for glowing backlights behind the unit.
Complement the fireplace with bold artwork. The space above your fireplace is critical and nothing will draw more attention towards the fireplace like an incredible accessory. Find a statement artwork piece that pulls together decorative aspects of the room to create cohesion.
Get creative with your hearth. There’s no reason your hearth can’t have a unique shape like this one, with square recessed shelving. All eyes will immediately look to this unexpected element, that doubles as display for special art pieces.
Paint the mantle an unexpected shade. Who would have thought high-gloss green paint would fit in a rustic living room? The color choice could not have been more spot on for this fireplace. Its impact is especially highlighted when paired with the complementary colored red couch.
Install colorful tile to the base. From a functional aspect, this will protect your floors from loose sparks. From a decorative aspect, a colorful, unique tile pattern will pull the eye toward your fireplace.
Expand the width. A fire burns just as well in fireplaces that are shaped outside of the norm. This extra wide fireplace takes advantage of this wall’s broad space, spreading the warmth and the eye-catching appeal.
Fill it with interesting objects. Whether your fireplace isn’t usable or you simply want to keep it interesting during its cooler moments, consider placing unexpected objects inside of it to maintain it as a focal point. The spherical shape of these decorative balls bring contrast to the rectangular fireplace.
Use the space for artwork. The mantle is not the only place to display your artwork. If your fireplace can’t hold fire, let it feature something beautiful for the eye to behold.
Choose a double-sided fireplace. Install your fireplace in front of floor-to-ceiling windows and you’ll be able to catch a view of the outside as though you’re having a bonfire in your living room.
Pay attention to the interior. Your fireplace’s décor need not stop at the mantle and the surround. Instead, carry it inside the fireplace by creating a beautiful backdrop with bricks laid out in a herringbone pattern.
Go simple. Sometimes the most intriguing focal points are those that keep it minimal. Without even a mantle for artwork or knick-knacks, this seamless fireplace complete with a simplistic fire sets the tone for this contemporary space.
Find an unusual fire screen. Protect your flooring and family with a fire screen that promotes safety as much as it does unique décor. It will keep an eye on the fireplace regardless of whether the logs are lit.
Accent the fireplace with an eye-catching wall treatment. Instead of painting or wallpapering the wall around your fireplace, consider a textured wall treatment to add a new level of design. When the fire is lit, the glow of embers will dance along the waves of this wall.
Wrap your fireplace around the corner. You don’t see this everyday, which is why it instantly becomes a focal point. Plus, it lets you enjoy the fireplace from the side as well.
Consider an unusual material for the surround. In this cement application, it is an unexpected and welcome contrast in this clean-lined, modern living room.
Or how about this onyx application? It’s artwork in itself.