I’m a true winter lover and as soon as the temperature starts to drop and the nights become cooler, you will find me in a much better mood. After all, summer is over and fireplace season is officially here! If you are a cold climate lover like me, you are probably thinking about what you can do to make your fireplace the ultimate focal point of your home so whenever your friends come over, they will have that WOW factor. Below are some ideas on what you can do to enhance your current fireplace.
Define the space — Make the fireplace wall the focal point of the room. Regardless if you have an electric fireplace or a traditional one(like the one’s seen here by Northshore Fireplace), think about the surroundings and what you are trying to achieve. Look at the furniture, the built-ins, and the color scheme in the room. If you have windows on each side of the fireplace, consider getting a full height window treatment for a more elegant look. Select a fabric with a tone-tone pattern to enhance the fireplace. Think of the window treatment as the frame and the fireplace as the master piece. For a more contemporary look, chose a contrasting color for the walls. If your fireplace is white or off-white, think about painting that wall in a darker color like charcoal grey, espresso, or even plum as those colors will make your fireplace to stand out; and if your furniture is also off-white, paint all the surrounding walls too. For a more sophisticated look, consider wall covering only the fireplace wall with a nice texturized paper. Avoid prints and busy patterns as they will compete with your fireplace. Don’t be afraid of choosing a dark and bold wall covering, especially if your fireplace is white. After all, you want to showcase your fireplace, don’t you?
For a more classic, yet elegant look, consider painting the surrounding walls of your fireplace a neutral color and let the furniture and accessories direct you to the fireplace. Play with artwork and mirrors.
Create your very own art wall — If you love photography use the mantel to showcase your artwork and in case you have a white mantel, consider having different sizes of black and white photos mounted into black frames for a more classic, yet cleaner look. For a more modern and minimalist look, instead of photos, consider having a large canvas (framed or not) hanging above the mantel.
TV or not TV — Whenever I’m designing a room with a fireplace, the first thing my clients ask me is: “Should we have a TV above the fireplace or not?” Although many people associate fireplace with romance, there is no right or wrong answer on the subject as each client has a distinct life style and so does the room with the fireplace. If you reside in a condo or, if the room serves multiple purposes such as family room or den, you will be more likely to have the fireplace and TV combo installed. The key to have both TV and fireplace working together in the same room is to make sure both are installed in the same wall, preferably having the TV placed on above the fireplace. This way you will have only one focal point instead of two. Furthermore, who said you can’t start a romantic evening by the fireplace while watching a movie?
Decorate with plants — In Feng Shui’s constructive circle, fire is fed by wood, so having plants (or wooden objects) by the fireplace is a good thing. The great thing about having plants by the fireplace is the possibility to change it seasonally.
Bring color to the room — Whether your walls are blending in with your fireplace or not, you should bring some pops of color to the space. The best way to enhance your fireplace décor with color is by adding pillows and blankets in jewel tones. Think of yellow, pink, purple, and teal as those colors will definitely make your fireplace to stand out.
The possibilities are endless and regardless of which idea you chose to execute, just have fun doing it.
VK Sustainable Concepts’ Principal Andrea Vollf, LEED AP ID+C, is a registered interior designer and sustainability professional with over fifteen years of experience in the interior design and marketing industries. Connect with Andrea on Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.