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Fireplace Design Ideas

A fireplace is the focal point of just about any room they’re in and these days that could be almost anywhere. Modern homes use them in the living room, dining room, bedrooms, kitchens and even some master bathrooms. Since your here that means your probably looking for some great fireplace design ideas and pictures. Well you’ve come to the right place.

For centuries a fireplace was built out of brick or stone with a simple wooden mantel adorned with photographs and decorations. They burnt wood or coal and were used as the primary means to heat the home. Sometimes with an open hearth but often times housing a stove that not only heated the home but also provided a place to dry or cook things. The fireplace was a function area where people traditionally gathered around the fire. Today’s fireplaces are more decorative and primarily run on gas. They have a wide range of styles spanning from ultra modern to super traditional. No matter your homes style or what room the fireplace is in there’s sure to be a design that fits.

In this article we’ll be discussing some of the very best fireplace design ideas, decor, styles and options with lots of pictures.

Sitting room with a gas fireplace featuring a marble and wood mantle surround. Custom trim work and lots of windows.

Sitting room with a gas fireplace featuring a marble and wood mantle surround. Custom trim work and lots of windows.

What’s A Fireplace Surround?

In the building industry the word mantel is often used to describe not only the shelf above the fireplace but also the decorative pieces that surround the fireplace opening. This entire area is known as the fireplace surround. The surround comes in all sorts of styles, sizes, and colors and are built from a variety of materials. Some of the best fireplace design ideas are very large and ornate while others are quite simple.

Often times a new fireplace surround can be installed over and around an existing fireplace. A new surround can completely change the look and feel of the entire room.

Some fireplace surrounds are permanently built into the wall while other are simple bolt ins which are very easy to change.

Fireplace surrounds aren’t just for looks. They’re a barrier that helps protect your home from the extreme heat, sparks and flames inside the fire pit. When you install a new fireplace unit, hearth or surround, know the safety rules and building codes that are required. They’ll reduce the risk of property damage and personnel injury.

Whether you have a gas or wood burning fireplace, they get really hot and contains an active flame. A good fireplace surround should be unaffected by the heat and resistant to sparks. It also shouldn’t get too hot to the touch. If the surrounds material absorbs too much heat you could burn your hands.

If your shopping online for a new surround or building a custom one from scratch make sure to review your local building codes. Install something that not only has a great design but is also safe.

Fireplace Surround Materials

Modern fireplace surrounds act as an extension of the overall look of the home. They should accentuate the home’s design while serving a functional purpose. You can buy or build one in a variety of styles ranging from ultra modern to rustic country or anything in between.

While some of the best fireplace design ideas are super simple brick and wood combinations, others use marble or chiseled stone, carved real wood, tile, cast concrete or even entire stone slabs.

Some people hang artwork or decorations above the mantel while others opt for a TV. The options for decorating a fireplace are almost endless.

Fireplace surrounds are built out of a wide variety of materials which should suit the style your going for.

We generally don’t depend on fire as a source of light or heat anymore but a fireplace is still a great addition to just about any room of the house. Designers are installing them in just about every room which even includes the kitchen and bathroom. They’re so versatile that it’s hard to imagine a room that wouldn’t look cooler with one.

Pro Tip: Don’t overdo it. A nice fireplace in the living room is typically enough for the average home. Maybe another in the dining room or master bedroom would be great. A small fireplace in the master bathroom or some other bedroom suites if you have them is a nice touch. But that’s it, we don’t recommend putting one in every room or they start to lose some impact.

Best Fireplace Surround Ideas

There’s nothing quite like curling up by a toasty fire in the Winter time. A lit fire at night is a charming feature that’s pretty much considered standard fare in most new homes built these days. If you’re considering adding a fireplace somewhere in your home or just need inspiration to remodel an existing one then this collection of fantastic fireplace designs is for you.

From modern marble designs to classic brick and wood, these fireplaces are full of beauty and inspiration.

Modern chic living room with a natural warm cream color scheme. Gas fireplace with stone surround.

Modern chic living room with a natural warm cream color scheme. Gas fireplace with stone surround.

Living Room Fireplace Design Ideas

A fireplace can fit into just about any space in the house, but the classic location is definitely a living room. Use brick and wood to create a charming fireplace design or try a marble slab for an ultra modern look. Stone can be smooth, rough, stacked or dry fitted depending on if you want a rustic or more traditional look. Retain your red bricks natural finish or give them a coat of white paint for a contemporary style.

A monochromatic theme creates a calm harmonious feeling. Tile offers a completely customizable look that can blend with the background or stand out with lots of color. Use straight lines, curves, carvings or a combination of designs to create something totally unique.

That old fashioned living room fireplace has come a long way over the past few years and is now considered one of the most versatile and customizable design elements in the home.

The beauty of these fireplace design ideas is that you can find one as inspiration and then customize it as needed to fit just about any style home. Combine elements you like to create a one of a kind look that looks great in your own home. Because the decision is entirely yours.

Wood burning fireplace with painted white brick and a thick wood shelf. Matching ceiling beams.

Wood burning fireplace with painted white brick and a thick wood shelf. Matching ceiling beams.

Painted White Brick

If you have an old red brick fireplace or just like the clean look of all white then consider painting your brick. It’s an easy DIY project that can completely transform the look of your room. Check out the red brick inside the firebox. That used to be the color of the entire fireplace. What a difference a gallon or two of paint can make.

Pro Tip: Make sure when your painting brick that you buy a paint that is meant for masonry products like brick. The reason is that the paint has to breath. Moisture can be trapped inside the brick which can’t escape through conventional paint. This can cause bubble and peeling. If you by a paint that can breath then water can escape as needed.

Gas burning fireplace with a sleek modern surround made three from cast cement panels painted gray.

Gas burning fireplace with a sleek modern surround made from three cast cement panels painted gray.

Sleek Modern Surround

If you want a more modern look on a budget then consider a cast cement surround. These come in three pieces that screw into the wall studs with some clips. They’re very easy to install and most come sized to match your fire box. However some models require some cutting that can be done with a grinder or circular saw with a cement blade. Once installed you can paint them whatever color you like.

Pro Tip: When shopping for a cast cement surround make sure the top piece fits your fireplace out of the box because you can’t cut it later. The two legs can be cut to any size you like. Make sure to cut the ends that touch the floor. If your off a little you won’t notice it as much and there are kits to fill in any imperfections before you paint. Once of the great things about cement surrounds is that they’re cement. Which means they’re easy to repair.

Rustic home with stone interior walls and a cast cement fireplace surround.

Rustic home with stone interior walls and a cast cement fireplace surround.

Cast Cement Fireplace Surround

Fireplace surrounds made from cast cement are available in a wide variety of sizes and styles. You can leave them their natural color or paint them any color you like. Most come in in several pieces that get assembled on site and secured to the wall with hidden brackets and screws. This kit comes in 4 pieces which includes 2 legs, a top bar and the mantle shelf.

Assembly is super easy and makes a great DIY project. If you’ve got an existing red brick or stone fireplace then you can simply attach the cast surround right to the existing structure. If your building new then you have the option of attached the surround first, before you other elements like trim, stone or brick. Or after.

These cast surrounds are very affordable and since they’re so easy to install yourself you save a lot on labor too.

Painted white brick wood burning fireplace with a wood shelf and shiplap.

Painted white brick wood burning fireplace with a wood shelf and shiplap.

Painted Brick & Shiplap

Here’s another example of an old fashioned red brick fireplace that’s been painted white. But what sets this one apart from the others is the shiplap. It’s a fantastic way to finish the top side of a fireplace that can run all the way to the ceiling. Cap the design off with some crown molding or keep it simple if you want a more modern look.

You’ll notice that most painted white brick fireplaces are wood burning. This is because the fireplace has existing red brick in need of some updating. Some people build a brick fireplace new and then paint them white but it’s rare. Either way it a wonderful look that can really brighten up a living room.

Real stone wood burning fireplace with a wood shelf and flat screen TV.

Real stone wood burning fireplace with a wood shelf and flat screen TV.

Natural Stone Fireplace

Real stone is another way fireplaces have been traditionally built. Because of this you’ll see a lot of wood burning fireplaces in older homes that are either stone or brick. These days fireplaces are more commonly gas so you have more options since open flames and embers aren’t an issue.

Notice that area of stone in front of the fireplace. That’s called a raised hearth. The reason that’s needed with a wood burning fireplace is to catch any embers that fly out of the fireplace. It’s a nice safety feature to have and in some areas it’s a requirement by code. With a gas unit the hearth can typically be removed because they’re fully sealed like an appliance.

Natural stone can be installed in a few different ways. The method used here is cement grout with fairly wide gaps. The stones are irregularly shaped and fitted together as best as possible so the gaps can’t be super tight. There’s no pattern to it. Masons break and shape the stones so that they all fit together. It appears that the grout lines are the same but in reality the widths vary quite a bit. Some areas are wider than others and some are very narrow.

This is considered more of a rustic fireplace design.

Real stone fireplace surround with a rustic style and a raised hearth.

Real stone fireplace surround with a rustic style and a raised hearth.

Rustic Stone Fireplace Surround

Here’s another example of how real stones can be cemented together to form a beautiful fireplace surround.

The stones are all carefully installed by skilled masons in order to create as tight an installation as possible. These types of designs need grout lines because of how irregular the shapes all are. Each stone is cemented both on the back and around the edges which makes a very solid construction. And those cement grout lines aren’t just for show. They create a tight bond between stones which holds the entire thing together.

The top shelf is an old piece of thick timber. This is a very in style look at the moment. Many designers are using a floating real wood top shelf on all sorts of fireplace designs.

Real stone fireplace surround featuring a warm brown color scheme, gas fire box, a real wood mantle and thick grout lines.

Real stone fireplace surround featuring a warm brown color scheme, gas fire box, a real wood mantle and thick grout lines.

Thick Grout

One of the ways you can finish real stone is with an extra thick grout line. The overall design is really rustic but is actually used to create contrast in many Contemporary or Transitional styled homes which is exactly what we see in the example shown above. This beautiful fireplace design uses a warm brown colored real stone with a timber shelf that matches the exposed ceiling beams. I just love how these country style fireplace designs contrast with the clean white and black modern home styles.

Modern stone fireplaces use little to no cement grout and almost no gap between stones while this look uses just about as wide a gap as you can get. As a general rule of thumb, the more cement you use and the wider the gaps, the more rustic your fireplace will look.

Another thing that adds to the rustic charm of this design is how sloppily the cement is applied. Modern styles are much more controlled. All the gaps are straight and even with uniformed lines. These stones contrast that by looking almost thrown and smeared together. It’s by design, this isn’t done haphazardly, but it looks like it was.

Pro Tip: If you like the look then your in luck because it’s super easy to do and makes a great DIY project. The more exact your gaps have to be the harder the job is to do. While this type of design isn’t at all easy to do, it’s much easier than masonry that’s super polished and refined.

Wood burning fireplace with irregularly shaped real stones, a raised hearth and wood shelf.

Wood burning fireplace with irregularly shaped real stones, a raised hearth and wood shelf.

Thin Grout

This beautiful warm brown fireplace uses the same irregularly shaped real stones as the previous design only instead of extra thick grout they’ve been installed with almost none.

It’s possible the build a fireplace surround with real stone that are irregularly shaped and have very small grout lines. It’s just really hard and more expensive. It takes a skilled mason a lot of hours to fit together stone in this way. These aren’t man made cultured stones and don’t have many square edges or flat surfaces to stack on. These stones are all different, have curves and multiple angles. The sizes vary quite a bit and so do the shapes. But if you’ve got the time and budget then it’s hard to argue with the finished product. That’s one beautifully designed and built fireplace.

Because it’s wood burning the hearth needs to be raised. This one is built from stone and a single slab of limestone.

The shelf is a single thick solid wood timber which is set into the stone.

Real stone fireplace design with no grout and super tight stones. Raised hearth with limestone.

Real stone fireplace design with no grout and super tight stones. Raised hearth with limestone.

Limestone Raised Hearth

Here’s another example of real stone with an irregular pattern used as a fireplace veneer. The stones are all installed as tight as possible which requires no grout. Achieving a look like this isn’t easy. It takes a lot of time and materials as well as working some of the stones with a rock hammer.

The raised hearth was built with matching stone veneer and a limestone shelf. Three sections of limestone were cemented to the hearth. Limestone is a great natural stone to use as a shelf because it’s strong and has a very flat surface which makes it ideal for placing objects on.

The top shelf is made from a 2″ slab of wood with matching wood supports. If you plan on resting a flat screen TV on the top shelf like what was done here make sure to build a shelf wide enough to support the stand.

With a wide hearth like this one you’ll have plenty of space for decorations on either side. Just be careful of what you put near the fire when it’s lit.

Modern fireplace design using white ledgestone, a black gas firebox and dark wood shelf. fireplace design ideas.

Modern fireplace design using white ledgestone, a black gas firebox and dark wood shelf.

Ledgestone Fireplace Design

If you want a stone fireplace but like a more uniformed modern look then consider ledgestone. It’s a man mad cultured stone product that fits together with absolutely zero gaps. Individual stones butt right up and on top of one another with special pieces for the corners. Ledgestone comes in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colors which makes it a very versatile material that works well in almost any home.

The type and color ledgestone you pick will help dictate it’s style. This thin rectangular version in white is very modern but it also comes in brown which makes it feel more rustic.

The surroundings also help define the fireplace’s style just as much as the stone you use. The dark wood shelf, small white pots and built in shiplap style cabinets all fit the space beautifully.

Pro Tip: Notice how the dark wood mirrors the dark wood floors and dark brown ottoman. Using elements throughout the room that tie into the fireplace is an interior design technique we use all the time. It helps the room feel more connected.

Warm cream colored ledge stone fireplace surround with a super clean design featuring no shelf or hearth. Floor to ceiling stone with a gas firebox. fireplace design ideas.

Warm cream colored ledge stone fireplace surround with a super clean design featuring no shelf or hearth. Floor to ceiling stone with a gas firebox.

Cream ledge Stone Fireplace Design

If you like the look of modern ledge stone and want something light but white is a little too stark then consider going with warm cream.

One of the great things about ledge stone is how many color options there are. Not to mention the wide variety of shapes, styles and sizes. The warm undertones found throughout the stone looks beautiful in a color scheme like this one. The rich brown floors and matching cabinetry really works well with the stone and other warm neutral elements used in the room.

Another great thing about this fireplace design is how simple it is. Floor to ceiling stone with a modern style gas firebox and nothing else. No base trim, no crown, no hearth and no shelf. Just lot’s of stone.

Simple square shapes, clean lines and a minimalist style makes this fireplace shine. If your looking for a clean and simple fireplace design then this one may be for you.

Monochromatic white and cream fireplace surround with real stone, built ins and a wood shelf.

Monochromatic white and cream fireplace surround with real stone, built ins and a wood shelf.

Sleek Fireplace Design

If you want a monochromatic fireplace design but don’t like the look of ledge stone then your in luck. You can achieve the same color scheme using a more traditional stone and grout. Natural stone comes in all shapes, sizes and colors. You just have to be selective and choose the right stone. Some types are naturally very colorful and some are more muted with solid coloring. We recommend going to a quarry or stone dealer and picking the actual stones yourself. Don’t just buy a palette because you could end up with a lot of waste. We work with stone dealers that’ll let us sift through multiple palettes to find the stones we like best.

Don’t forget how important the grout color is to the design. If you go with a basic gray cement then it probably won’t work unless gray is the overall color your going for. But if it’s more of a cream color like the fireplace shown above you’ll need a tint. You can change the color of cement in one of two main ways.

  • Varying the mix of ingredients in your cement mix. Depending on the sand, lyme and cement you use the color will vary from a dark gray to an almost white shade.
  • Tints are sold at just about every masonry supplier. You simply add it into the cement and mix it in. It’s basically just a coloring for cement. Vary the amount you add to the cement to adjust the color.

If you want a natural coloring then we suggest you do it without adding coloring or add just a small amount of a color that’s found in nature.

Real stone fireplace surround with a wood top shelf and no hearth. Floor to ceiling stone work.

Real stone fireplace surround with a wood top shelf and no hearth. Floor to ceiling stone work.

No Hearth

If your local building codes allow it then you can rest the firebox right on the floor without a hearth. It’s a super clean look that works really well if your tight on space and don’t have room for a large raised hearth. Some people recess a hearth stone into the floor or rest it right on top but that’s no my favorite look. I like either a clean design like this one or a true hearth. Simply resting a stone on the floor looks incomplete and out of place to me. A hearth shouldn’t feel like an afterthought.

These real stone are installed with a super tight design and no grout. As we’ve mentioned previously this is a lot of work. If you want to reproduce the work be prepared to pay a little more.

If you’ve got exposed ceiling beams like this living room then a great way to tie the ceiling and fireplace designs together is by matching the wood. Here we see the exact same timer used on the ceiling beams as the fireplace’s top shelf.

Pro Tip: It’s always a good idea whenever you tie different elements of the room together in some way. Using the same timber is just one of the many ways you can do it. Similar styles, shapes, colors and textures are some others.

Real stone wood burning fireplace surround with polished concrete floors.

Real stone wood burning fireplace surround with polished concrete floors.

Polished Concrete

If you have polished concrete floors like this home does then you may not need a hearth. Since the floor is a non flammable masonry product like stone it may be legal to place your firebox right on the floor. Tile floors may offer the same advantage in some locations. It’s important whenever your dealing with fire inside the home that you comply with your local building codes and stay safe.

These real stones are all square edged with a 1/4″ average grout lime which make it a lot easier to install them. It’s still not an easy job because you have to arrange all the blocks in a way that fits them together uniformly. But it’s a little easier to do than with irregular shapes.

Having grout lines helps fit blocks together easier too because there’s some wiggle room. The lines all have an average of 1/4″ but some are a little less or more.

Notice how all the grout lines look similar. Not only in terms of their width but also shape and depth. That’s because they’re tooled to look that way. You can use all sorts of things as a grout tool. The most popular are premade steel tools called brick joiners. They have an edge that’s just right to form a grout line. However we’ve seen masons use everything from sticks, rocks and even their fingers to form grout lines. It all depends on the look your going for.

Real stone fireplace surround which has been recessed into the wall surrounded by built ins.

Real stone fireplace surround which has been recessed into the wall surrounded by built ins.

Recessed Stone Surround With Built Ins

Modern homes typically pull the chimney forward a few feet into the room which creates a really nice depth. However many older homes recessed the firebox into the wall using an exterior chimney. Because of this design built ins becomes a problem because there’s no space on either side of the fireplace to install the cabinetry. If you want built ins but have an old style fireplace and don’t want to rebuild your chimney what can you do?

The home above offers a solution. Building your cabinetry on either side of the fireplace surround creates the depth your looking for without having to rebuild the chimney.

This is a great solution if your on a budget. Built ins are expensive all on their own but if you add in the cost to rebuild the entire chimney and move the firebox things can get crazy. You’d not only need all new framing but possibly a new pipe, insulation, fire wall, etc. There’s a lot that goes into building a proper chimney that you don’t see so it’s a lot easier to just build around what’s existing.

Fireplace surround built with warm colored stacked fieldstone, a large raised hearth and real wood shelf.

Fireplace surround built with warm colored stacked fieldstone, a large raised hearth and real wood shelf.

Stacked Fieldstone Fireplace

Another type os stone you can use to build a fireplace surround is called fieldstone. It’s a very thin stone that’s stacked. There’s cement grout securing the stones together and to the wall which is all hidden once the fireplace is complete. Fieldstone is a great look that definitely leans more to the rustic side but it works in a variety of homes.

As with any natural material the size and shape of all the stones will vary. This makes stacking all those stones a labor intensive job. The middle areas are pretty easy but getting all those stones to line up straight enough to form a shelf takes some time. You’ll have the same problem when you get to the top of the surround.

Field stone also comes in the form of cultured stone. Cultured stone products are man made in molds so you don’t get as much variety but they’re easier to install because they come in a system. The pieces all fit together in a specific way that gives the illusion of randomness even though the look is predetermined.

Cultured products are much cheaper both in terms of labor and materials.

Pro Tip: Add a trim cap to the top of your fireplace surround. The one you see here ties into the rooms crown molding. By including some form of cap it makes finishing the top part of the surround much easier. Without a cap you’d have to arrange the stones just right so they end up flush with the ceiling.

Real stone veneer fireplace surround with a cast concrete raised hearth. Painted gray wood shelf with mounted TV.

Real stone veneer fireplace surround with a cast concrete raised hearth. Painted gray wood shelf with mounted TV.

Cast Concrete Raised Hearth

Cast concrete is a modern finish that’s been seriously gaining in popularity as of late. Contemporary, Modern, Transitional and even some Traditional and Rustic styled homes are all using some form of cast concrete. Some homes are even using it as an exposed and polish wall and floor finish. So it’s safe to say you’ll have great results using concrete for your raised fireplace hearth.

A solid concrete fireplace hearth is actually a very easy thing to make although they’re quite heavy. All you really need is some wood to build the forms and the concrete.

Just using concrete poured into a form will result in a rough finish. But if that’s what your looking for then those two things are all you need. However if you want a smooth edge or a polished finish then things get more complicated.

We’ll eventually be making a video and an article on how we make them so check back. But for now there may be some instructions on how to do it online.

Pro Tip: We recommend including a strength additive into your concrete and either wire or rebar. Large slabs of concrete can be prone to cracks so we always add reinforcement. These slabs are heavy so be careful when handling them. Cement can be used in place of concrete but is generally not as strong.

Custom built stone fireplace surround with a raised hearth and wood shelf next to a red brick wall.

Custom built stone fireplace surround with a raised hearth and wood shelf next to a red brick wall.

Stone Fireplace Surround With Red Brick

It’s important to not only consider how your fireplace design will look but also it’s surroundings. Make sure to create some contrast if you really want that whole fireplace area to stand out. You can do this in a number of ways.

  • Materials. You can create contrast by varying the materials you use around the fireplace. This is easy to do because generally a stone fireplace is surrounded by drywall, wood, built ins, or brick.
  • Colors. One of the most obvious ways to create contrast is with color. You don’t have to be extreme by using black next to white. Just a subtle difference is typically enough.
  • Values. The value of your color is different than the color itself. Value is how light or dark a color is. If your going for a monochromatic color scheme you could use the same color on the fireplace and walls by simply adjusting the value range.
  • Shapes and Sizes. Another great way to add contrast is by varying your shapes and sizes. In this example we see irregularly shaped large stone next to a very uniform red brick.

Using any or all of these methods is a great way to add contrast to your fireplace design.

Pro Tip: We recommend using a combination of methods in most designs. If you want a harmonious color scheme try varying your shades and values just a bit. Then include some trim, drywall, built ins or brick to supply the size, shape and material contrasts. The most beautiful designs we’ve seen or created used multiple ways of adding contrast.

Rustic style real stone fireplace surround in a Transitional home with wide grout lines.

Rustic style real stone fireplace surround in a Transitional home with wide grout lines.

The Transitional Fireplace

Here’s a great example which brings together every element regarding contrast that we went over in the previous example. This design features:

  • Stone. Warm colored stone with extra thick grout gives off an unmistakably rustic feel. The stone is mid toned.
  • Firebox & Built In Doors. Both the firebox trim and built in glass doors are black. This is obviously the dark tone found in the room.
  • Drywall & Trim. White walls and trim work will supply more than enough brightness and take care of the light end of the value range.
  • Natural Wood. Floors, furniture and the fireplace shelf have all been made with real wood and a natural stain. This is another mid tone however it’s slightly darker than the stone.

This is one of my favorite fireplace design ideas on the page for a number of reasons and one of them is contrast. When you use contrast in the right way every element you use can stand out without feeling overbearing.

Beautiful living room with a rustic design featuring a real stone fireplace with raised hearth and wood shelf, rich wood trim and exposed ceiling beams.

Beautiful living room with a rustic design featuring a real stone fireplace with raised hearth and wood shelf, rich wood trim and exposed ceiling beams.

Rustic Fireplace Design

If you have a rustic styled home then don’t fight it. Embrace the looks by designing a beautiful fireplace surround that’s appropriate for the look.

Warm colors, real wood, stone, a raised hearth and a wood burning fireplace have all been paired together to create this fantastic fireplace design shown above. If you like the look then your in luck, it’s not that hard to pull off.

These real stones have been installed with a tinted grout that matches the overall color scheme found throughout the stones. It’s just a small amount of added color but that’s more than enough. All you need is a small amount of coloring to get you away from cement gray.

Any warm colored stone will work and they won’t be hard to find. Brown tones are available in just about any style, size and shape fireplace stone.

When it comes to wood then choose a stain that works well with your stone. There are warm browns and cool browns. We recommend using a warm brown if that’s the temperature of your stone. And carry that choice throughout the room when it comes to the furniture, floors, pillows, drapes, rugs, trim, etc. It’s generally a good idea if all your elements stay related.

Slate gray stacked stone fireplace with a raised hearth and natural wood mantle.

Slate gray stacked stone fireplace with a raised hearth and natural wood mantle.

The Country Fireplace

Nothing says country or rustic like a real stone wood burning fireplace. Whether you use it or not it’s still a beautiful way to dress up a living room and creates a fantastic focal point. When you’e got a fireplace like this in the home it makes designing other rooms much easier because so much attention is drawn to the fireplace. They don’t need much additional decorating either. The design of the fireplace is generally more than enough.

Notice how this design uses stone as the supports for the wood mantle. Some Mantles float and some have supports. In general supports are considered more of a rustic look while floating mantles lean more modern.

Take a look at how the mantle is recessed into the wood. This is a much cleaner look than installing the mantle on top of the stone because the stones surface isn’t flat. However if you ever want to change the mantle you’ll need one the exact size of the opening.

Wood burning fireplace with stacked stone veneer and a raised stone hearth. fireplace design ideas.

Wood burning fireplace with stacked stone veneer and a raised stone hearth.

Stacked Stone Fireplace

Here’s an example of a stone fireplace using the stacked method. In order for stacked stones to work they must have flat surfaces in order for them to rest on one another. Rather than using cement grout lines to secure stones to each other they’re glued to the wall. This can be done using either cement or a premixed stone glue.

Because of how uniform the stones all are a skilled mason can get the grout lines super tight. Each stone is touching the stone next to it. Each stone is different however they all have square and flat edges so it’s possible to stack them tightly.

Stacked stone is considered more of a modern fireplace design. How modern depends heavily on the type of stone used and the pattern.

Modern living room fireplace with stacked stone and a black wood mantle.

Modern living room fireplace with stacked stone and a black wood mantle.

Modern Stacked Stone

Here we see a stacked stone fireplace with more of a modern feel than the last example. You can use stacked stone in a wide variety of designs ranging from rustic to ultra modern and it all depends on the stone you choose. This particular fireplace falls somewhere in the middle with a slightly modern feel, I’d call it Contemporary or Transitional.

The feel your fireplace design gives off also depends on the home it’s in. The surrounding materials, colors and designs effect how the fireplace style will look.

Pro Tip: When you design a fireplace think about not only how you want it to look but also it’s surroundings. A fireplace will generally become the focal point of the room which means the other elements should compliment it. It’s easy to redecorate a living room but a stone fireplace is typically permanent. Try to design one that’s flexible and will age well over time if you want to change things up in a few years or even in a decade or two. That’s why stone and brick have been used for centuries. They always look great.

Rustic stacked stone with a warm brown color scheme including a modern style gas fireplace and mounted flat screen TV.

Rustic stacked stone with a warm brown color scheme including a modern style gas fireplace and mounted flat screen TV.

Rustic Stacked Stone Fireplace Surround

Here’s an example of stacked stone with a rustic design. The stones are all different shapes and sizes but they have a flat top and bottom. This makes it easy to stack them tightly up and down but side to side is a challenge. Masons have to piece together hundreds of individual stones in order to get them to fit this tightly. The idea is to see no gaps or any of the mortar.

Notice the style difference between the fireplace design and home. Using the fireplace to create a style contrast is a great way to make it stand out even more. A living room fireplace is already a focal point, especially in a home with an open floor plan like this one. But by using it to create a style contrast you make it and the surrounding elements pop that much more. You can do the same thing with colors. Things stand out when they’re different from their surroundings.

Pro Tip: One of the best fireplace design ideas we use regularly in our own designs is to use the fireplace as a way to create contrast. it’s daring to build something rustic in a modern home but if you pull it off the results can be stunning. We still recommend creating a connection between the fireplace and other elements though. Check out those cabinets, coffee table, chairs, stools, pillows and candles. Brown tones were used throughout the home that tie back to the fireplace’s color scheme.

White and gray stacked stone wood burning fireplace with a stone top shelf and raised hearth. fireplace design ideas.

White and gray stacked stone wood burning fireplace with a stone top shelf and raised hearth.

White & Gray Stacked Stone

An extremely popular interior design trend being used these days is white and gray with real wood. It’s a beautiful look so I can see why so many homeowners want their homes to look this way. And it’s good to know there are masonry options on the market that fit the style.

These white and gray stacked stones look fantastic in this color scheme. The stones have just the right amount of color variety to be interesting and even colorful but still harmonious. I’m not talking bright and colorful here but there’s a lot of subtle tones running throughout the stones.

Stacked stones are a great choice in homes like these because it’s considered more of a transitional living room. The home includes lots of modern elements mixed with things that are a bit more rustic so stacked stone fits nicely.

Pro Tip: One of the fireplace design ideas we use a lot in our interior design work is using harmonious colors. No matter what color scheme your using inside the home there’s probably a stone that’ll work. These gray and white stacked stones are just right in this white and gray colored home. I can clearly see the same gray used inside the ceiling coffers throughout the stone work as well as whites and even some subtle brown tones that work well with the grayish brown floors and beams.

2 story angular stone fireplace surround with tinted grout creates a harmonious color scheme. fireplace design ideas.

Two story angular stone fireplace surround with tinted grout creates a harmonious color scheme.

2 Story Stone Fireplace With Colored Grout

Another way to create a harmonious and almost monochromatic color scheme is to use tinted cement grout. Adding a tiny lets you blend the grout lines in with the overall color of the stone. This beautiful two story tall stone fireplace features angular square and rectangular stones with uniform grout lines tinted warm brown. The stones are a mix of warm browns and tans so the tinted grout blends in rather than standing out.

The firebox is lined with lighter tan bricks. It fits the color scheme but is different enough to create contrast with the fireplace stone. It’s a good idea because you want the eye drawn to the fire. This is a wood burning fireplace so the hearth is raised and made from a solid stone slab.

Notice that mounted flat screen TV. it’s been recessed into the stone work rather than hung and sticking out. It’s a cool look but you can’t go bigger with the TV later so make sure the size is just right for the room.

The stone finish is super clean without a shelf. Building your fireplace like this is a good thing to do if you want the design to lean a bit more modern.

Wood burning fireplace with built ins and a tile surround. fireplace design ideas.

Wood burning fireplace with built ins and a tile surround.

Built Ins

If you’ve got an old existing fireplace that needs updating or are designing a new home then there’s nothing quite like built ins. They’re a beautiful way to finish off a fireplace wall and create a fantastic focal point for the room and possibly the home. But be prepared for the bill because they’re expensive. Some designs cost over $2,000 per foot x 8′ high. For a 15′ wall that’s over $30,000. That’s an extreme example with stain grade wood and a whole lot of options but the example above would cost around $15,000 – $20,000. Not including the fireplace.

Keep in mind there are ways to save money like using prebuilt cabinets, surround and shelving instead of building it all custom. That alone could save as much as 50% since it’s just an install and not a custom build. It also makes built ins a great DIY project.

Pro Tip: Use prebuilt cabinets, surround and shelving where you can to save money. Get unfinished bare wood if possible so you can paint the entire unit later. We recommend spraying everything with a paint gun rather than using brushes. Spray goes on more even and gives the unit a much better finish without drips or brush marks. I’d recommend hiring a pro because technique and equipment matter a lot when it comes to painting with a sprayer.

Modern style fireplace with a black and white design. fireplace design ideas.

Modern style fireplace with a black and white design.

Black And White Fireplace

A black and white color scheme has been a classic combination for a very long time. The two colors contrast each other like no others and stand out no matter what style home they’re used in. This fireplace design leans to the modern side using a combination of white stone with marble and a black wood shelf.

The firebox includes black trim with a gray tile insert and black grates. It’s been surrounded by white trim in a custom design. Even the artwork, black frame windows and overall room design play into the modern color scheme.

It’s a good idea to carry a color combination like this throughout the room. Black and white are both stark colors so it’s a good idea to add other colors into the design. Here wee a fantastic use of brown shades throughout the room and floor.

A wide and thin modern fireplace design with grid style panel surround. fireplace design ideas.

A wide and thin modern fireplace design with grid style panel surround.

Modern Fireplace With Grid Panel Surround

If your here looking for modern fireplace design ideas then consider the example above. The firebox itself is ultra modern featuring a wide and slim design but it needs the right surround to really shine. Panels can be custom made out of a variety of materials and them assembled in a grid pattern. Wood, fiber cement, stone and even drywall can all be used to make the panels. It’s a super cool look that’s sleek, modern and very unique.

The grid is inlaid about an inch which gives the design some dimension. Small details like this you can work out with your designer or on your own. Black is a great way to add some contrast and make the panels stand out more but you can use lighter colors. Keep in mind that because the grid is set in there will be shadows. You don’t see them with black but light colors will be noticeable.

If your here looking for fireplace design ideas that have a modern feel then grid pattern are definitely worth considering. They’re a beautiful design that’s really only used in modern homes and they’re not that common so you’ll have something really unique.

Modern wood burning fireplace with metallic gold grid surround. fireplace design ideas.

Modern wood burning fireplace with metallic gold grid surround.

Metallic Fireplace Grid Surround

Here’s another example of an ultra modern fireplace design using a grid. This grid is made up of metal panels with a gold and silver leaf finish. The gap between panels is much smaller in this design. Panels are touching but have beveled edges which gives the illusion of a larger gap than there actually is.

I like how they used the gold leaf design on other elements throughout the room. You don’t always have to match the fireplace exactly like they have here but it’s a good idea to compliment the design since it’s the focal point.

Pro Tip: Your fireplace design will be the focal point of your living room so carry the style to other elements in the room. You don’t have to copy finishes exactly like what was done here but they should be related in some way. Similar colors, shapes, or the overall style are all good ways to compliment your fireplace surround.

Standalone fireplace surround in front of a spectacular country view and a wall of glass.

Standalone fireplace surround in front of a spectacular country view and a wall of glass.

The Fireplace With A View

If you’ve got a wall of glass it’s undoubtedly going to be the focal point of the room. One way of accentuating that without detracting from the view is by installing a standalone fireplace. The unit is completely enclosed inside the surround and smoke is vented in one of two ways:

  • Top vent. If you’ve got a wood burning fireplace then you need a vent pipe or a chimney. All that smoke has to go up, out and away from the home which is what a chimney is meant for.
  • Direct Vent. If your firebox runs off gas then you can install what’s called a direct vent unit. Direct venting just means your vent pip goes from the back of the unit to the outside. Generally this is done right out the side wall where you’ll have a large silver exterior unit. Direct vents are great if you want a fireplace but not a chimney or roof vent.

The fireplace we see here is a top vent wood burning unit with an exposed vent pipe. You can easily enclose the pipe if you don’t like the look.

Modern chic living room with a natural warm cream color scheme. Gas fireplace with stone surround.

Wood burning bedroom fireplace with a cast cement surround.

Wood burning bedroom fireplace with a cast cement surround.

Bedroom Fireplace Design Ideas

A fireplace looks great in a lot more rooms than the living room. Bedrooms are a wonderful place to install one. They provide a romantic atmosphere in the room even when not in use. But when you do light them up the effect is fantastic. Especially on a cold winters night when you want to curl up in bed and just relax with a nice fire going.

If your looking for fireplace design ideas then don’t forget to consider adding one to your bedroom.

Cast cement wood burning fireplace surround in the bedroom. Warm cream colored paint with gray walls and white trim. fireplace design ideas.

Cast cement wood burning fireplace surround in the bedroom. Warm cream colored paint with gray walls and white trim.

Clean Cast Cement Bedroom Fireplace

If your looking to spruce up your bedroom fireplace then try a cast cement surround. This system comes with not only the legs and mantle but also pieces that finish the area around the firebox. These types of systems are great because you don’t have to choose an additional elements like stone or brick.

If your looking for fireplace design ideas then make sure to consider installing a cast cement unit.

Master bedroom fireplace with a beautiful cast surround featuring scrolled legs, a hearth and mantle with wall mounted TV.

Master bedroom fireplace with a beautiful cast surround featuring scrolled legs, a hearth and mantle with wall mounted TV.

Large Cast Bedroom Fireplace

This large cast fireplace surround is big enough to wrap around the entire bump out. It includes some beautiful scroll work, a small raised hearth and top shelf with a wall mounted TV. Something this big will cost more than the average surround but it’s still a lot cheaper than doing something out of stone or brick.

The reason cast surrounds end up being so much cheaper is because of the labor costs. All you do is assemble the kit and screw them into the wall with some brackets and glue. It’s super easy and can be done in a few hours. Contrast that with stone or brick work that can take a week.

You can see in this pic where all the seams are. Large cast kits have more seams because it takes a lot of pieces to wrap around the entire bump out. If you install a surround within the outer edges of the bump out you’ll have a more seamless look.

An ornately detailed fireplace surround around a gas burning firebox. One piece unit with elaborate scroll work. fireplace design ideas.

An ornately detailed fireplace surround around a gas burning firebox. One piece unit with elaborate scroll work.

The Ornate Bedroom Fireplace

If you’ve got the right room for something ornate then consider a one piece cast fireplace surround. These are the easiest to install because they’re just one piece. All you do is mount it in place and your done. No cutting, measuring or fitting anything into place.

The detailed scroll work and curved angles fits the design of this bedroom beautifully.

Country bedroom including a wood burning fireplace with real stone and cast cement trim. fireplace design ideas.

Country bedroom including a wood burning fireplace with real stone and cast cement trim.

Stone & Cast Cement Fireplace

This wood burning fireplace surround was made using a combination of real stone and cast cement trim pieces with cement grout. The stones are a pleasant mix of warm browns, tans and gray which all compliment the rooms color scheme beautifully.

Small country style bedroom with a warm color scheme and a stone bedroom fireplace. bedroom fireplace ideas.

Small country style bedroom with a warm color scheme and a stone bedroom fireplace.

Warm Stone Fireplace

Here’s another bedroom fireplace from the same home as the previous example. Many people think a bedroom fireplace is only meant for the master but that’s not the case. They work in even a small bedroom like this one. The rooms country style and warm color palette work beautifully with the and and cream colored stones.

Beautiful master bedroom with a large gas burning fireplace and wood surround.

Beautiful master bedroom with a large gas burning fireplace and wood surround.

Wood Bedroom Fireplace Surround

Some people consider wood to be a bit old fashioned in a bedroom but that’s not the case. When the wood is in a simple angular design like the fireplace surround shown above it’s fresh and modern. The scroll work on the upper columns and built in cabinetry are a little old school for my taste but the surround itself is fantastic.

Dark wood is a great choice because it’s so versatile. Especially this particular tone which is often called coffee bean or espresso. We use it all over the interior and exterior wood finishes on a home because of how well it works with just about any other color.

White ledgestone used to build a fireplace surround is a modern look that works well in a bedroom. fireplace design ideas.

White ledgestone used to build a fireplace surround is a modern look that works well in a bedroom.

The Ledgestone Bedroom Fireplace

If your looking for a modern style stone fireplace surround then consider ledgestone. This surround uses white stone with hints of cream and tan throughout. The black framed gas firebox in inset into the surround as well as the flat screen TV which give the whole design a sleek look.

Ultra modern bedroom fireplace surround built with gray tile.

Ultra modern bedroom fireplace surround built with gray tile.

The Ultra Modern Bedroom Fireplace

If you’ve got an ultra modern home with a bedroom fireplace and want a custom built surround then consider using tile. It’s a clean and sleek look that few other home styles utilize.

Modern fireplace surround built with brown tiles and black trim.

Modern fireplace surround built with brown tiles and black trim.

The Modern Brown Tile Fireplace

here’s another example of a tiled fireplace surround in a very modern home. Installing the tile from floor to ceiling without much extra trim is a great way of doing it. Most modern homes are minimalist with sharp angles and a lot less trim.

Classic red brick wood burning bedroom fireplace with a wood surround and built ins painted white.

Classic red brick wood burning bedroom fireplace with a wood surround and built ins painted white.

The Classic Red Brick Fireplace

There’s nothing as classic as a red brick fireplace. This one’s been built in a bedroom with a wood surround and built ins including cabinets and a mirrored top shelf with bookcase.

Outdoor Fireplace Design Ideas

A home’s fireplace isn’t limited to the indoors. Many of the best fireplace design ideas are built outdoors on a patio, sunroom, lanai or deck. They use the same materials as the indoors which include gas or wood burning fireboxes, stone, brick, tile, wood and concrete. However the materials are all exterior rated and able to get wet. Even when the fireplace is covered it’s still recommended you build with all exterior grade materials because of all the extra moisture in the air.

An outdoor fireplace is a luxury home feature that can really take your home design to a whole other level.

If your here looking for great fireplace design ideas then don’t forget to consider the outdoors.

Outdoor rustic style wood burning fireplace built with tightly stacked real stone beneath a patio roof. fireplace design ideas.

Outdoor rustic style wood burning fireplace built with tightly stacked real stone beneath a patio roof.

The Rustic Outdoor Fireplace

This rustic style outdoor fireplace site beneath a beautifully built patio roof. It’s been built out of warm colored natural stone with a tight installation and very small grout lines. The porch roof is supported by four thick square columns with stone that matches the fireplace.

Huge real wood beams add additional support to the roof and a fantastic natural look. The entire design is wonderful and one of my favorite fireplace design on the page. Inside or out.

Patio fireplace built with red brick painted white. Wood burning firebox with a tan stone hearth and matching mantle.

Patio fireplace built with red brick painted white. Wood burning firebox with a tan stone hearth and matching mantle.

The White Brick Patio Fireplace

Painted white brick is a great way of having both the fresh quality white offers along with the beautiful texture of brick. This wood burning fireplace includes a white brick chimney with matching porch columns, a tan stone raised hearth and matching mantle. It’s a fantastic look that really shines at night when that firs blazing.

Covered outdoor fireplaces are especially nice to have so you can sit out in the rain or snow and enjoy a warm fire.

Covered patio with a brick fireplace color white with a technique called German Schmear or whitewashing.

Covered patio with a brick fireplace color white with a technique called German Schmear or whitewashing.

The German Schmear Outdoor Fireplace

Here’s another example of an outdoor fireplace only this time it’s turned white with a technique called German Schmear or whitewashing. This way of painting brick allows some of the red to come through and isn’t as opaque as traditional solid paint.

As you can see the finish fireplace has an almost pinkish hue in places and you get a lot more dimension from the color variations.

Outdoor red brick fireplace that's been whitewashed with a technique called German Schmear. fireplace design ideas.

Outdoor red brick fireplace that’s been whitewashed with a technique called German Schmear.

The Whitewashed Outdoor Fireplace

Here’s another example of a beautiful outdoor wood burning fireplace built out of red brick that’s been whitewashed. The bricks look white until you see them next to the solid white trim and ceiling panels.

Whitewashing is a great way to brighten up red brick while retaining all that beautiful texture and detail brick provides.

Classic red brick fireplace with a raised limestone hearth and matching mantle. fireplace design ideas.

Classic red brick fireplace with a raised limestone hearth and matching mantle.

The Classic Red Brick Outdoor Fireplace

There’s nothing more classic than an old fashioned wood burning red brick fireplace. This design features a raised limestone hearth and matching mantle.

Wood burning patio fireplace built out of stone with a raised limestone hearth and matching mantle with side shelves for wood storage.

Wood burning patio fireplace built out of stone with a raised limestone hearth and matching mantle with side shelves for wood storage.

Stone Patio Fireplace

Most of the outdoor fireplaces on the page so far have been covered or attached to the house but they can also be built freestanding. This beautiful patio fireplace is built out of stone and features a raised limestone hearth with matching top shelf and storage on either side for wood.

If you’ve got an uncovered fireplace like this one then you should include a cap just like any standard wood burning chimney.

As with an interior fireplace, coordinate your stone colors with the surrounding exterior color scheme. Your deck or patio, landscaping, pots, and furniture all play into the design.

Outdoor freestanding fireplace built with warm stone including a raised stone hearth and mantle shelf.

Outdoor freestanding fireplace built with warm stone including a raised stone hearth and mantle shelf.

Freestanding Outdoor Fireplace

Here’s another freestanding patio fireplace built with warm colors real stone, a raised stone hearth and matching mantle shelves.

Outdoor country style fireplace built on a deck out of real stone and cast cement trim. fireplace design ideas.

Outdoor country style fireplace built on a deck out of real stone and cast cement trim.

Large Country Style Deck Fireplace

You don’t need a patio to build a beautiful outdoor fireplace. A deck will work just fine.

This large country style fireplace includes built in side by side sconce lights, lots of natural stone and cast cement trim. The gray cement color is a great match for the grayish deck and furniture wood while the stone color matches more with the house trim and siding. Overall it’s a really nice color scheme that has just the right amount of contrast and detail.

Exterior wood burning brick fireplace built on the backside of the homes brick chimney.

Exterior wood burning brick fireplace built on the backside of the homes brick chimney.

Outdoor Brick Fireplace

This outdoor wood burning fireplace was built on the backside of the homes brick chimney. The earthy tan colored bricks and a wonderful contrast to the blue stone patio and light colored cream siding.

Blue stone patio with a warm colored outdoor fireplace built on the backside of the homes chimney.

Blue stone patio with a warm colored outdoor fireplace built on the backside of the homes chimney.

Warm Stone Patio Fireplace

Here’s another beautifully designed outdoor fireplace built on the backside of the homes chimney. It features warm real stone with cemented grout lines, limestone raised hearth and a matching mantle shelf.

The warm colors found throughout the natural stone contrasts nicely with the blue stone patio while it flows with the cream colored siding, brown gutters and earthy roof shingles.

Huge outdoor fireplace with chimney built on a blue stone patio with cast concrete raised hearth and mantle.

Huge outdoor fireplace with chimney built on a blue stone patio with cast concrete raised hearth and mantle.

Beautiful Outdoor Patio Fireplace

This is one of my favorite outdoor fireplace designs. The chimney is large and sure to make an immediate impact on anyone relaxing by the fire. Built with tightly stacked real stone, it matches beautifully with the blue stone patio while contrasting the homes cream colored stucco.

Rooftop city patio fireplace finished with a marble slab.

Rooftop city patio fireplace finished with a marble slab.

Ultra Modern Rooftop Top Fireplace

Checkout this beautiful rooftop patio fireplace with an ultra modern design. It features a wide and thin modern firebox surrounded by faux marble with matching veining.

Bohemian inspired outdoor wood burning fireplace design featuring warm colored real stone, a raised stone hearth and thick stone top shelf.

Bohemian inspired outdoor wood burning fireplace design featuring warm colored real stone, a raised stone hearth and thick stone top shelf.

Bohemian Outdoor Fireplace Design

This is my favorite fireplace design on the page. Indoor or outdoor. I just love everything about the style, size, dimensions and construction. The quality is superb and to me the design is as good as it gets. I’m not generally a huge fan of bohemian inspired construction but in this case I love it.

This outdoor fireplace is a great example of how when a style is done right it looks great wherever you put it.

Conclusion: Fireplace Design Ideas

A fireplace is the focal point of just about any room they’re in and these days that could be almost anywhere. Modern homes use them in the living room, dining room, bedrooms, kitchens and even some master bathrooms. Since your here that means your probably looking for some great fireplace design ideas and pictures. Well you’ve come to the right place.

For centuries a fireplace was built out of brick or stone with a simple wooden mantel adorned with photographs and decorations. They burnt wood or coal and were used as the primary means to heat the home. Sometimes with an open hearth but often times housing a stove that not only heated the home but also provided a place to dry or cook things. The fireplace was a function area where people traditionally gathered around the fire. Today’s fireplaces are more decorative and primarily run on gas. They have a wide range of styles spanning from ultra modern to super traditional. No matter your homes style or what room the fireplace is in there’s sure to be a design that fits.

I hope a few of the fireplace design ideas and pictures shown throughout this article help you create something beautiful.

If you have any questions or comments e-mail us any time. We’d love to hear from you.

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