Fireplaces have come a long way since their humble beginnings. No longer are they simply a means of providing warmth and light; today, they are often the focal point of a room, adding both style and substance. And while there are many different types and designs to choose from, one thing remains the same: a fireplace is an architectural detail of a home that can define a room. As people, we associate home and comfort with them mostly; we want to cozy up right in front of them. It’s essential to us the design studio to make the fireplace a priority in our interior design process.
In essence, a fireplace is more than just a functional design feature— it’s a beautiful focal point that can anchor any space. Yes, they provide comfort and warmth, but can also make a beautiful statement to any room. Whether you’re looking to add a touch of luxury to your home or simply want to make your living room more inviting, here are some fireplaces we love and hope they bring you some design inspiration for your home remodel or new construction project.
Popular in the Victorian era, many homes built during that time period included a fireplace in the dining room. While the fireplace back then served the functional need of heating that particular room, today, the trend has made a comeback for its visual appeal and inviting atmosphere. The addition of a fireplace in the dining room will instantly make you and your guests feel welcome and comfortable.This example shows a monolithic limestone fireplace mantle that we would describe as rustic modern or modern rustic. Always consider the overall style of your home. As interior designer, we use repetition as one of many tools during the design concept phase. We might include this stone in other places of your home; maybe a similar fireplace in the living room or primary bedroom. Or, the range hood in your kitchen could also feature limestone with rustic chiseled edges like this fireplace surround.
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Design by Amber Interiors
There’s something about this fireplace mantle that just exudes sophistication. Maybe it’s the subtle gray marble, or the classic lines of the neoclassical design and the above average height. A fireplace mantle like this will always become the focal point in any room.While many people focus on a lower height of the mantle to accommodate a TV above, you may want to disregard the TV option and allow the fireplace to speak for itself, or use the space above to display art or a mirror.Use the fireplace as a statement piece, a reflection of your taste and style. So when you’re choosing a mantle for your home, take the time to find one that really speaks to you. After all, it’s not just another piece of furniture that you can quickly replace.
It might take some extensive research and product sourcing but get creative with your fireplace design. An experienced interior designer can help you tremendously with product sourcing or vintage finds. We source furniture and building materials from all over the world and sometimes it just takes a very unique piece to make a home complete.The brick fireplace shown in this picture, was first commissioned in the 1960s by Monsieur Dutilleul in France. Designed by the well-known designer Jean Royère, it feels right at home in a remodeled Spanish Revival in Beverly Hills.
The use of the very slender brick gives the fireplace surround that characteristic midcentury modern look that is authentic to the 1960s. The design is both unique and simple – simplicity in the best way though. As Leonardo da Vinci said: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
The concave design of the firebox itself adds further interest and appeal to the fireplace. If you can find the brick shape, you might just have achieved an attainable and beautiful fireplace design while the original by Jean Royère most likely costs a small fortune.
Location: Beverly Hills, CA
Design by Studio Shamshir
A successful interior designer has the ability to plan out a space; to see its potential and think creatively about how to optimize both function and form. We will sometimes suggest that clients stay away from costly expansions to their homes and instead focus on making existing spaces more beautiful – adding more detail and visual interest can go a long way.
We should emphasize that a full home design process is very complex. There’s no one-size fits-all formula when it comes to interior design. It’s never just about looking pretty and the way people like to use different spaces in their homes is very personal.
When designing a room, one important element to consider is scale and asymmetry. Especially big luxury homes have “abnormally” large rooms that can feel cold at times. It’s important for us to bring in texture and warmth through considerate selection of materials and how they are implemented. Natural stones for example can help to add comfort to modern architecture. Lime-washed walls have been very popular in recent years as well. It can be a costly labor expense, so consider the application of limewash paint on only sections, such as the fireplace chute instead of the whole room or house. Playing with scale and asymmetry also creates unique and memorable spaces.
Location: Glen Ellen, CA
Design by Hommeboys
We are interior designers and are as such mostly concerned with the design of interiors but oftentimes that also includes the design of outdoor spaces like a patio or courtyard. A well-designed courtyard can be the perfect spot for entertaining guests or simply enjoying a quiet moment outdoors. One popular option for courtyards is an outdoor fireplace as it adds comfort, a touch of luxury, and can extend the use of the space into the cooler months. However, please consider that fireplaces can be expensive and require more maintenance than a simpler fire pit.In California, outdoor living is a way of life, so incorporating features that allow for year-round use is important. For example, designing a courtyard with both sun and shade areas will ensure that it can be used even on the hottest days of summer.
Instead of paving your courtyard with concrete, you may consider an easy-to-implement gravel ground cover letting rainwater through to tree roots and creating visual serenity. In this courtyard, the gravel creates a beautiful soft backdrop to the fireplace and its painted white brick.
Also consider the effect of outdoor lighting in your courtyard. Maybe in form of a lantern to add architectural detail as shown here. Minimal lighting, such as to uplight a tree in a courtyard or along a pathway, can also be effective design element to elevate your home’s exterior.
Design by M.Elle.Design
Location: Pacific Palisades, CA
Anyone else have an obsession for reeded and fluted detailing these days?This reeded fireplace is surrounded by eye-catching windows yet confidently stands its ground as the room’s centerpiece. You might notice that there’s a lot going on in this room to balance: the reeding of the plastered fireplace surround, the lime-washed walls, the herringbone floors and wood ceiling, the steel windows and the molding work below them – all architectural details that play together in this room. Not to forget the lighting, furniture, and home decor that’s about to be added to the room.
An experienced interior designer can help you coordinate all of the different elements – no matter if you need guidance on your home renovation or new construction home. It’s important to know your craft well or you will end up with a home that looks basic. Without an interior designer to advocate for you, the contractor will most likely chose standard detailing for all design elements. If you have 3-5% to spare for design, we strongly recommend to hire an interior designer. The value added to your home will far outweigh the initial investment.
Location: Pacific Palisades, CA
Design by. Amber Interiors
Black marble has been used for centuries to create beautiful works of art and architecture. Today, it is increasingly being used in modern homes to add a touch of luxury and sophistication. The contrast of the stone adds instant drama and creates a moody vibe. It can also enhance other natural materials surrounding it; giving the interior of your home more depth and visual interest.Natural materials might be more expensive than their man-made counterparts but always – and I mean always – turn out better in the end. They embody luxury more than man-made materials ever could. They age beautifully and finish better than man-made products, like porcelain tile.
In order to be mindful of budget constraints, we look to exploring smart design solutions. In this case, the solution was to lime-wash the fireplace chute above the mantle with a black-ish Portola Paint. The result was a continued flow of color that draws the eyes up to the vaulted ceiling. As interior designers, we want to highlight and emphasize the architectural beauty of the exposed truss system, not distract from it.
“Our goal is to create timeless custom homes for the modern family; so, finding a solution that fits both your aesthetic and your budget is always of utmost importance.” — Christin Balzer, Founder of Haven Studios and CARA + Co.
Architecture by Eric Olsen Design
Location: Truckee, CA 96161
We love formal fireplaces like this black beauty. It drastically elevates the interior of your home and provides ample opportunity to decorate and re-decorate the mantle throughout the changing seasons.Changing elements of your interiors to suit the seasons has its benefits practically and aesthetically. Let’s always keep our homes looking and feeling fresh.
Throughout this blog post, we already established that a fireplace is often the focal point of a room, so it’s important to make sure that it is both functional and stylish. It needs to serve an architectural purpose and really tie its surroundings together.This simple pared-down fireplace is a wonderful example of just that and the bonus point: this solution won’t you cost a fortune. The front was slightly elevated with a tumbled limestone hearth, and the addition of the interior herringbone panels give the fireplace a luxurious look. Otherwise, the surround is simply plastered flush with the walls. The bookshelves on both sides beautifully flank the fireplace – providing both symmetry and function
Design by Studio McGee
We are an interior design firm that loves crafting richly layered and curated interiors. Hence, we are very much drawn to this living room filled with textured, earthy materials and simple patinated forms. Every single architectural detail and piece of furniture exudes a casual elegance that feels at once humanistic and luxurious.The terrazzo fireplace shown here follows the same pattern: simple, down to earth humble, yet classic and timeless.
It’s a masterful combination of sophistication and simplicity, new and antique elements. Clements Design constantly inspires our interiors as they intuitively demonstrate that great projects depend on a symphonic cohesion between architecture and interiors. Everything works together – add nothing and take nothing away.
Design by Clements Design
Location: Beverly Hills, CA
Create a Furniture Layout to Support Conversation
Besides your kitchen, the living room is the heart of the home – a place where family and friends gather to relax, share stories, and create memories. But too often, living rooms are designed with only one purpose in mind: watching television. The typical layout includes a sectional facing the TV, with little regard for conversation or connection. But it doesn’t have to be this way. To create a living room layout that encourages connection and conversation, be mindful with your furniture selection and placement.
For example, even when there is TV above the fireplace, use chairs and sofa arranged around a round coffee table, instead of a lounge sectional. This configuration creates a more open and inviting space providing ample space for people to move around. It encourages people to interact with each other – not just stare at a screen. So next time you’re planning your living room layout, think about ways to encourage conversation and connection. You may be surprised at how easy it is to create a gathering place that everyone will love.
Design by OZ INTERIORS
Don’t you love Friday Pizza Night ?! I love creating traditions with my family and a home that supports it. A fireplace in the kitchen is perfect for both special occasions and the weekly family happenings – it definitely adds a very comfortable and cozy atmosphere to this Mediterranean Style Home.
If this was my kitchen, I’d make a pizza oven out of this. It’s an easy upgrade but will involve some electrical work. There are wonderful little pizza ovens available these days. Ask your interior designer or local kitchen showroom to propose possible solutions to you.
Designer’s tangent: notice the coordination of various colors and deep warm wood tones that play together in this Mediterranean custom home – a modern version of a Spanish Hacienda.
Design by Modern Nest custom homes
We mostly serve local areas around our office in Sacramento. This includes Granite Bay, El Dorado Hills, Arden-Arcade, Fair Oaks, and Carmichael. You can see from our portfolio that we also serve clients in the San Francisco Bay Area from our satellite office in Pacific Heights, as well as clients in Los Angeles and Truckee. If your home or project site is located somewhere else in the US, please don’t hesitate to connect – we’re always open to collaborate on inspired interiors in other places.
Whether you’re looking to add a touch of luxury to your home or simply want to make your living room more inviting, here are some fireplaces we hope will provide design inspiration for your home remodel or new construction project. As an interior design studio, we’re constantly thinking about smart design solutions.