Lately I’ve been giving a lot of design attention to the fireplace. Changing this area can be a dramatic makeover, as it is often the focal point of the room. What I find most enjoyable about this update is getting this area “right” for each homeowner. This begins with defining the style identity of the room. Here are the top trends I am seeing:

Transitional:  This style is grounded in traditional and classic design, but with a cleaner, more modern feel.  A simple wood mantel surround with natural stone or porcelain tile can complement any decorating scheme.  Many homeowners with traditional two story homes find that if they keep their wood surround (which typically matches the existing trim package) and simply replace the tile with a modern tile or natural stone achieve an updated look while still maintaining the home’s overall aesthetic.  

Rustic Modern:  This style is by far the most popular trend in the industry.  Casual in nature, this may include a wood “box mantel” without the traditional surround outlining the fireplace insert.  Distressed wood wall planks, imperfect tiles, and natural stone in a block format would all create a rustic atmosphere. With this concept, texture and scale are two important elements.  Many options include covering the height of the entire wall.

Minimalist Contemporary:   One of the easiest styles to achieve, less is more with this design.  Typically the investment is spent on a new insert, often a “ribbon” style, without any materials surrounding the main attraction; the fireplace, itself.  If tile is wanted, it is typically a concrete or a plain (think simple) porcelain tile in a large scale that covers the entire wall so as not to detract from the fireplace.  

After you discover your personal style, be sure to partner with professionals who can recommend appropriate material choices and execute the installation.  Also, don’t forget to ask yourself if it might be time for a new fireplace insert, altogether. If this is the case, be sure to research your options with a fireplace retailer before you begin the facelift!