Design ideas for fireplaces, mantels and firepits

gorgeous patio with wood burning brick fireplace and outdoor furniture

Sure a fireplace can warm up a room, both literally and figuratively, but did you know that interior designers often anchor entire design projects around the hearth? Apartment-dwellers and homeowners alike can enhance the beauty of their fireplace by changing out finishes or simply adding thoughtful décor to the mantel. If you’re in the market for a fire feature for your home, check out these creative ideas from local designers who know a thing or two about adding drama (and warmth!) to a room.

Living room with stacked stone fireplace and floor to ceiling windows

Textures Take Over

Architect Stephen R. Flanagan of Studio One Architecture created this unique fireplace design in his own home. “Here, the raised hearth and mantel seem to slip past one other, with the idea that they are joined together by the actual fire.” The rough surface of the stacked-stone wall is a counterpoint to the smooth granite fireplace surround (in “Black Pearl”) and the cool color of the bluestone hearth.

Living room with warm brown colors and lit spark gas fireplace

Sustainable Surroundings

The low placement of this sleek Spark gas fireplace lends itself to the modern look of this space.
Michael Habachy, owner of Habachy Designs, Inc., says he selected the wood panels on the wall from Eutree, an Atlanta vendor that uses wood from discarded trees destined for the landfill. The firebox itself is enclosed with a porcelain tile that mimics the look of rusted steel, adding an industrial element to the space.,

elegant basement with walk around fireplace

Sophisticated Spotlight

Barbara Ader, design project manager for the home-staging company Design2Sell, explains how she works with fireplaces in the rooms she creates. “One of a room’s main focal points is the fireplace. So when we stage the room, it’s important to draw attention to it because it’s a feature that adds value to the home. A way to do this is to place a large piece of art above it.”

colorful living room with mantel with chevron patterned brick

Classic Meets Contemporary

If your fireplace isn’t functional, use it as a focal point for your room anyway. Here, Thierry François, owner of François & Co., stacked wood in the firebox as an organic element to contrast with the elegant cream-colored fireplace mantel and legs and the chevron-patterned brick behind it. The dramatic shape of the greenery in vases on the mantel provides a fresh, modern twist atop the more formal fireplace. 

Backyard with lit steel firepitDouble-Duty Dynamics

AuthenTEAK’s Bentintoshape® steel fire pit is perfect for small outdoor spaces and even for those that aren’t plumbed for gas. It’s built to accommodate natural wood logs in the fire bowl or you can hide a 20-pound propane gas tank inside for use with ceramic logs. As the surface of the fire pit weathers, it will change to have an antique, rusted look.

beautiful outdoor space with wood burning fire pit and builtin seatingBack To Basics

This rustic fieldstone fire pit, designed and built by Scott Arnold of Arnold Masonry and Landscape, keeps things old school. “This is a wood-burning fire pit,” he explains. “Most of my clients don’t want gas, since nothing sounds or smells like the burning of real wood.” He says the stone veneer and use of gravel as the “patio” surface brings a more informal “campfire” feel to the area.



gorgeous patio with wood burning brick fireplace and outdoor furniture Graced With Greenery

The design of this wood-burning brick fireplace features a smooth, tan-colored stone mantel and hearth. To soften the look of the chimney, Whit Hamilton of Chattahoochee Pools, Inc., used a very thin wire to wrap the chimney and encourage a vine to grow there. “The fireplace is both an architectural focal point,” he says, “and it provides some screening and privacy for the yard’s spa area.”



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