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Use our essential guide to buying fires and fireplaces
* Wooden fire surrounds are a popular choice as they are the cheapest option, ranging from MDF designs at the lower end to mahogany surrounds at the top end. Off-the-shelf designs can be bought at most large DIY stores, otherwise visit a fireplace showroom for more expensive surrounds.
* Stone and marble fire surrounds will give a room a natural feel. They are traditional material and therefore lend themselves to more classic room schemes. There are, however, plenty of sleek, streamlined stone and plaster designs on the market that would suit modern rooms just as well.
* Cast-iron fire surrounds are often associated with period properties, such as Victorian houses, and can bring a traditonal touch to your home. For a modern spin, cast-iron fire surrounds can be updated with metal paint, such as white, and filled with candles to create a pretty display.
For more decorating ideas for the living room visit our gallery of inspiring room sets.