As seasons change and cold nights creep slowly in its time to think about heating your home. And, what is more cosy and inviting than a fireplace and the flickering flames of an open fire? Whether it is real or artificial, an ambient glow will give your room a warming and appealing atmosphere.
Gas fires and electric fireplaces are quick, clean, easy to control and energy efficient. They are a practical option for new builds and those who want to create an atmosphere but don’t have a chimney for smoke outage. Simply choose a version with a balanced flue as it only requires fitting through an outside wall. The same goes for electric versions which are even easier – most styles simply plug into a socket with minimal effort.
Woodburning stoves are a great choice for those who are looking for the traditional touch but without the mess. They have the performance and fuel efficiency to heat your home effectively and are economical as heat is encaptulated so less escapes up the chimney. There is also a wide choice of stoves on the market from super contemporary made from sleek steel to traditional cast iron in an array of colours.
And, lastly but not least there is the time-honored traditional open fire. Whether coal or log fuelled, there are few things as comforting as gathering around an open fire; the sight, sound and aroma plays on all your senses and creates the perfect place to hunker down in comfort and never leave.
Create the classic cosy country living room by arranging comfy sofas around an authentic fire. A cream finish adds a gentle twist to a classic woodburner, while a wooden mantel shelf is adds a gentle contrast. Keep a stack of logs in the alcove to keep the fire going, fold up cosy throws and blankets, snuggle down and enjoy the glow.
If you’re planning to knock down a wall in order to create an open-plan living area think about keeping the existing chimney breast frame and install a log burning stove. It will create wonderfully cosy centre-piece and will heat the whole area. Be sure to enlist the help of a trained contractor who will make sure the structure is safe and built to the latest regulations. The results as seen here in this quaint country cottage are stunning and can be enjoyed from all angles of the room.
This modern living room has been made warm and soothing with aid of an authentic looking electric fireplace. Commision a carpenter to build a faux wall and cut out a recess for the fire. Fit symmetric shelving either side to mimic chimney breast alcoves. Introduce pattern and texture with tonal patterned wallpaper and then use layers of biscuit, mocha and chocolate using natural materials. The result is a scheme that is multi-dimensional, not flat, as well as super cosy.
As well as the type of fire you choose, the surround and how you decorate it is just as important. The classic style of this period fireplace and wooden mantelpiece has been spruced up with a fabulous coat of zingy yellow paint so it stands out against it’s neutral grey back drop with a punch.
Large open fireplaces or Inglenooks as they are often known are the ultimate indulgence for cottage living. They were originally used in houses to cook, and for people to gather in for extra warmth but these days they are purely decorative and atmospheric. Their grand appearance is the epitome of rustic cosiness and looks the part amongst beamed ceilings and snuggly comfortable sofas. You need to have sufficient permanent ventilation into the room to ensure that the fire can work safely with a good draught up the flue.
An exposed brick chimney breast is a popular decorative fireplace style right now. It demands attention, adds texture and lends itself well to not only rustic but modern schemes as it give a nod to the industrial trend. It particularly looks the part in this relaxed living room as creates a focal point and balances the eclectic scheme. If your fireplace is not in use, light up the hearth with a quirky novelty LED letter light as an extra highlight.
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A fireplace can be just as cosy in a contemporary scheme. This ultra modern style has been sliced out of a dividing wall to create a super chic feature which burns a long ribbon of gas flame. A large canvas adds interest to the smooth plain wall above.
Take inspiration from your fireplace to decorate your whole room. This black mantelpiece and wrought iron woodburner have become the stunning focal point as well as starting point in this monochrome living room. You’ll need to use a specially formulated heat resistant paint finish on any firesurround. The soothing pale backdrop lets the layers of grey stand out making the fireplace an integral part of the scheme.
A fireplace needn’t be in use to become a stylish focal point of a room. The decorators of this open plan living room have utilised it’s disused fireplace and chimney breast by using the open hearth for book storage and mounting a flat screen TV above, making the cosy space perfectly practical for modern family living. Painting the breast a soothing blue gives it even more presence in this comfortable space.
Give a classic scheme extra pizzazz with a bespoke shelving unit mounted above a traditional fireplace. It will create a stylish and unique focal point. Combine soft cream with fresh pale shades of blue to create a country look that is perfect for a family living room, then add interest with a four tiered shelving unit painted the same neutral shade as the chimney breast behind. Use the various cubby holes to display an array of attractive accessories for a look that is fresh and feels contemporary.
A rooms size and ceiling height should help guide your choice of fireplace togther with it’s decor. This dramatic living room has used a stunning shade of charcoal grey to give the fireplace a strong and defining presence. A natural stone mantelpiece is a worthwhile investment and here makes a grand contrasting statement and luxurious focal point.
The time honored and traditional fireplace was once a necessity to heat a room, but in today’s world they can be seen as more of a comforting indulgence and delight. From artificial gas and electric fires to rustic wood burners and roaring open inglenooks, there is certainly a style and type to suit every style of living room, bedroom, kitchen or even bathroom.