Modern fireplace ideas - 10 ways to work contemporary style

Finish your space to perfection with a fashionable fire

Log burner underneath TV, next to built in bench storing logs underneath
(Image credit: Future PLC)

Fireplaces may be one of the more traditional aspects of our homes, but there are a lot of ways to keep it looking trendy and current. Opting for modern fireplace ideas will keep up the heat, without slacking in the style department.

There are all manner of fireplace ideas out there, so finding the perfect design for your space is easier than ever.

'In the past ten years, we’ve seen a move towards stoves that are more contemporary in style', says Declan Kingsley-Walsh, Managing Director, Morsø UK. 'Consumers are viewing their stoves as a focal point for their home as well as an efficient way to heat it.'

'With its combination of comforting heat and the visual impact of roaring flames, a stove is the perfect way to provide a homely ambience to a room', adds Vicky Naylor, Manager, ACR Stoves.

Our picks will help you modernise your fireplace and create a stylish talking point in your living room. Some ideas are based around more traditional designs and will create an edgy rustic appeal, where others will bring a straight-up modern touch, so there's guaranteed to be something for everyone.

Neutral living room with roaring fire in wall behind coffee table and armchairs

(Image credit: Future PLC)

10 modern fireplace ideas

Our ideas cover everything from the best fireplace designs to how to style them to create a beautifully contemporary aesthetic. No doubt your modern fireplace ideas will soon be one of your favourite aspects of the home, oozing in style and trendiness.

1. Consider an electric fireplace

Neutral living room with electric fire, two feature walls decorated with ornaments either side

(Image credit: Solution Fires)

Electric fireplaces come in a variety of stylish designs, and can instantly make your home feel more modern. They can also heat a room much faster and more efficiently than traditional wood-burning fireplaces, which is handy if you're wondering how to keep your house warm in winter

'One of the many benefits of electric fireplaces is that unlike wood-burning stoves, they can be installed and fitted wherever you want, as there is no need for a chimney', explains Andy Hitchman, Managing Director, Solution Fires. 'Simply requiring a standard electric socket, an electric fireplace offers the user much more flexibility.'

2. Create a trendy media wall

Grey wall with flat widescreen TV and electric fire

(Image credit: Solution Fires)

Bespoke media walls, featuring an inset flat screen TV above electric modern fireplace ideas, are an increasingly popular interior design feature. Media walls can be custom built to fit the specifics of your home, perfect if you're working with small living room ideas

'A stunning focal point, a media wall captures your attention as soon as you enter a room, and neatly boxes off any messy cabling for a totally sleek finish', says Andy from Solution Fires. 'They also work to maximise space and conceal clutter by encapsulating all of your multimedia appliances, such as games consoles, TV recording boxes, and even surround sound speaker bars.'

3. Or, opt for a traditional log burner

Log burner underneath TV, next to built in bench storing logs underneath

(Image credit: Future PLC)

If electric fires aren't really your thing, traditional log burners are also increasingly fashionable lately. The rustic edge of a stove fireplace provides a nice focal point in modern living room ideas, and there are many contemporary designs to choose from.

'Contemporary burners have glass panels which are now bigger and wider, so one can really enjoy the beauty of a log fire', explains Declan from Morsø. 'This contrasts to older wood burning stoves which used to have smaller windows.'

4. Add a contrasting colour

Grey living room with yellow accents, central fireplace with yellow mantleframe

(Image credit: Future PLC)

To make your modern fireplace ideas becomes a focal point in the room, choose a colour to contrast the area from its surroundings. 

You can use living room paint ideas on either the chimney breast, the surrounding mantlepiece, or just the wall behind the fireplace in a colour of your choice so that your eye is naturally drawn to the space when you walk in the room. Then tie in your chosen accent colour through other pieces of decor and furnishings. 

5. Style the mantle shelf

White mantlepiece with vases and candlesticks beneath artwork

(Image credit: Future PLC)

If your fireplace has a mantlepiece, use this to display items that catch the eye. Lucy Henderson, Head of Interior Design, My Bespoke Room, recommends adding objects with varying heights and contrasting shapes. 'Some tall candle sticks next to a shorter plant, or pictures of various sizes placed alongside each other, will add interest to the space.'

6. Add a log storage basket

White armchair and table next to stove log burner with storage basket of logs

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Whether you have a wood-burning stove or not, a log storage basket placed next to the modern fireplace ideas adds a rustic twist to a contemporary space, and is an increasingly popular interior choice. You can add a linen blanket to the basket to bring some cosy texture into the space. This simple touch will make the fireplace feel homely all year round. 

7. Add tiling to the wall

Fireplace with blue tiles surrounded by white mantlepiece, in a grey and white living room

(Image credit: Future PLC)

'A tiled fireplace can be used to create or complement a whole range of looks', says Harriet Goodacre, Tile Consultant, Topps Tiles. 'Whether you’re going for a cosy, country vibe, a chic, classic marble or stone, or injecting some personality with a bold, bright patterned tile to add to a maximalist look.'

Tiling the space around your modern fireplace ideas helps to cement it as a focal point in the room. Opt for tiles in a fun colour for a more vibrant aesthetic, or an earthy neutral if you're taking a more minimalist approach. 

8. Hang a centrepiece above the fire

Large mirror above dark fireplace with ornamental ceiling light in front room

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Hanging a large mirror or piece of artwork on the wall is a trendy way to elevate the fireplace as a focal point in the room. You want to select something that stands out whilst tying in with the rest of the space, for example a piece of art with colours that match your theme. For grey living room ideas, an ornamental mirror works nicely.

9. Or, leave the wall plain

Terracotta walls with fireplace in centre, bookcases on either side

(Image credit: Future PLC)

The alternative to creating modern fireplace ideas feature walls is to simply leave it plain. This helps the fireplace really stand out and can work well if you have a beautiful cast-iron stove. You'll want to add elements of visual interest to the walls either side of the fireplace to sharpen the contrast.

10. Complete the look with a vase of flowers

Stove fireplace with white mantlepiece, topped with vase of pink flowers

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Having a bouquet of fresh flowers in the front room is always nice, and positioning these on the fireplace can really help to cement a beautiful aesthetic. 'Display a bright bouquet of colourful botanicals in the centre of your mantelpiece to create a fun, welcoming and happy feeling in your room', suggests Andrea Waters, Head of Brands at Portmeirion.

What is the current trend for fireplaces?

One of the current trend for modern fireplace ideas is to create a media wall with an electric fire. 'Many customers are now opting for modern, bespoke media walls, which are an increasingly popular interior design feature, incorporating an electric fire as the perfect finishing touch', says Andy from Solution Fires.

'Electric fires are available in many different styles and sizes, with highly advanced technology which affords the user an incredibly realistic flame effect.'

In contrast, the other popular trend for buying a fireplace in modern homes is to have a traditional stove or log burner in a contemporary design. 'Stoves with cylindrical, curved shapes and with the option to be either wall mounted or raised on a simple pedestal are becoming really popular', says Declan from Morsø. 'There is a real shift away from the more boxy, bulky, pastoral style of stove that has perpetuated for the last 100 years.'

How do I make my fireplace more modern?

A simple way to achieve modern fireplace ideas is to have your TV mounted above it if it's possible to do so. This is one of the benefits of having an electric fireplace, because you can pair it with your TV so that you have a definitive focal point in the room. 

Another option is to tile the space around your fireplace. 'When it comes to purchasing a new fireplace, I’m seeing more and more people opting for log burners with openings that have beautiful patterned tiles and a simple timber mantle shelf above', says Lucy from My Bespoke Room.

Harriet from Topps Tiles agrees. 'Tiling is a great way to add interest and express your personality. By tiling this small area, you could overhaul the look of your entire room.'

'Make sure you choose the correct kind of tile which are suitable for the high temperatures your fireplace can reach', she adds. 'We would recommend porcelain tiles as these will offer the strength and durability needed.'

Katie Sims

Katie Sims has been writing for Ideal Homes since spring 2022. She qualified from her Master’s in Media and Journalism in 2021 and has been writing freelance since. She has worked on Ideal Home’s ecommerce team where she researched the best home products on the market, and on the news team, researching the latest trends for feature pieces.