With fall and the holidays right around the corner, it’s a perfect time to give some thought to a welcoming fire in the fireplace. And fireplaces are always one of my favorite ways to find a focal point in a room be it living room, dining room, kitchen or master bedroom.  If you have one, use this wall as your starting point for both setting the tone of the room and arranging the conversational area.

Fireplace mantels and hearths can be as stylized as the exterior of the home and can reflect a traditional, old world, rustic or contemporary style.  And today, the availability of different materials and craftsmen make  a wooden mantel kit a rather stale option.

Elegant – lots of wooden moldings and intricate details that continue to the ceiling for vertical sophistication. Either stain a richcolor to mirror wooden beams or paint and glaze.


Lakehome – mix up stone at the base for a casual touch, then switch to an elegant tumbled marble up to the ceiling and top with a rich painted or custom stained mantel. Genteel – flank the fireplace with symmetrical library units. Have the mantel shelf mirror the wood tone or paint color of the library unit and bridge the gap in depth.

French Country – exaggerated plaster face inset with tumbled marble or hand painted, imported tiles.

We may not depend upon the fireplace as our source of heat or cooking fuel anylonger but don’t let it sit idle, use it as a draw for conversation and take advantage of the visual warmth it brings. Allow it to suffuse not only the room but your spirit with an impassioned glow.