Fireplaces are one of our favourite works of art in a room. Whilst they are functional, they are the bones of any space, providing a special focal point and playing into the many textures of the space.
From ornate beautifully carved stone, to antiques saved from reclamation yards, fireplaces always help to tell the room’s story. So gather round and take a seat beside our fire, whilst we share our top tips and tricks for fireplaces.
1. DO use antiques
Sitting at the fireside is a centuries old practice, there is something so romantic and nostalgic about taking a seat beside a fire with a book or a glass of wine. Using a special antique fireplace is a sure fire way to give a room a beautiful aged quality.
There is an authenticity that a fireplace like this one at Charlotte Street Hotel provides, with its slightly charred and beautifully weathered stone mantel.
This fireplace at Covent Garden Hotel has a wonderful ornate stone face and wooden surround. The play between the wood panelling and the carved stone are just some of the many layers of history in this space, it is grand yet cosy.
2. DO accessorise
If you have a simple fireplace, a great way to create an interesting focal point in the room is to dress it up and accessorise with collections.
This little hearth in my kitchen has a robust collection of antique charges on a plate rack, drawing your eye to this corner of the room. On the mantle, I arranged a fun collection of glass vases and candle sticks which reflect the light coming into the room.
We always look for fun and whimsical oddities, such as these chatting ladies atop the fireplace in Ham Yard Hotel’s lobby. They are a fun and unexpected accent on the grand limestone.
This lovely antique French fireplace in this cosy drawing room has been dressed up with wooden sculptures, a little model boat and logs in the cubby at the bottom. These elements are all simple but come together to create a curated feel.
This fireplace is ablaze with a floral cluster, rather than a typical roaring fire. If your fireplace isn’t used often or is predominantly decorative, then popping in fun pieces such as this painted bouquet or a little puppet theatre brings life to a dead space within the fireplace.
3. DON’T be afraid to use smoke and mirrors
If you don’t have a fireplace in your home, don’t let that stop you! We have been known to install fireplaces in our newest properties such as Ham Yard Hotel.
If you build out a section of your wall to allow for the inside of the fireplace, then a ‘faux’ fireplace can immediately feel as though it’s been there for all of time.
We paint the back of the fireplace black, and sometimes add in a faux fire which works wonders to create the feeling of a very real and usable fireplace.
4. DO make it your focal point
Fireplaces tend to be the focal point of any room, but using symmetry and creating furniture layouts around a fireplace will create balance and add a wow factor. Here, we were able to create a wonderful symmetry with the artwork, lighting and furniture around the fireplace.
5. DON’T forget to listen to the room
It’s so important when dressing or designing any room to have a chat with it first. What does the room need? What is the energy and feel for the space? If you’re dealing with a romantic and cosy space like this panelled library at Charlotte Street Hotel, then an ornate fireplace is probably the way to go.
At Crosby Street Hotel, this fun and zippy room has a really simple fireplace. It pops out, as does the Joe Tilson artwork above it. Here it’s more about a simple punch rather than something romantic.
Then again, this suite at The Whitby Hotel is so wonderfully traditional, it almost needed a more masculine and geometric fireplace to keep the room from becoming overly fussy. It’s all about striking the balance.
6. DO play with height
When you have high ceilings in a room, fireplaces with tall pediments above are a must. This fireplace in the lobby at Charlotte Street Hotel is simple and sophisticated, with a feeling of humble grandeur. It makes the room feel finished and helps to draw your eye up to appreciate the height of the space.
We hope our fireplace dos and don’ts get you excited about a new fireplace for your space or inspires you to dress up an existing one. After all, home is where the hearth is.