By Nicola Caul Shelley, Synergy Design & Construction
Love it or hate it, the nights are getting darker and winter is on it’s way which means you are either looking forward to cozy nights in or are already thinking about the best places to go to catch some sun.
Either way, it’s the time of year when our attention turns to getting ready for the holidays and entertaining once again — and there’s nothing that creates ambience and a feeling of ‘home’ during the long winter months more than your fireplace.
It’s often one of the things that’s last on the priority list, but updating your fireplace can make or break how a room ‘feels’. So, if yours is a bit tired and you’re ready for an update, let’s take a look at some easy updates that will help your fireplace shine!
It’s amazing the difference the use of natural elements can make in the design of a room. Wood brings the outside in, helps ground the space and, when used in the right way, is the perfect way to blend finishes together. Wood feels right at home with both transitional and contemporary design.
In this recent home remodel in Reston, the fireplace in the family room was nice but, with nothing to break up the floor to ceiling height and bulky look, the stone overpowered the room. By making a few simple changes such as adding a new wooden mantel and adding a custom niche with wooden shelves (seen on the left on the ‘After’ photo below), the fireplace now takes on a whole new feel and provides visual interest. The original wood-burning fireplace was also converted to gas.
For their recent home remodel, Synergy’s owners, Mina and Mark Fies, were ready to upgrade the old fireplace in their primary bedroom suite. They opted for PrecisionFit™ Onyx stone by ProVia to cover the former plain brick exterior for a linear, contemporary look.
Although ProVia stone may be better known for exterior applications, it is a great option for indoor projects like wall accents and fireplaces because it installs easily and quickly.
Don’t write off electric fireplaces. Personally, we LOVE the look and flexibility an electric fireplace can provide. In this basement remodel in McLean, the basement rec room previously felt cold and the off-set fireplace was awkwardly placed. Enter the “Sideline Elite” recessed electric fireplace by Touchstone! The fireplace now provides a cosy central focal point with the T.V. placed above it — complete with theater chairs for family movie nights!
The use of tile on a fireplace facade is a simple and effective way to easily update your room without having to replace everything else.
As part of this home remodel in Vienna, we updated the fireplace in the family room for a more transitional look. The old stone which, in this case, dated the room was replaced with marble tile in a herringbone pattern. The wood burning fire was replaced with a Heat & Glo gas fire from Fireside Hearth & Home. The bookshelves and cabinets were not replaced, but the new fireplace gives them a whole new lease on life.
Fireplaces don’t always have to be in the Family Room or Basement. As a unique design feature, Mina and Mark Fies decided to remove an old gas fireplace in their family room and install a Touchstone “Sideline Elite” electric fireplace in their kitchen island instead. This allowed them to reclaim space in their family room and change the overall flow of the entire space.
In addition to providing visual appeal, electric fireplaces are practical, too. They are a great way to effectively and safely heat a room. Read more about Mina and Mark’s design choice here.
A word of caution: if you are going beyond updating your fireplace facade, ALWAYS hire a professional to install or remove both gas and electric fireplaces.
If your next home remodel needs more than just a fireplace update, we’re ready to help you rethink your space! As a local full service design build firm, we’ve been helping homeowners in the area create dream spaces for well over a decade. Find out who we are and what we’re all about here.
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