Decor, Expert Advice, Home

Spotted: Eternal Flames

There is nothing more quintessential about winter than hibernating by a fireplace. A fireplace instantly creates a focal point and adds warmth to the space. Recently, we’ve been sourcing fireplace inserts and working on fireplace design. Here are some timeless approaches that have kept us inspired this winter!

Fireplace Options

The first thing you must determine is what type of fireplace will work in your home. If you are building an entirely new home, you have more choice. If you are renovating or remodeling in an urban area, you may decide to go for a ventless fireplace that doesn’t require a chimney. There are lots of great gas fireplace insert options on the market with varying dimensions to ensure the fireplace will work in your space and enhance the room, rather than make it feel overly crowded. Considering the scale is very important.  Some of our favourite brands include Town & Country and Enviro.

Fireplace Styles

When designing the surround and picking the insert, always consider the rest of the home. From rustic decor to crisp and modern, there are so many options that will fit perfectly with your overall decor. It’s also nice to have some juxtaposition, and you can choose a brick liner in a herringbone pattern with a log set versus a black porcelain liner with a rock set depending on your style.

The surround should also be respective of the sensibility of your overall look.

Fireplace Surround

Your fireplace surround can be created from a number of different materials whether it be stone, marble, brick, or wood paneling.  Some of our favourite designs for fireplace mantels are included below.

Bolection mantels are the same across the top as on the two vertical sides. They create a simple, yet classic look that lend themselves to stone slab construction.

inspiration image

We love the look of the bolection style mantel in Cameron Diaz New York apartment designed by Kelly Wearstler below.


Alhambra mantels combine a traditional design with a contemporary twist. Larger than many mantels and with a strong architectural form.


For a more modern look, a sleek floor to ceiling marble or tile fireplace surround creates real impact.


Fireplace Decor

In terms of balancing the look of the fireplace and keeping it the focal point of the space, we prefer not to place too many trinkets on top of the mantel. Keep it simple. If the space is small, a beautiful mirror about the mantel enlarges the space. Flanking either side of the fireplace with two painting, consoles, or decorative art creates beautiful symmetry. We also love the idea of putting wallpaper or great printed fabric on either side to ground the space. Sconces and beautiful moulding on either side does the trick as well (reference photo of Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady’s home in L.A. below).

Image courtesy of Architectural Digest. Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady LA home.

Image courtesy of Architectural Digest. Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady LA home.

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