If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace in your home, you know that it can actually be a tricky design feature to deal with. The existing fireplace may not match your design style, or the color may be too dark or too light for your room. Or, maybe it takes up too much visual space in the room, or not enough. But, how can you really change the look of a fireplace — isn’t it already, well, set in stone? With stone upgrades, the sky is really the limit. Below, we’ve got 3 clever ways to change up the look of your fireplace so you can finally have the hearth of your dreams.
1. Add a mantel shelf
Adding or changing the mantle shelf on your fireplace not only gives you an extra place to display pictures and your favorite home accessories, but it can also really change up the whole look of a room because of how it plays with visual weight and texture. If you’re looking for something dramatic, consider a thick natural stone slab as a mantle. The rough-hewn texture adds a little rustic elegance to the room while still looking impossibly chic and dramatic. If you’re a bit more traditional, consider a smooth block of marble, limestone, or onyx for your mantle, or consider a carved stone. Special artisans can carve intricate mantlepieces with different designs, from simple scrolls to incredibly ornate works of art — whatever your heart desires!
2. Face the front
Stone surrounds are an easy way to change up the look of the whole front of your fireplace. Sort of like a veneer, a surround takes thin pieces of stone and mounts them like tiles to the front of the fireplace. It’s much more cost-effective than replacing your fireplace front with large stone slabs, while still allowing you to pick from nearly any kind of stone in any look you could dream of.
There are also countless other ways to change up the front of your fireplace using stones, though they will be more of a construction project than a surround. Thick, smooth cobblestones and river rocks can add a ton of texture to your room while creating a homey, calm, and rustic feel. You may also choose to create a stone arch in front of your fireplace to get the look of a wood-burning stove, which you may just want to cook in! Granite blocks and broad, flat slices of slate create a stately, classic look, and can be arranged in regular or irregular patterns, depending on the feel you’re going for.
3. Consider the hearth
All fireplaces need a hearth, which is the stone platform that the fireplace sits on, usually extending about a foot or so away from the firebox (the part of the fireplace that houses the fire). Don’t forget to get creative here! Choose a unique stone for the hearth itself (the broad, flat surface that extends outwards from the firebox). If you’ve opted for a stone mantle shelf, it’s a good idea to get a matching hearth in the same stone and style. Usually, the outer hearth is decorated in the same style as the fireplace front or surround, but it doesn’t have to be. Consider using stones in a contrasting color to the rest of the fireplace, or go for more ornate, decorative stones to add a little extra flair.
Are you surprised by how dramatically you can change the look of your fireplace? The options are really endless when you choose natural stone! From stately, strong geometric blocks to charming cobbles and eclectic slate, there’s a stone to suit your needs. Not sure where to start? Check out our live inventory of stone and our fireplace projects to get all the inspiration you need.