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How to Choose Interior Design Elements Based on Your Fireplace

A fireplace often serves as a focal point of any room, helping to bring people together for a cozy, relaxing experience. For this reason, it’s important to consider your fireplace during the interior design process to ensure your home remains cohesive.

So if you’re planning to update the appearance of your living room or family room, here are tips for choosing a design based on your fireplace. Or, if your fireplace doesn’t match the design aesthetic you had in mind, there are also tips for updating your fireplace, so it lines up with your vision.


Your fireplace is the focal point of the room, providing structure to use as a reference point for interior design. So if you’re planning to transform the look of your living room or family room, look to your fireplace for inspiration since it is the main feature of the room.


Consider these tips when planning your interior design:

Tie in Fireplace Design/Materials/Colours to Your Overall Design

Does your fireplace have a traditional look, or a sleek, modern design? And what are the colours and materials of your fireplace?

While your overall design doesn’t have to match your fireplace, it should complement it. So tie in the fireplace design when choosing colours, materials, and an overall look for the room.

Place Your Furniture Facing Your Fireplace

Arrange your furniture so that it faces your fireplace. Consider making a square with your furniture when organizing your armchairs and sofas. And place the coffee table in the middle of the chairs and sofas.

Also, make sure your furniture is a safe distance from your fireplace—at least 3 feet. Otherwise, the heat from the fireplace will risk damaging your furniture and potentially cause a fire.

Keep in mind that you don’t want any of your furniture blocking the view of the fireplace, either. But an accent chair by the fireplace is a welcome touch.

You also want a clear path between the furniture and fireplace so there is no risk of people walking too close to the fireplace.

Make Your Fireplace the Focal Point of the Room

If you have a large room with your fireplace in the centre of a wall, consider placing your sofa opposite the fireplace with smaller furniture pieces, like swivel armchairs, placed perpendicular to the couch.

You can also make the fireplace a focal point in the room by arranging two sofas facing each other and perpendicular to the fireplace with a coffee table in the middle.

For smaller rooms, consider using two loveseats facing each other instead of two sofas.

Hang Your TV above Your Fireplace

If you want a TV in the room, consider combining it with your fireplace, so the fireplace will still be the main focal point of the room.

Mounting a TV above your fireplace is an excellent and practical use of space. Just make sure the wires are well hidden in the wall and the screen isn’t exposed to high heat levels.

If hanging a TV directly above your fireplace isn’t an option, consider hanging it on the same wall as the fireplace, but slightly to the left or right of the fireplace to maintain one focal point in the room.

Or if the fireplace is in the corner of the room, consider creating one seating area near the fireplace and another for watching TV.

Add Character with Moulding

Moulding around a fireplace adds texture, depth, and character to the room. So consider adding moulding that will ultimately enhance the look of the fireplace and make it a stunning focal point of the room.

Use Paint to Add a Pop of Colour above the Fireplace

Another way to make a fireplace stand out and improve the overall appearance of a room is by adding a pop of colour above the fireplace. This can be done by painting the mantel or chimney wall.

Add Décor to/Above Your Mantel

Whether you want a subtle, minimalist mantel with a mirror, or an overcrowded mantel, with overlapping artwork and chunky candle holders and flower vases, your fireplace mantel is the perfect spot to add décor to your room and make a statement with this focal point.

The mantel is also the ideal spot to decorate a room based on the seasons, so make use of this décor space in your home.

Have a Clear Vision of Your Personal Design Aesthetic

To get an idea of what you want for your interior design, check out home decorating websites for inspiration. And print out photos of rooms that speak to you and the vibe you want for you home so you can get a better idea of where to start.


If your fireplace doesn’t match the design aesthetic you had in mind, here are tips for changing your fireplace to better line up with your vision.

Increase the Hearth Height

If you raise your fireplace hearth off the floor by about 15 to 17 inches, you can create additional seating around the fireplace. And the material of this raised hearth—such as tile—can provide an accent finish for the room.

Re-Do the Surround and Mantel

Re-doing the surround—the 3- to 4-inch material surrounding the face of your fireplace—can help make a subtle design statement. Surrounds are often made of stone that reflects heat well, such as slate, granite, or marble. And these surrounds come in various colours, so you can find one that will complement your interior décor.

Another option is a cast or wood surround and mantel combination to enhance the stone surround with an additional surround made from plaster or wood.

Cast and wood surrounds that come with mantels typically have shelves that range in length from 48- to 72-inches. With a mantel shelf, you can accessorize your fireplace to suit your interior design and the different seasons.

Add a Chimney Wall

You don’t need a chimney to have a chimney wall. Many direct-vent gas fireplaces are still adorned with chimney walls to complement the home, add height to the room (making it appear larger), and enhance the hearth by adding depth and beauty to the fireplace.

Chimney walls can be sleek and subtle or large and extravagant to suit your interior design vision and the statement you want to make with your fireplace. Common chimney wall materials include brick, slate, field stones, stacked stones, and drywall.

So whether you want to upgrade your fireplace to suit your home, or you’re planning to update your interior design, keep these tips in mind. Your fireplace can complement your space, adding to the overall appearance while also being the most admired part of your room.