A beautiful fireplace can be the centrepiece of a home, providing immense satisfaction to you if you live there – and adding value to any property you're looking to let or sell. However, you'll need to make sure you're properly informed and prepared before installing one, as it can be a complex matter. Follow this basic guide to get started with fireplace ideas and to create the hearth of your dreams.
The first question to ask is: will your addition be purely decorative, or do you want it to be functional as well? At its most basic, a fireplace may be merely for show, and doesn't need to be functional in any way. This means you can place it wherever you like in a room – as long as it looks good.
However, if you'd prefer a functioning electric fire, you'll need to put the fireplace somewhere it can heat the room effectively, as well as providing a visual feature. The same applies to gas fires, which will also need to be carefully placed so as to allow for the appropriate venting to be installed.
And finally, you might be looking to burn wood. In this instance, you'll need to house the fireplace within a working chimney breast or have some sort of venting solution created. For any fire that is gas- or wood-burning, rather than electric, it's vital that you speak with a professional to ensure it's fitted safely and with the right kind of ventilation and placement. The same applies if you are looking to modify any of the walls in your home to accommodate a new fireplace.
When considering where to install your fireplace, you'll also need to take a look at the amount of space you've got to play with, as this will inform the size and style you choose. Larger versions should be reserved for more generous spaces, while a compact electric or non-heat-emitting model could fit onto even quite a narrow wall.
The most important thing is for the fireplace to be a feature of your room, but not that it completely dominates the space as though it were in a stately home.
The design of your fireplace can make the room it's in, depending on the interior design principles you choose to follow. Do your homework: scout fireplace ideas online and in manufacturers' brochures. You might want a traditional look with a brick or stone surround; alternatively, if it's a minimalist aesthetic you're after, go for something metallic with a glass door. Fireplaces that are grand or historic in style will fit best with period properties.
The safe installation and functioning of your fireplace is the main concern, as this relates directly to your well-being – be sure to enlist the help of a professional before going ahead. In the long term, the value of your property also depends on the fireplace design you choose, so be sure to consider the style of your home and the space it's going into.