Interior Design: How fireplaces light up your home

Fireplaces have long been the heart of the home. Traditionally the centre piece of the living room, the fireplace creates a physical and emotional cosy glow, adding a sense of comfort and closeness as well as keeping you warm in the winter. Throughout civilisation, fires have been the cornerstone for communities, serving as a place for sharing, storytelling and coming together.

How fireplaces light up your home

Although fireplaces have changed little in concept over the years, the materials and styles available now are vast. Here’s how to find a fireplace that fits in seamlessly with your home's interior.  


Traditional log-burning fireplaces are perfect for a rustic living room. Brick, stone or wooden structures, perhaps with a mantelpiece, bookshelves or log storage built in, are a simple yet cosy addition. An exposed brick chimney is an effective way to introduce an industrial element to a warm, soft living room.


When it comes to modern fireplace design options, the sky’s the limit. To match your contemporary home interior, look for glass, metal or marble fireplaces. Designs with sharp, clean lines will blend in perfectly to a modern or minimalist room. You could also try a floating design as a quirky focal piece – modern innovation means fireplaces no longer need be restricted to one wall.


The original essence of the fireplace is, of course, as a means of warmth. Make the most of your hearth in the cold weather with new technologies, like fireplace inserts, which minimise heat loss. You can opt for modern electric or ethanol-utilising designs, rather than traditional logs and coal. You may also wish to have your fire linked up to your heating system for maximum efficiency.

A fireplace and chimney can provide a bonus function too. Your new addition can act as a room separator in an open-plan living space, creating a comfortable corner or some extra privacy.

In other rooms

There’s a tendency in home interior design to assume fireplaces belong in the living room, but that’s not the only place they can work wonders. In homes pre-dating modern heating, fireplaces were often found in bedrooms too. Although you’re likely have alternative heating, a bedroom fire can be the ultimate indulgence, especially if your winters are very cold. A bathroom fireplace is also truly luxurious. These are typically much smaller than the living room styles but add a relaxing and atmospheric effect to make a relaxing soak even more special.


If you have an outdoor space you adore in the summer, don’t let the onset of cold weather stop the fun. Make your garden, porch or patio available 365 days a year with an outdoor fireplace that's perfect for big get-togethers or romantic evenings. Brick structures are most common, with a large log pile to keep you going. Designate some ‘outdoor blankets’ and you're ready for cosy living outdoors.

At Engel & Völkers, we’re experts in luxury property and know all the latest interior design trends. For an insider look at our portfolio of beautifully furnished homes, visit our website today or pop into your local Engel & Völkers shop.

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