Everyone loves a fireplace, that symbol of hearth, home, and cozy nights spent cuddling up with the ones you love. Fireplaces are practical architectural elements and decorative accents all in one that serve as a natural focal point in any room—from the living room to the family room to the bedroom and beyond—and when decorated properly can add a cozy feel even if they're not.
If you are lucky enough to have a fireplace but aren't sure how to decorate it to make it look its best even when it isn't filled with a roaring fire, check out these fireplaces in a range of materials and styles for inspiration.
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Add a Tile Feature
In this living room from Judith Balis Interiors, a black-and-white patterned tile surround enhances the neutral decor scheme, and a chunky mantel painted black adds a modern touch. Lower built-ins flanking the fireplace with matching table lamps and accessories add symmetry, and a pair of tall rectangular mirrors with slim black frames reflect light and double views. A color photo of a white long-haired bull over the fireplace is an animal-friendly alternative to a traditional trophy head that will put a smile on everyone's face.Continue to 2 of 57 below.
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A cylindrical fireplace on a curved wall clad in the same tile adds quiet drama that highlights the architecture of this spacious living room, complete with a grand piano and a conversation area for after dinner drinks by the fire.Continue to 3 of 57 below.
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Make It a Double
The floor-to-ceiling double fireplace in this Hamptons home from Michelle Gerson Interiors is covered in warm wood slats that add texture and warmth to the airy white-walled room, and act as a room divider between seating areas. The firebox is trimmed with a recessed frame with a slightly worn patina that adds interest to the bright and modern space.Continue to 4 of 57 below.
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Preserve Exposed Brick
While everyone loves a roaring fire, if your fireplace isn't in working condition or you don't use it to burn firewood, don't miss the opportunity to treat it as the natural focal point that it is. If you have an original exposed brick fireplace that lends authenticity and a sense of history to your space, even better. In this London flat designed by Emilie Fournet Interiors, the aged patina of the bricks on the fireplace adds texture and interest to the light, neutral-toned room, and a chunky modern pale wood mantel adds a modern rustic feel.Continue to 5 of 57 below.
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Wallpaper the Built-Ins
Caroline Andréoni Interior Design gave the classic French fireplace wall in this Paris living room a refresh with moody tones of blue and black, with peacock blue paint and a patterned wallpaper wall behind the dark shelving on the built-in bookshelves flanking the period fireplace. In place of the large mirror typically hung over the mantels of French fireplaces, the designer hung a smaller version of a classic Louis Philippe mirror that pops against the paint color and puts a gentle spin on tradition.Continue to 6 of 57 below.
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Lighten It Up
Not every fireplace is the main focal point of a room. In this open plan 1956 John Calder Mackay house living room from Cathie Hong Interiors, the midcentury modern brick fireplace was painted in a soft white that gives it a clean, textured look. A pair of armchairs, a small table, and a Greta Grossman-designed Grasshopper floor lamp create a cozy reading spot and conversation area that floats in the middle of the spacious room.Continue to 7 of 57 below.
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Stain It Dark
This living room fireplace from Billings, MT-based Kibler & Kirch has a rich dark wood stain that gives it presence and that pops against contrasting white walls. To customize the mantel, principal Jeremiah Young hung a mirror made from salvaged hickory saplings that he designed for Old Hickory Furniture. Antique books, two wooden sculptures including one of a bighorn sheep and a sketch of a Native American chief that nods to the region’s history round out the mantel decor.
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Hang Large-Scale Art
Leanne Ford Interiors decorated the blush pink wall above the curvy white wood mantel in this young girl's room with a large-scale image of a carefree kid in motion on a skateboard, leaving the mantel free for a changing assortment of favorite objects.Continue to 9 of 57 below.
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Add a Glass Front
Interior designer Jessica Davis of Atelier Davis chose a sleek glass-front fireplace with a flat charcoal gray chimney wall and matching joinery around the fireplace insert, adding a sculptural metallic wall accent to create a clean, modern look.Continue to 10 of 57 below.
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Frame It Out
If you're going to commit the modern interior design crime that is hanging a flat screen over your fireplace mantel, if you can afford it, at least make it a Frame TV so that you can fill the blank screen with art or photography when you're not binge-watching your favorite series, like this living room from Brexton Cole Interiors, rather than leaving a glaring black mark on your room decor.Continue to 12 of 57 below.
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Use Dramatic Marble
The veined black marble fireplace in this Art Deco-inspired bedroom from Emily Henderson Design creates a dramatic focal point, while a gallery wall of black-and-white sketches in identical white frames hung in neat rows hanging on the wall above the mantel adds a modern graphic touch.Continue to 14 of 57 below.
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Paint It Pink
In this charming English kitchen from deVOL Kitchens, a simple firebox without a surround is outfitted with a wood-burning stove, while the chimney wall is painted in cotton candy pink that, paired with vintage art, an antique chandelier, a green tile backsplash, and gold accents, creates a dreamy and eccentric space.Continue to 15 of 57 below.
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Follow the Roofline
This contemporary fireplace from Urbanology Designs mixes black, white, and wood to fit seamlessly into the modern living room, while black paint on the chimney wall reaches up to the ceiling to highlight the shape of the pitched roofline.Continue to 17 of 57 below.
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Make It a Whole Wall
Leanne Ford Interiors created a full wall fireplace feature with a graphic 3-dimensional feel finished in a concrete skimcoat in this modern living room. A pair of oversized pottery vessels fills the off-season firebox.Continue to 18 of 57 below.
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Add Cobalt Accents
This London living room from Emilie Fournet Interiors mixes old and new, with a simple large round mirror hung over the classic marble and ironwork fireplace. The mantel is decorated with colored glass and candles in striking cobalt blue, adding contrast to the warm gray walls and complementing the gold-toned accents and modern furniture throughout the room.Continue to 19 of 57 below.
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Erin Williamson Design layered stacked framed artwork with a few small sculptures on this squat, wide midcentury modern living room fireplace that detract from the wall-mounted flat screen and help fill the space to give the eye something to focus on when the fire is out.Continue to 20 of 57 below.
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Leanne Ford Interiors added a vintage metal wood-burning fireplace on this inside of this rustic 1906 cabin stone fireplace that adds practicality and retro charm that fits in with the whitewashed rustic chic design of the rest of the interior.Continue to 21 of 57 below.
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Studio Peake added a zingy black-and-white zigzag tile surround to the classic white wood fireplace in this spacious London living room that adds a graphic modern touch.Continue to 22 of 57 below.
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Add Vintage Charm
A classic Swedish tiled wood-burning stove that is both decorative and functional adds a note of antique charm to the corner of this modern, neutral-toned living room from Fantastic Frank that transcends time and trends.Continue to 23 of 57 below.
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Go for Granite
A massive gray granite fireplace is topped with a chunky wood mantel and a bronze elk mount by artist Ashley Tudor in this modern rustic Jackson Hole, WY guest house from WRJ Design. The animal theme is continued throughout the room with a cow hide rug and a pair of animal portraits above the home bar.
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Tile All Over
A bold graphic patterned tile fireplace is just one of the striking design elements in this living room from Leanne Ford Interiors with its dark wood ceiling beams, aged bronze pendant light fixture, black leather Chesterfield sofa, crimson velvet armchairs, and sculptural coffee and side tables.Continue to 25 of 57 below.
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Fill It With Greenery
In this cozy dining room from Sarah & Sons Interiors, the non-working original fireplace is painted in the same blue as the rest of the walls to create a seamless and cohesive feel, while a leafy green plant obscures the empty firebox.Continue to 26 of 57 below.
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This dining room fireplace from Leanne Ford Interiors is layered with flowery decor details—from the floral flourishes on the carved surround to the black-and-white floral tile detailing, a mirror above with a frame decorated with carved vines, large scale floral wallpaper, and a pair of vases with fresh flowers on the mantel.
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Hang Black-and-White Photography
Bozeman, MT-based Envi Interior Design transformed this ski-in, ski-out chalet in Big Sky, Montana’s Moonlight Basin, trading yellowing pine for modern white walls and dark-painted trim. A large-scale black-and-white photograph over the fireplace complements the modern feel of the room while reflecting a snowy scene that recalls the local landscape. The fireplace includes built-in recessed storage for firewood, while a contemporary sculpture by a local Bozeman artist adds another texture.Continue to 30 of 57 below.
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Add Gilded Details
Leanne Ford Interiors hung an ornate gilded mirror on the minimalist fireplace of this all-white living room and added a shiny bronze antique fan fireplace screen in front to gild the lily.Continue to 31 of 57 below.
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Pencil It In
Leanne Ford Interiors added a playful touch above the living room fireplace by adding a line drawing of penciled-in objects and decor that adds a surprising homemade touch to this well appointed neutral-toned living room.Continue to 33 of 57 below.
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Build It Out
Louis Duncan-He Designs turned the fireplace wall of this black-and-white living room into a graphic high contrast display for a vinyl collection, layering art with a vintage-style mirror on the mantel of the all-white fireplace that gives it presence while allowing the rest of the decor to stand out.Continue to 34 of 57 below.
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Add a Firewood Niche
Emily Henderson Design added a graphic framed print above the firebox and stacked a tall fireplace wall niche with firewood that is both practical and decorative, filling the the wall without upstaging the wide open picture window view.Continue to 35 of 57 below.
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Paint It Black
Laquita Tate Interior Styling + Design painted the tall brick fireplace in this spacious and light-flooded living room in a matte charcoal black shade that anchors the room and is a great foil for touches of green and gold.Continue to 36 of 57 below.
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JLF Architects and Natasha Wallis Interior Design contrasted floor-to-ceiling glass-and-steel windows with an artisanal stacked stone fireplace wall in the primary bedroom of this Park City, UT home. A reclaimed wood mantel adds character and contrast while an oil painting from the homeowners’ Western art collection and a bold blue rug add color.
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Use Warm Metal Tones
Kasey Fitzgerald Design added warmth and contrast to a classic white wood and marble fireplace by layering art and objects with a vintage-style mirror and candlesticks in warm gold-toned metals.Continue to 38 of 57 below.
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In this retro living room from Maestri Studio, a monumental stone wall fireplace feature and vintage furniture and decor gives the room an authentic midcentury modern feel that looks like it's been that way forever.Continue to 39 of 57 below.
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Tone It Down
Austin Gray Design Group kept the wall above the corner fireplace in this primary bedroom suite blank to keep the focus on the wallpaper and keep the room from feeling too busy. A pair of chairs and a small table define the space and create a cozy spot for a glass of wine before bed.Continue to 40 of 57 below.
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Louis Duncan-He Designs designed a custom gas fireplace with built-ins on either side to create a central focus, painting the front in a textured green that gives it presence and originality.Continue to 41 of 57 below.
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Reference Your Surroundings
WRJ Design hung a barn painting above the rustic reclaimed wood mantel on this stacked stone fireplace that is reminiscent of the many original barns found throughout the local Jackson, WY area.
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Mix Old and New
In this London bedroom from Emilie Fournet Interiors, a wall of closets are built in seamlessly around an original non-working fireplace that is painted in royal blue that makes it stand out against the modern wall treatment and creates a natural focal point opposite the bed that feels comforting even without the fire element.Continue to 44 of 57 below.
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Make It Disappear
While a classic French fireplace is often the focal point of a room, in this sophisticated French living room from Caroline Andréoni Interior Design, it's covered in the matte black paint found on the walls and ceiling, making it nearly disappear into the enveloping moody feel of the room.Continue to 46 of 57 below.
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Add Neutral Layers
Finding Lovely added a patterned tile surround in a subtle flower motif to refresh this primary bedroom fireplace while sticking with the light neutral whites and beige toned palette of the space. A decorative mirror, artwork, and objects are layered on top of the mantel to give it a finished feel.Continue to 48 of 57 below.
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Keep It Contemporary
Folding Chair Design Co. added a streamlined marble surround to the fireplace and hung a pair of modern bronze wall sconces and a wavy round mirror that add a contemporary feel to this airy living room.Continue to 49 of 57 below.
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Ashley Montgomery Design added black herringbone tile laid in a horizontal herringbone pattern on the inside of this white painted brick fireplace to add subtle variation while sticking with a neutral palette. A chunky raw wood mantel with a muted landscape painting hanging on the wall above adds warmth.Continue to 50 of 57 below.
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Make It Kid-Friendly
In this charming kids room from Curated Nest Interiors, the non-working fireplace becomes a purely decorative focal point and touchstone thanks to a gold-toned round mirror and a plant, while a fluffy sheepskin placed in front gives cozy vibes without the fire hazard.Continue to 51 of 57 below.
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Stucco It Out
In this sunny living room designed by Michael Keck for Emily Henderson Design, an intricate tile surround on the firebox and decorative dark-stained wood pedestals beneath a niche decorated with art and objects complement the smooth stucco fireplace and add a sense of authenticity to the design.Continue to 53 of 57 below.
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Urbanology Designs added a tall arched mirror with a slim frame above the gray fireplace in this neutral-toned, high-ceilinged living room that brings the eye upward and reflects light and views.Continue to 54 of 57 below.
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Leave It Alone
A monumental fireplace wall of original brick in this historic Los Angeles adobe home from Home Consultant sets the tone for the room, complementing wide plank wood floors and dark wood ceiling beams for a warm and authentic feel.Continue to 55 of 57 below.
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Add Plant Ledges
This midcentury modern-inspired fireplace from Louis Duncan-He Designs has stacked stone that extends to the ceiling and a pair of small staggered plant ledges hung on either side that are filled with trailing plants to add a note of greenery to the mineral facade.Continue to 56 of 57 below.
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A series of identically framed sailboat pictures hang on the wall above the fireplace in this space from Curated Nest Interiors that draw the eyes up to the showstopping ceilings.Continue to 57 of 57 below.
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Emily Henderson Design added a colorful framed painting above the mantel and a blackened antique metal fireplace screen in front of this vintage wood and brick fireplace that add a sense of originality and complement the adjoining stained glass framed window.
What types of fireplaces are there?
There are many types of fireplaces, from wood-burning to ventless gas to ethanol-powered, and electric. And there are even more variations when it comes to style and materials. Whether your fireplace is made of brick, tile, wood, stone, stucco, metal, or any combination of the above will help determine how you choose to decorate and embellish it.
How do you decorate a fireplace?
If you use your fireplace, you can incorporate decorative screens, vintage andirons, and tools to add charm and interest. If you can't or choose not to light a fire in the hearth, you can fill it with LED flame or wax pillar candles, plants, decor objects, decorative firewood, or even books for an eclectic feel. Whether you use it or not, you can treat the mantel as a rotating display of favorite objects or seasonal decor that can be rotated in and out throughout the year.