Too often I hear folks talk about how a fireplace should be a feature in a room. But what does that really mean? A feature means the particular element should be the main attraction in the room - everything else in the room plays second fiddle. This doesn't necessarily mean it is the only design element of note in the space but it should be the one design feature that really grabs your attention.
So, what does it really mean to create a fireplace that is a true feature? Here are some examples that to me defines what it means to be a design feature. They aren't all the biggest or boldest elements in the room, but they all are the most important. Let's look at each one separately.
Stone elegance. Okay, let's face it. Not all stone fireplaces are equal. Too many of them are big stone monoliths without any real character or true design. Throw a rustic mantel on it and I've seen it a hundred times if not more. How does one create a truly unique stone fireplace that's a real feature? The key here is in the subtle elements - small built-in accessory shelves, an offset stone mantle and a small brick detail at the top of the fireplace. All these elements help create a truly unique and beautiful element.
Structure for real impact. A relatively simple fireplace opening is integrated into a study in architectural simplicity. Beautiful caramel-colored wood is offset by a cool cement gray structure punctuated with a simple ribbon fireplace. The swaths of texture allow the flames to shine as an ever-changing element in this world of structure.
A hidden feature that isn't hidden. Sometimes it's not about being all "in your face." This simple surround fits seamlessly into the room with similar tones and textures as the furnishings. It is the elegance through simplicity that draws one's attention to the fireplace wall.
Playing double duty. This is a beautiful example of how to create a feature fireplace that plays more than one role in the room. Besides the simple and elegant structure of the fireplace, the entire unit also works as an architectural element in the room as a wall between the room and the stairwell in the back of the room. The dark Venetian plaster walls play off the white stone emphasizing the structure.
Play with incongruity. One of JBi's favorite design elements is to mix contemporary and vintage elements in the same room. This juxtaposition of eras provides viewers a moment of interest in the space. In this room, the classical fireplace is made to be incongruous with the mirror above it. The struggle these two elements have in capturing our attention is what makes that entire wall the feature in the room.
Now that you've seen some amazing feature fireplaces, how would you want to change your fireplace to make it the star in your space?
If you're interested in changing your existing fireplace out to be a real feature, contact JASON BALL interiors to get started. We look forward to helping your design the perfect space.