6 Before and After Fireplace Makeovers That Have Transformed These Focal Points From Tired to Showstopping

These fireplace makeovers have made the most of a traditional architectural feature, creating a cozy interior and a beautiful design-forward focus of the room

A fireplace in a minimalist setting
(Image credit: Lee McShane. Design: Corinne Mathern)

A fireplace is often heralded as the heart of the home. A lit fire exudes warmth and coziness, and can transform a room to bring real atmosphere. But a fireplace makeover can feel a little overwhelming - where to start, what materials to pick for durability, let alone the complexities and legalities of lighting a fire in your home. But these beautiful renovations prove it's worth the research and effort.

We've been putting together plenty of before and after stories on Livingetc recently, but these top five fireplaces are loved by the team. Here are the 6 living rooms that have been given a new lease of life and utterly transformed the space.

1. A dramatic marble surround fireplace

A fireplace in a living room

(Image credit: Phillip Harrison)

An after shot of the fireplace

(Image credit: Phillip Harrison)

This living room is utterly unrecognizable after a Phillip Harrison of Phillip Harrison Interiors transformed the space. 'The fireplace was relocated from the front room which we redesigned to become a home office, and we integrated it into the new living room,' explains Mark Schubert of Phillip Harrison Interiors.

'The original fireplace was sealed many years ago and was non-functioning. We wanted the new fireplace to have an impact on the space but also wanted it to be more contemporary.'

The designers added a Nero Marquina marble surround around the firebox and a ribbed wood paneling which they painted in Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black. 'The paint added such texture and depth,' says Mark.

2. A neutral space that feels calming and serene

A before shot of a fireplace

(Image credit: Ome Dezin)

A living room with original fireplace

(Image credit: Austin Leis. Design: Ome Dezin)

Ome Dezin transformed this property in LA with a beautiful renovation that reimagined the living room.

Prior to the renovation, the home lacked imagination and was severely dated with mismatched flooring and a large kitchen filled with 1960s tile. The beautiful Spanish villa now offers a resort-like quality with forward-thinking design, gorgeous views of the Hollywood Hills.

'Devils in the details’ and for this fireplace hearth we didn’t want to have to cut the circular pattern of the floor tile but rather play with it, combining both marble and tile material,' say longtime friends and founders of Ome Dezin, Joelle Kutner and Jesse Rudolph.

3. A bland living room turned moody and luxurious

A living room with fireplace

(Image credit: Studio Sven Principal)

A dark themed room with a black fireplace and an orange accent chair

(Image credit: Image credit: Photography Credit: Ryan McDonald / Stylist Credit: Kimberly Swedelius)

The living room makeover was designed to suit the client's passion for entertaining. The existing two-story fireplace was minimal – just a stand-alone firebox and floating mantle. The rest was naked drywall spanning two stories. 'This was the perfect opportunity to add a more traditional element, so we featured a black marble mantle by MATERIALS, made to fit the existing firebox,' says Studio Sven principal, Lauren Svenstrup.

'Then we chose a monochromatic reflective wallpaper over the fireplace surround to add more texture and visual interest, while still placing emphasis on the mantle.'

4. A fireplace that brings a focal point to a relaxing bedroom

A before shot of the fireplace in a bedroom

(Image credit: Jessica Gellar)

An after shot of a fireplace in a bedroom

(Image credit: Jacob Snavely. Design: Jessica Gellar)

This design proves you don't need an original fireplace to introduce one to a room, and that even the smallest of spaces can fit a fireplace bespoke to your bedroom.

'The picture window was high and felt unbalanced, so we actually added a fireplace where there previously wasn’t one,' says Jessica Geller, New York-based designer at Access to Design at The New York Design Center and co-founder of Toledo Geller.

Jessica chose to frame the piece with a stone surround. 'We used a gorgeous limestone mantle, and a brass metal surround. Because the fireplace burns a cartridge gel, a hearth wasn’t needed in this installation.'

5. A minimalist transformation

A shot of the fireplace before

(Image credit: Corinne Mathern)

A minimalist fireplace

(Image credit: Lee McShane. Design: Corinne Mathern)

Instead of adding a dramatic frame to this fireplace, interior designer Corinne Mathern decided to remove the marble and expose the fire pit, giving it a minimalist look and feel.

Corinne transformed this room and gave it her signature calming aesthetic. 'The fireplace had so many materials mixed in a way that felt busy,' explains Corinne. 'We took it down to natural materials and gave the space a chance to breathe.'

6. A dramatic marble surround

Before shot of a fireplace in a living room

(Image credit: Jonathan R. Beckerman. Design: Evelyn Benatar, Access to Design at The New York Design Center)

Marble style fireplace

(Image credit: Jonathan R. Beckerman. Design: Evelyn Benatar, Access to Design at The New York Design Center)

Finally, Evelyn Benatar of Access to Design at The New York Design Center gave this house a total renovation. 'We transformed the fireplace by installing a custom mantle crafted from Arabescato marble,' says New York designer Evelyn Benatar.

'Additionally, we refreshed the living room flooring with sleek poured concrete and elevated the ceiling's aesthetic with white oak shiplap, significantly enhancing the entire appearance of the fireplace wall.

Focusing solely on the fireplace wall without incorporating the other upgrades would not have achieved the same remarkable outcome.'

3 fireplace accessories to elevate the space

Oonagh Turner
Livingetc content editor and design expert

Oonagh is a content editor at Livingetc.com and an expert at spotting the interior trends that are making waves in the design world. Writing a mix of everything and everything from home tours to news, long-form features to design idea pieces on the website, as well as frequently featured in the monthly print magazine, she's the go-to for design advice in the home. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.