By Hebe Hatton
While stone fireplace ideas may be synonymous with snow-covered chalets or remote mountain hunting lodges, this classic design can look equally at home in modern spaces, adding rustic charm and an instant coziness. From the more classic stacked stone designs to more minimalistic flagstone style, stone fireplaces can be adapted to suit any space.
And as the days get shorter and nights a little chillier, it's the perfect time of year to start giving your home a cozy update. Sheepskin throws and covering every surface with candles in various scents of spiced pumpkin is a lovely place to start, but nothing warms a house like a fireplace. So whether you want to give your current stone fireplace a new lease of life or considering having one installed, we have plenty of fireplace ideas to inspire.
1. Go soft and neutral with sandstone
A stone fireplace needn't always be the center of attention in a space. Keep it simple and choose a soft and light sandstone and matching grout so it almost blends in the walls, but still adds lots of lovely texture.
'I love the presence and texture a reclaimed limestone fireplace brings to a space.' says designer Marie Flanigan. 'One of my favorite ways to add impact, is to play with scale and go big. Many people don’t know that you can customize the size of you firebox to add height or width extensions, so that it fits correctly with an oversized mantle. I’ve always been inspired by John Saladino’s work, and they way he let’s the fireplace serve as the focal point of the space.'
In this calming neutral living room, the minimalist color scheme needs plenty of contrasting textures in order to add depth and interest, so the pale stone works perfectly, adding to the layers of linen, wood, and wool used through the rest of the room.
Note the addition of the simple oak mantle here too. Stone fireplaces are usually quite detailed in design so a decorative mantle would distract from the beautiful natural shapes and textures, instead choose something minimalistic to compliment the stone.
2. Keep it simple with a minimal stone surround
For a more minimalistic aesthetic that still adds a rustic vibe, opt for a simple design made up of rough-hewed stone slabs. It's a look that could be adapted for so many styles too. The steely grey granite used in this living room feels distinctly contemporary, and wouldn't look out of place in a sleek, uber-modern space, however, the addition of the wood-paneled wall, natural textures, and soft grey color palette give it a more modern country feel.
3. Create a rustic focal point
Simple, Scandi with just a touch of boho is the vibe of this living room and it's such an on-trend combination that feels cozy, laid back, and stylish. The focus of the room is of course the simple stone fireplace, the perfect contrast to the clean white walls, pale woods and soft textures. It grounds the space, giving the otherwise quite minimalistic, neutral style a focus. The mantel in the same stone as the surround gives a cohesive feel and adds to the satisfying symmetry.
4. Choose a classic stacked stone style
It's a classic look, a stacked stone fireplace. And it's such a versatile design too as you can choose between so many different stones that vary in color and pick the size too to create completely different looks. For a more rustic look, opt for larger stones – fieldstones are a popular option as they don't tend to have any flat sides so ofter a textured, rounded style. If you are after something more contemporary, slightly smaller stones that are similar in size and texture offers a sleeker look that still adds plenty of character to a room
Top tip, if you want to update your current fireplace, consider faking it with stone veneers that work almost like tiles and can be placed on top of brick to create a stone fireplace that's almost indistinguishable from the real thing.
5. Contrast an antique stone fireplace with modern furnishings
If you have been blessed with an original stone fireplace, fuse old and new by contrasting the traditional shapes and materials with modern furniture. See how in this living room the fireplace doesn't look out of place with its more contemporary surroundings. The simplicity of it means it doesn't overwhelm the room and in fact makes the modern furniture feel more elegant and fitting with the character of the home.
6. Add drama with floor to ceiling black stone fireplace
The perfect example of how stone fireplaces can work in more modern homes. The towering black bricks, which extend from floor to ceilings, add a dramatic focal point to this modern living room, and paired with the room low slung furniture appears even taller and makes the room feel larger. With this brick-like design, you still get all the texture of a stone fireplace but the clean lines and repeat pattern are better suited to a more modern space.
7. Add texture with etched stone
For a sleek stone fireplace idea, the obvious option is large flat slab stone tiles with minimal grouting to create a fuss-free surround. However, don't be afraid to add some contrasting texture, especially if you are going for a large area of stone flags. In this living room designed by Marie Flanigan, smooth limestone tiles sit around striated stone tiles in a matching limestone. The overall look is still chic and simple, but that extra texture gives the room a more rustic touch.
8. Make an original stone fireplace a centerpiece
If you had inherited this stone fireplace, there would be no way you wouldn't make it the focal point of your space. In this Barcelona apartment, a lot was done to modernize the space, including knocking down many of the walls to give it a more open plan feel. Bu the fireplace remained at its center, and not only does it create a wonderful contrast with the now modern style of the home, it also acts as a divider between the different zones of the open-plan layout.
9. Give a stone fireplace a modern update with paint
And if you have inherited a stone fireplace that's not exactly your style, have faith in a can of white paint to modernize the design but keep that original charm stone adds to a room. Just be sure to choose your paint carefully, if you're fireplace isn't in use a masonry paint will do the job, however, if the fire is lit you'll need a heat-resistant paint.
10. Install an outdoor stone fireplace for cozy evenings
Because stone fireplaces don't just look lovely indoors, they can make such a lovely addition to a backyard or a patio. One up from a fire pit, this outdoor heating idea can really extend your evenings outdoors. Surround it with chairs, pile up the blankets, and bring out some cozy cushions to create an outdoor living room that you can use all year round.
How much do stone fireplaces cost?
The cost of a stone fireplace will depend on the style, material, and size of your design. You could find antique or second stone fireplace surround for $2,000 or less if you are looking in the right places. For a stacked stone fireplace, costs vary from $2,500 to over $10,000 if you opt for a bespoke design. A veneer stone fireplace will cost less than going with custom-made solid stone.
Hebe is the Digital Editor of Livingetc; she has a background in lifestyle and interior journalism and a passion for renovating small spaces. You'll usually find her attempting DIY, whether it's spray painting her whole kitchen, don't try that at home, or ever changing the wallpaper in her hallway. Livingetc has been such a huge inspiration and has influenced Hebe's style since she moved into her first rental and finally had a small amount of control over the decor and now loves being able to help others make decisions when decorating their own homes. Last year she moved from renting to owning her first teeny tiny Edwardian flat in London with her whippet Willow (who yes she chose to match her interiors...) and is already on the lookout for her next project.
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