Design Dilemma: Cozying Up to the Modern Fireplace
With winter in full swing, we’ve retreated indoors to cozy up beside the fireplace. What kind of fireplace are you sitting by?
These days, there are many options to choose from, ranging from contemporary to traditional, and we thought we’d take a look at the modern fireplace in all its permutations. Shall we?
What distinguishes a modern fireplace from a traditional one? Usually, a modern fireplace will have far less detail. Often, there is no mantle, but a flat, clean line that is most often left completely unadorned, but which occasionally provides a frame for a painting, and in some instances, a TV.
Below, an open concept living room in a London apartment virtually requires an open, streamlined fireplace, like the one below.
What’s so great about this fireplace is that the long, horizontal lines of the fireplace perfectly balance out the tall verticals of the room, which are emphasized by the vertical chimney that reaches for the skylit ceiling. The owners have avoided making the television the focal point by discreetly placing it off to one side. The message is that what is valued here is hearth and home, not staring into a screen.
Also in the contemporary vein is this double-sided fireplace that is built to conveniently heat and be seen in two rooms — a living room and a den. It’s the perfect way of maximizing the presence of a fireplace in your home, without maximizing costs. Here, the owners have opted to use the flat space directly above the fireplace to hang a painting.
We know that contemporary fireplaces look cool in contemporary spaces, like the modern dining room below:
But what about traditional spaces and period homes? Can contemporary fireplaces work there? You bet! The London home below is a typical, traditional rowhouse, with a formal entryway and crown molding. But somehow, the low-slung contemporary fireplace without a mantle or traditional hearth fits in perfectly with the elegantly simple aesthetic.
And again, in the rustic Russian cabin below, a fireplace contemporary in style, looks quite natural along with all the rusticity of the log walls, thanks to using a rough stone material on the fireplace to balance out the room’s rustic elements.
This contemporary fireplace in a London home has a TV screen built right in. While we’re not sure what this arrangement will do to the lifespan of your TV, it certainly is a space saver that acknowledges the importance of the TV in most homes today.
And another fireplace with the same idea, although this fireplace is made of stone. The stone helps to disguise to some degree the TV, making it a touch less prominent:
The asymmetric modern fireplace below with shelving and seating on each side is one of the few we have seen incorporating a mantle, which allows for leaning a photo.
One of the coolest fireplaces we’ve seen is this glass fireplace, that virtually disappears when it’s not in use.
Here’s another with the same idea:
Finally, this modern fireplace would seem to be just a bright red console or cabinet when not in use.
So as you can see, there are a million different ways to go modern with your fireplace. And a contemporary fireplace doesn’t have to mean boring!