What’s better than gazing into a crackling fire? Nearly as satisfying: checking out cool fireplace pictures in other homes. Today’s hearth has undergone a makeover, and the traditional fireplace has transformed into a wonderful — and sometimes wacky — conversation piece. Peruse our collection of fireplace pictures that will warm up your soul!
Don’t call this fireplace “unused.” Although fires aren’t stoked in this hearth, it’s found a second life as storage for kids’ toys and games — and some aspiring young artist has discovered that the slate surround makes an excellent chalkboard. The traditional wood mantle adds warmth and character to the room, even when the flames aren’t roaring.
Fireplace Pictures That’ll Warm Your HeartOld World Whimsy
For centuries, durable, fireproof ceramic tile has been used to make expressive fireplace surrounds, with color and style giving clues to architectural eras. With its mottled green tile and arched opening, this newly built surround recalls the work of famed early-1900s architect Louis Sullivan. Cost: about $195 per square foot.
Fireplace Pictures That’ll Warm Your HeartSleek, and Smart
Want to fire up your fireplace? Give it a call. New-gen gas fireplaces respond to iPhone and Android apps so you can turn on the flames before you leave work. The smartphone apps are free; this modern gas fireplace starts at $9,500.
Fireplace Pictures That’ll Warm Your HeartRockin' It
A classic, the stone fireplace has been warming homes since ancient times. Using rock available at local quarries is a sustainable living choice that trims the transportation costs baked into the prices of stone. Look to pay $20 to $40 per square foot, installed. Manufactured stone — faux stone replicas made of molded concrete — closely mimics dozens of kinds of natural stone for $15 to $20 per square foot, installed.
Fireplace Pictures That’ll Warm Your HeartSmiles of Tile
Did you break a ceramic cup or plate? Don’t toss those shards! You may have the beginnings of a colorful and upbeat fireplace surround. This one is made with broken pieces of tile. If you’re clumsy, you could save enough pieces to make your own. If not, look for cheap tiles at garage sales and where salvaged building materials are sold. Wrap tiles in cloth and break them with a hammer.
Image: A Whimsical Design
Fireplace Pictures That’ll Warm Your HeartThe Peek-A-Boo Fireplace
With glass doors on either side, this direct-vent gas fireplace creates ambience from every angle and looks great as part of a partition wall dividing living areas. Direct-vent models are especially energy-efficient fireplaces. With that much glass, however, you’ll need to clean your fireplace regularly.
Image: Steve Rasnick
Fireplace Pictures That’ll Warm Your HeartWorld’s Most Beautiful?
You may not know it, but the Gyrofocus steel fireplace was voted the World’s Most Beautiful Object at a 2009 Italian design competition. It’s been displayed at New York’s Guggenheim Museum and the National Centre of Contemporary Art in Grenoble. This wood-burning fireplace is suspended from the ceiling and rotates 360 degrees. Cost: About $20,000.
Fireplace Pictures That’ll Warm Your HeartUnderstated Elegance
Inspired by a pattern used by fabric weavers in northern India, this carved stone fireplace surround ($2,800) is a study in quiet beauty. It’s made of limestone that’s embedded with tiny fossils. It’s paired with contemporary steel andirons — sometimes called fire dogs — that suspend the firewood above the hearth for better air circulation and combustion.
Fireplace Pictures That’ll Warm Your HeartPixelated Pyrotechnics
Got a fireplace but not the willpower to chop the wood, bring it inside, and get your flame on? These digital tongue-in-check flames are printed on canvas and made to fit any non-working fireplace opening. A 24-by-24-inch fireplace cover is $15. Ambience — such as it is — is free.