As we head into the heart of winter, there’s nothing more romantic than curling up in front of a beautiful fireplace, am I right? I certainly have fireplaces on the brain right now. We’re lucky enough to have four – count them – four fireplaces in our new/old house. Yes, that sounds excessive to me too, but it was the only way the house was heated for I don’t even know how many years (though we do have central heating now, thank goodness). I’ve never designed a fireplace before, let alone four so I’m trying to figure out what the heck to do! I’ve gathered my top seven inspiration images to give you a sense of where I’m currently headed.


Our dining room, living room, master and guest bedrooms will each feature a fireplace. Very cool? Yes. A touch overwhelming? Absolutely! Two of the fireplaces will be entirely decorative – our dining and guest bedroom. The other two will feature gas inserts. Regardless of their function or lack thereof, I still want to pay homage to the heritage of the house and create some stellar focal points. But there are so many variables to consider. There’s scale, size, the types of materials you use, any decorative elements, what the hearths should look like…the options are rather endless I’m afraid.

After scanning reams of Pinterest pages and doing some Google image searches I have begun to zero in on the general look I think we need to go for. I’m particularly drawn to 19th century Louis XV style mantels. Their curvature is so sexy! The designs often featured ornate carvings and some sort of crest at the center. But then again, stately English styles that featured a cleaner square design are also rather fetching. They certainly lend themselves to my more minimalist aesthetic. So then I’m torn. I do know that our original fireplaces also featured arched openings so I think at least one or two will need to have that design element.

With the clock ticking down on our remodel, it’s time to go into decision mode. I’d love to hear which fireplace you love the best. And if you happened to dealt with putting new fireplaces into old houses please share any tips or tricks you might have! I’ll be sure to compile all the knowledge and share it back out.

If you missed any of our remodel updates CLICK HERE

If you’re curious about the before pictures CLICK HERE

If you want to see more of my design inspirations CLICK HERE

What I’ve learned about renovating an old house CLICK HERE

image 1 via // 2, 3 via // 4 via // 5 via // 6 via new york times // 7 via pinterest

What do you think?

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  1. My hubby and I both lovvvvve sitting by the fire. If had a fireplace, it would totally be The One Thing I Could’nt Live Without! Check out what my friends said when I asked them…

  2. I love the last fireplace, not too plain or ornate. It won’t compete with the rest of your rooms decor but can stand on its own. Classy without going overboard. The others are too ornate or plain. I love what you are doing and how it’s all coming together. Say hi to Christopher for me! I’m Maureen’s high school bff.
    I was sorry I didn’t make it to your baby shower . Carter is darling. I have a grandson named Carter as well. Mo and I laugh about that.

  3. They are ALL lovely. The arched ones slay me. Welcome to Seattle today!

  4. I have four fabulous fireplaces in the 17th century apartment my husband and I are renovating in Carcassonne, France. They not only have elaborately carved marble mantles but also high-relief decorations at the top of the chimneys (which are up there–the ceilings are 12 feet high). You can see the renovation in progress, as well as musings about life in the South of France, at