In Canadian interior design we have a glorious tradition of having a glowing fireplace in the home’s main gathering room. Many homes have more than one fireplace and they are always a focal point and a desired addition to the character of the home. Whether the home be large and formal or small and casual, we very often find the fireplace as a jumping off point for the interior design process. Even where there is no genuine fireplace we often patch in a mantle and hearth for the cosy look of a room with a fireplace. A three-sided fireplace has the advantage of creating a focal point between two rooms. When not in use, this type of fireplace remains light and bright and is somewhat of a novelty.
Maximize you family’s enjoyment of the fireplace if you are lucky enough to have one. Arrange your furnishings around it as a focal point. Having a fireplace in other rooms of the home greatly increases the cozy feeling of that room. This use of the fireplace as focal point can often lend a sense of drama to a room design. Believe it or not, a fireplace is an excellent addition to a bathroom.
A chair next to the fireplace in the den creates a perfect reading spot. Interior design during the summer months may involve placing an arrangement of dried flowers or an interesting piece of art on the hearth ( photos courtesy of Better Homes or Houzz). At Christmas, nothing looks more fabulous than over the top seasonal mantle decor. In contemporary interiors, less is more, though. A big part of the impact of the fireplace and its setting is the lack of clutter and the streamlined appearance.
A bedroom fireplace brings warmth and relaxation to a cosy retreat. A view of the flickering flames from the bed maximizes the view. A gas fireplace with a remote control is perfect for this situation. When you are ready for sleep, simply switch off the flame with a touch of a button. This aspect of interior design whereby we are able to take something such as a fireplace that doesn’t get used a lot because it is too much work carrying wood and cleaning up soot can be very positive. Changing the fireplace from wood burning to gas burning is much more practical.
Kitchen fireplaces add warmth to the centre of the home. A wood-burning gas look-alike tucked into a tile-lined niche enhances a casual décor. A more practical application in a chilly basement can supplement the home’s heating system, whether wood or gas fueled. Antique-style stoves perfectly complement a traditional décor plan. Sometimes we use an alcohol type fuel to create real flame in room designs where we are unable to install gas or where the fireplace facing used would not be allowed by code. Whether the decor plan is light and contemporary in colour, darker and dramatic, or somewhere in between, the cozy factor is retained.
Extensive cabinetry often accompanies even a sleek, contemporary style fireplace. Many clients desire a mix of open and closed storage in order to enjoy displays of beautiful accessories while hiding more prosaic but functional possessions. Others want the drama of clean and simple architecture and forgo entirely the storage aspects. A mix of materials can also be effective on the face of the fireplace.
With the addition of a fireplace to a room design, the interior design plan gains the ambiance of a hearth and mantle. A fireplace warms the heart whether your design preferences lean toward traditional or contemporary.
Marguerite Roberts, who heads the interior design firm of Mulberry Interiors can assist you whether you are located in Oakville, Mississauga, Burlington, Etobicoke, Milton, Georgetown, Vaughan, or western Toronto. Home decorating for a room often starts with the focal point of the fireplace and the furniture sourcing and space planning or custom draperies that complete the décor scheme.
Most often, accessories and artwork are displayed on a mantle in a symmetrical fashion. This is a simple approach and often very pleasing to the eye. This is a formal look and is exactly what a lot of people find pleasing. It is not necessarily as pleasing for a more casual look. The asymmetrical arrangement is a little trickier to achieve. Balance is the key. It can be beautiful if well done.
Since 1993 Marguerite Roberts of Mulberry Interiors has been assisting clients in Oakville, Mississauga, Burlington, Etobicoke, Burlington, Milton, western Toronto, and Vaughan. We specialize in residential interior design and decorating and are at our most creative when we use colour as our theme. We offer a full range of interior design products and services such as fine furnishings, custom window coverings, area carpets, space planning, choosing paint colours, soft furnishings, lighting, accessories and flooring selection.
Call Mulberry Interiors now at (905) 849-6423 to book a consultation. We look forward to working with you to increase your enjoyment of your home.