Modern fireplace ideas: 10 ways to work the contemporary style

Fireplaces may be one of the most traditional aspects of our homes, but there are plenty of ways to keep them fashionable and current. Opting for modern fireplace ideas will keep the heat in, without slacking off in the style department.

There are all kinds of fireplace ideas out there, so finding the perfect design for your space is easier than ever.

“Over the last ten years we have seen a move towards more contemporary style stoves,” says Declan Kingsley-Walsh, Managing Director, Morsø UK (opens in a new tab). “Consumers view their stoves as a focal point for their home as well as an efficient way to heat it.”

“With its combination of comforting warmth and the visual impact of roaring flames, a stove is the perfect way to create a cozy ambience in a room,” adds Vicky Naylor, Manager, ACR Stoves (opens in a new tab).

Our picks will help you update your fireplace and create a stylish talking point in your living room. Some ideas are based on more traditional designs and will create a rustic, edgy appeal, while others will bring a direct modern touch, so there’s something for everyone.

Neutral living room with roaring fire in the wall behind the coffee table and armchairs

(Image credit: Future PLC)

10 modern fireplace ideas

Our ideas cover everything from the best fireplace designs to how to style them to create a beautifully contemporary aesthetic. No doubt your modern fireplace ideas will soon be one of your favorite aspects of the home, brimming with style and trend.

1. Consider an electric fireplace

Neutral living room with electric fire, two walls decorated with ornaments on each side

(Image credit: Solution Fires)

Electric fireplaces come in a variety of stylish designs and can instantly make your home more modern. They can also heat a room much faster and more efficiently than traditional wood-burning fireplaces, which comes in handy if you’re wondering how to keep your home warm in the winter.

“One of the many benefits of electric fireplaces is that, unlike wood-burning stoves, they can be set up and installed wherever you want because there’s no need for a chimney,” says Andy Hitchman, Managing Director of Solution Fires. (opens in a new tab). “Requiring only a standard electrical outlet, an electric fireplace offers the user much more flexibility.

2. Create a trendy media wall

Gray wall with large flat screen TV and electric fire

(Image credit: Solution Fires)

Bespoke media walls, with a flat screen TV recessed above modern electric fireplace ideas, are an increasingly popular interior design feature. Media walls can be custom built to suit the specifics of your home, which is perfect if you’re working with small living room ideas.

“A stunning focal point, a media wall captures your attention the moment you enter a room and neatly encloses any messy wiring for a totally sleek finish,” says Andy of Solution Fires. “They also work to maximize space and disguise clutter by encapsulating all of your media devices, such as game consoles, TV recording boxes, and even surround sound speaker bars.”

3. Or opt for a traditional wood-burning stove

Log burner under TV, next to built-in bench to store logs underneath

(Image credit: Future PLC)

If electric fires aren’t really your thing, traditional wood-burning stoves are also becoming more and more trendy lately. The rustic edge of a stove fireplace offers a lovely focal point in modern living room ideas, and there are plenty of contemporary designs to choose from.

“Contemporary burners have glass panels that are now taller and wider, so you can really enjoy the beauty of a wood burning fire,” says Declan from Morsø. “This contrasts with older wood stoves which had smaller windows.”

4. Add a contrasting color

Gray living room with yellow accents, central fireplace with yellow fireplace frame

(Image credit: Future PLC)

To make your modern fireplace ideas a focal point in the room, choose a color to contrast the area from its surroundings.

You can use living room paint ideas on the fireplace mantel, surrounding mantel, or just the wall behind the fireplace in any color you like so your eye is naturally drawn to the space as you enter the room. Then match the chosen accent color with other decor and furniture pieces.

5. Style the mantle shelf

White fireplace with vases and candlesticks under the artwork

(Image credit: Future PLC)

If your fireplace has a mantel, use it to display eye-catching features. Lucy Henderson, Interior Design Manager, My custom room (opens in a new tab), recommends adding objects of different heights and contrasting shapes. “Tall candlesticks next to a shorter plant, or pictures of different sizes placed next to each other, will add interest to the space.”

6. Add a log storage basket

White armchair and table next to wood burning stove with log storage basket

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Whether you have a wood burning stove or not, a log storage basket placed next to modern fireplace ideas adds a rustic touch to a contemporary space and is an increasingly popular interior choice. You can add a linen blanket to the basket to bring a cozy texture to the space. This simple touch will make the fireplace comfortable all year round.

7. Add tiles to the wall

Fireplace with blue tiles surrounded by a white mantle, in a gray and white living room

(Image credit: Future PLC)

“A tiled fireplace can be used to create or complement a whole range of looks,” says Harriet Goodacre, Tile Consultant, Topps Tiles (opens in a new tab). “Whether you’re looking for a cozy, country vibe, chic, classic marble or stone, or inject some personality with a bold, bright patterned tile to add a maximalist look.”

Tiling the space around your modern fireplace ideas helps make it a focal point of the room. Opt for tiles in a fun color for a more vibrant aesthetic, or an earthy neutral if you’re taking a more minimalist approach.

8. Hang a centerpiece over the fire

Large mirror above dark fireplace with ornamental ceiling light in front room

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Hanging a large mirror or artwork on the wall is a trendy way to elevate the fireplace as the focal point of the room. You want to select something that stands out while still tying in with the rest of the space, such as artwork with colors that match your theme. For gray living room ideas, an ornamental mirror works well.

9. Or leave the wall plain

Terracotta walls with fireplace in the center, bookcases on each side

(Image credit: Future PLC)

The alternative to creating modern fireplace ideas with walls is to just keep it simple. This helps the fireplace stand out and can work well if you have a nice cast iron stove. You will want to add elements of visual interest to the walls on either side of the fireplace to accentuate the contrast.

10. Complete the look with a vase of flowers

Stove fireplace with white mantle, topped with a vase of pink flowers

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Having a bouquet of fresh flowers in the front room is always nice, and positioning them over the fireplace can really help cement a beautiful aesthetic. “Display a bright bouquet of colorful plants in the center of your fireplace to create a fun, welcoming and happy feeling in your room,” suggests Andrea Waters, Head of Brands at Portmeirion (opens in a new tab).

What is the current trend for fireplaces?

One of the current trends for modern fireplace ideas is to create a media wall with an electric fire. “Many clients are now opting for modern, bespoke media walls, which are an increasingly popular interior design feature, incorporating an electric fire as the perfect finishing touch,” says Andy of Solution Fires.

“Electric fireplaces come in many different styles and sizes, with highly advanced technology that provides the user with an incredibly realistic flame effect.”

On the other hand, the other popular trend for buying a fireplace in modern homes is to have a traditional stove or a wood-burning stove with a contemporary design. “Stoves with cylindrical and curved shapes and with the possibility of being wall-mounted or raised on a simple pedestal are becoming very popular,” says Declan from Morsø. “There is a real shift from the more boxy, bulky, pastoral style of stove that has been perpetuated over the past 100 years.”

How can I make my fireplace more modern?

An easy way to achieve modern fireplace ideas is to mount your TV above it, if possible. This is one of the benefits of having an electric fireplace, as you can pair it with your TV to have a definite focal point in the room.

Another option is to tile the space around your fireplace. “When it comes to buying a new fireplace, I see more and more people opting for wood-burning stoves with openings that have beautiful patterned tiles and a simple wooden shelf above,” says Lucy from My Bespoke Room.

Harriet from Topps Tiles agrees. ‘Tiling is a great way to add interest and express your personality. By tiling this small area, you could revamp the look of your entire room.

“Be sure to choose the right type of tile for the high temperatures your fireplace can reach,” she adds. “We recommend porcelain tiles as they will provide the necessary strength and durability.”

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