How to Update & Upgrade an Existing Fireplace

  • Article by: Sally Wood @ Richard Ellis Design

Are you staring at a tired old fireplace and wondering if it's easier to just brick it up? Updating and upgrading an existing fireplace doesn't have to be difficult. The misconception is you need to rip the whole thing up and start again. This couldn't be further from the truth.

Whether you're dealing with a 100-year old heritage fireplace that just needs a little bit of love, or a gaudy-looking 1970s nightmare, all you need to do is change the surrounds. With a new fireplace surrounds, you can change the entire look and feel of your home.

What Is a Fireplace Surround?

The surround is the design element that frames the fireplace. They look like picture frames, and they can be added directly to your existing fireplace to entirely update and upgrade it. So, all you have to do is choose your favourite frame and have it fitted. It's as simple as that.

Heritage Options

Sometimes going back is the best way to go forward. Heritage is a popular design option because it never goes out of style and heritage fireplace surrounds give you so much versatility. Whether you go with polished marbled or carved-timber, the right surround can work in almost any décor - from the traditional to the coastal and of course, the minimal. 

If you want opulence, you can't go passed white marble. If you're going to keep things simple and pared back, go white timber with minimalist detail.

The Ultra-Modern

Black marble is a brave choice in material, but that's precisely what ultra-modern design is - brave. This material, combined with a sleek surround will make your fireplace an instant eye-catcher while still keeping everything clean and classy.

If you want stone but are baulking at the price of marble, consider limestone. It's just as elegant and refined, but you can save on your quote. 

Creating Warmth

If your fireplace surrounds don't make you want to sit around the fire, then they aren't doing their job. Yes, they have to be stylish, and they have to fit the overall décor of the room, but they also have to do their most important job - pick up warmth.

Wood and stone do this perfectly. Stone absorbs the heat from the fire, and wood picks up the glow and creates the hygge we all need in our lives.

Don't Forget the Foundation

Without the right grate, your fireplace will be both drab and inefficient. Remember, your fireplace won't always be full of roaring logs. You need a beautiful grate to ensure it looks its best, even when it's not on duty.

The right grate will also give you a longer, stronger fire by cradling the logs and pushing them out and down as the burn away.

Don't waste your home's greatest asset. A fireplace needs to be a design piece, and with fireplace surrounds the renovation process is so easy that you really have no excuse. Just pick out the perfect fireplace surround for your need, and you've got an instant fix to a fireplace that has become an eyesore.  

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Published: 24/08/2020
Author: Sally Wood
Company: Richard Ellis Design