Heart & Soul Quartz Stone Surfaces

Create an elegant focal point just right for gathering with inside design strategies from the experts.

CityLifeStyle CAMBRIA Hearth Fireplace

An array of unex­pect­ed, even whim­si­cal objects on the man­tel draw the eye to the room’s focal point and cre­ate a sense of char­ac­ter.

Cre­ate a study in con­trasts y set­ting a dark (or light) fire­place sur­round and man­tel against a very light (or dark) back­drop : the effect is both ele­gant and dra­mat­ic.

Deep, rich­ly veined Cam­bria is com­ple­ment­ed per­fect­ly by the dark wood trim of the fire­place sur­round.

There’s noth­ing quite as invit­ing as a room warmed by a crack­ling fire and few archi­tec­tur­al ele­ments quite as impor­tant as a fire­place An array of unex­pect­ed, even whim­si­cal objects on the man­tel draw the eye to the room’s focal point and cre­ate a sense of char­ac­ter cre­ate a study in con­trasts y set­ting a dark (or light) fire­place sur­round and man­tel against a very light (or dark) back­drop : the effect is both ele­gant and dra­mat­ic deep, rich­ly veined Cam­bria is com­ple­ment­ed per­fect­ly by the dark wood trim of the fire­place sur­round.

There’s noth­ing quite as invit­ing as a room warmed by a crack­ling fire and few archi­tec­tur­al ele­ments quite as impor­tant as a fire­place. Ambi­ence, warmth, char­ac­ter : A fire­place can lend all three to your space, and can cre­ate a dra­mat­ic focal point at the same time. Fire­places cre­ate an inti­mate and invit­ing atmos­phere,” says Port­land, Ore­gon-based design­er Gar­ri­son Hullinger. But they can also play a big role in defin­ing the space and its over­all aes­thet­ic.” The mate­ri­als you choose to sur­round the fire­box, the design and arrange­ment of the man­tel — or the deci­sion to omit a man­tel entire­ly — can set such a strong tone for the room that some design­ers begin their work by plan­ning the fire­place. The fire­place almost always ends up cre­at­ing the wow fac­tor in a room,” says design­er Tineke Trig­gs, of San Fran­cis­co. It lends itself to using real­ly gor­geous mate­ri­als and to hang­ing art above it, so it’s a good place to begin a room plan : Start with the focal

STYLE AND MATERIALS

Like every­thing else in your home, the fire­place should feel like an organ­ic exten­sion of the archi­tec­ture, so let your house guide you as you dress the hearth. For a sleek, con­tem­po­rary look, con­sid­er a floor-to-ceil­ing col­umn of a sin­gle, non-com­bustible mate­r­i­al, like Cam­bria. For a more tra­di­tion­al effect, sur­round the fire­box in stone or tile, and then fin­ish with rich wood. Whichev­er style you pre­fer, be sure to keep any com­bustible mate­ri­als (like wood) at least 12 inch­es away from the edge of the fire­box. And, con­sid­er pro­por­tion. If you’re sur­round­ing the fire­place open­ing with stone, make sure the width and height of the stone area is in pro­por­tion, oth­er­wise you get these skin­ny lit­tle side strips and a top-heavy effect,” says Trig­gs.

Once the design of the fire­place is set, you can cre­ate a fur­ni­ture plan that rein­forces its dra­mat­ic impact. Run a sofa or sec­tion­al par­al­lel to the fire­place,” says Hullinger. With a large cof­fee table or ottoman cen­tered in the mid­dle and occa­sion­al chairs on the sides the plan cre­ates con­nec­tiv­i­ty, while allow­ing the fire­place to remain the focal point and an anchor­ing ele­ment in the room.”

ART AND ACCENTS

The area above the fire­place is the per­fect oppor­tu­ni­ty to show off your per­son­al style. Hang a favorite piece of art above the man­tel, being sure to light it well. And, dress the man­tel itself with a few care­ful­ly cho­sen objects. Here, less is real­ly more,” says Hullinger. Con­sid­er a piece of art with a cou­ple of arti­san vas­es that vary in size and shape set off to the side.”

Think­ing of hang­ing a tele­vi­sion above the man­tel ? Make sure it’s no more than 56 inch­es from the floor, says Trig­gs. Oth­er­wise it will be uncom­fort­able to view it from a seat­ed posi­tion.” And, help it blend in by paint­ing the wall behind it in a dark col­or, or by plan­ning retractable doors are art­work to hide it when not in use. That way, you have the con­ve­nience of the TV where you want it, with­out sac­ri­fic­ing the ele­gant look,” she says.

There’s noth­ing quite as invit­ing as a room warmed by a crack­ling fire use a free­stand­ing gas fire­place to divide a space, offer­ing warmth and flick­er­ing flames from three sides oth­er­wise unadorned, the sleek and seam­less fire­place col­umn in Cam­bria Dun­more receives a ground­ing fin­ish from base­boards in a deep, con­trast­ing tone high-tech heat new options include app-enabled fire­places that allow you to turn on or off the flames from afar.

Use a free­stand­ing gas fire­place to divide a space, offer­ing warmth and flick­er­ing flames from three sides.

Oth­er­wise unadorned, the sleek and seam­less fire­place col­umn in Cam­bria Dun­more receives a ground­ing fin­ish from base­boards in a deep, con­trast­ing tone.

High-tech heat new options include app-enabled fire­places that allow you to turn on or off the flames from afar.

CityLifeStyle CAMBRIA Hearth Fireplace Room

Writ­ten by Aman­da Lecky /​Pho­tog­ra­phy by Steve Henke
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