Modern fireplace ideas are a reminder that no matter what material possessions you have in the 21st century, warmth is one of those primal requirements that all of us instinctively crave.
But if you have a new-build property or apartment, the architecture of your home may not suit the classic fireplace ideas we think of, with chestnuts roasting or marshmallows roasting.
Contrary to the traditional furnaces we've become familiar to, these stylish stoves have evolved in design and functionality.
Modern fireplace ideas for maximum impact
These new-age ideas have a lot of tricks up their sleeve. Some are eco-friendlier than older models, others camouflage themselves into contemporary interiors - and many, quite literally, look out-of-this-world with their avant-garde aesthetics.
So, what are you waiting for? Burn baby burn with these fashionable fireplace designs.
1. Create an appetizing dining room space
Whether you're warming the cockles in winter with a big bowl of stew, or sipping on something sweet or strong, incorporating a fireplace or stove into your dining room ideas is a tasteful option.
Take inspiration from this dining room with a classic Victorian fireplace with marble surround and mantel. Add low-lit statement lighting and candles, creating a warm and intimate atmosphere. Incorporate velvet chairs for a soft tactile touch.
2. Offer a warm welcome with an entryway fireplace
Whether you've come in from the cold, or are inviting guests round for the first time, nothing says 'welcome' like bit of warmth to hug and envelop you from the contrasting conditions on the other side of the front door.
Installing a modern fireplace into a hallway idea can instantly make a big impression. The simplicity of this cassette-style insert fireplace is striking, when paired with the plush patterned carpet and marble surround.
Make the most of the space with a large, black-framed mirror that perfectly ties in with the fire below. When guests come over to check their appearance, they'll inevitably benefit from the temperature of the fire below - whether they want to dry off from the rain, or warm frostbitten hands.
3. Choose a 'plug and play' design for apartments
This modern fireplace idea looks so chic in this white living room - don't you agree? And popping it inside the wall was a breeze as one expert comments:
'For those who live in apartments, tiny houses, or high rise condos, electric fireplaces are a great option as they can be installed where other hearth products cannot,' says Lauren Piandes, marketing assistant at Massachusetts-based, Electric Modern (opens in new tab).
'Installation is a breeze with plug-and-play capabilities, ultimately saving costs on installation and venting. Simply find out outlet and voila!'
Budget-friendly accessories such as a Berber-style rug and grey LVT flooring elevate an otherwise plain space adding instant coziness.
4. Create a warm and cozy Mediterranean space
Modern fireplace ideas don't have to be associated with the autumn winter season. They can also be used to provide nostalgic memories of vacations past.
To emulate this look, bring together a period fireplace with lots of natural materials alongside soft pastels and the sun-bleached hues of terracotta, plaster and pistachio to create a calming, laid-back vibe. The olive tree in the corner gives this space a relaxed Grecian-like look and feel.
But if in your head, you're still thinking: 'It's all Greek to me' when it comes to styling, one retail expert spills the tea on how to make this scheme your own.
‘The indoor/outdoor style with its relaxed holiday feel makes spaces feel inviting and sociable, places that you want to spend time in,’ says Philippa Prinsloo, partner and head of product design home, John Lewis & Partners (opens in new tab).
5. Go minimalist with a fireplace that's tucked away
OK, so we've seen minimalist beige room ideas - but this is something else... If you want to make a statement without going OTT, a bespoke, peek-a-boo style modern fireplace might be your thing. This coupled with the ornate wall detailing is goals.
'I’ve curated a few fireplaces over the years, and one of my favorite designs is this one that’s actually inset into the wall,' says Bryan Maniotakis, founder of minimalgoods (opens in new tab).
'It features a graceful bend that allows the light to peek through, and is complimented with a live edge wooden seat to tie it all together. It was designed by Spanish designer Lorna De Santos (opens in new tab).'
'The fireplace was created using formed concrete. It’s one of the best materials to use for these creative designs because it’s relatively affordable, it’s non-combustible, non-toxic, and tends to keep the heat contained.'
It's all about texture in this space, so paint your walls in a chalky, concrete paint and add a boucle sofa, polished stone tables and wooden chairs.
6. Incorporate niches for decorative items
This ultra modern fireplace in an open plan living room creates a welcome focal point. The design incorporates a wall surround featuring a mix of statement-making features.
Mary Maydan, principal and founder of Maydan Architects explains more about the fireplace design, 'The fireplace, which was surrounded by a brick structural wall and clad with slate tile, stood in the way of our vision. Our objective was to make the fireplace look like a desirable feature, rather than a badly planned inheritance.'
'We stylized the fireplace wall so it became a well-designed feature that adds warmth and coziness to the double height room. We designed niches for wood logs and for decorative items. We also fit a concealed door at the bottom right of the wall for electronic equipment and a speaker for surround sound on the left.'
7. Don't require heat? Choose a design with flame-effect
We couldn't believe our eyes when we saw the extent to which this modern fireplace company had gone to to make this feature feel 'real'.
For example, there is an optional decorative flue pipe kit to complete the look along with a black glass top and choice of 2 black glass hearths allowing you to make this electric stove look as authentic as its wood burning counterpart.
And, the incredibly realistic 3D holographic flame projection has 4 flame settings that don't feel novel. This is because the flame projection technology creates flames in the front, middle and back of the fire bed which a choice of optional blue flame, gives greater ambiance and realism. Plus it's super energy efficient.
'Our modern electric stoves now use LED lights, which are very energy efficient and can cost next to nothing to run,' says Vicky Naylor, general manager at ACR Stoves.
8. Choose a planet-friendly, plant-derived fuel source
If you're looking for an eco-friendly fire with a smokeless flame, Le Feu's (opens in new tab) sustainable, modern fireplaces run on bioethanol fuel, for a planet-friendly alternative to a wood burner idea.
Bioethanol, made exclusively of plant parts, corn, soybeans and sugars, is considered the most environmentally forgiving fuel alternative in the market. It doesn't smoke or smell making it ideal for your home and your family's health, especially if they have allergies or asthma.
This wall model doesn't take up any floor or ceiling space - a perfect small apartment living room idea. Installed with a functional hinge bracket, you can move it 90 degrees to the left or right to direct the heat to a particular part of the room. It looks right at home set in this minimalist living room with lots of natural home accessories.
9. Take it outside with a modern garden fire pit
If you're lucky enough to live in a more temperate climate to enjoy your outdoor space year-round, opt for an outdoor fireplace idea.
This stylish fireplace is the centerpiece of this outdoor living space. Create a similar look by combining a stylish low profile outdoor seating arrangement, plenty of trailing plants and a grouping of lanterns to make the space feel even cosier.
'The autumn months are all about layering. During the colder months we decorate our interiors with textured throws, decorative cushions while sitting in front of a roaring fire. The same can be said about our gardens. Never before has the word ‘cozy’ been associated with the garden,' says Jonny Brierly, CEO of Moda Furnishings (opens in new tab).
'Now, however, people want to give their garden a cozy feel, making it an extension of their homes. With the introduction of fire pits, people are applying the same interest in the design of their homes to the design of their gardens.'
10. Create a Scandinavian chic design
Young or old, when we think of Scandinavian design, we might think of magical memories associated with Lapland. Perfect for families with young children, this glass-panel fixed hood, Filofocus modern fireplace by Focus Fireplace (opens in new tab) is a nod to the infamous winter wonderland.
This refined and original design was awarded the Gold Medal for Design at the Batimat trade exhibition in Paris, and the Silver Medal for design in Stuttgart. So you can be sure that your investment comes with global kudos.
Mixing white with light wood is a quintessentially Scandi design concept, so we'd advise a wood or laminate living room flooring idea, and wooden accessories like this stylish Stag accessory. When the weather gets colder, layer your spaces with faux fur for a cozy cabin-style space.
Oh, and see that living wall towards the back of the room? It's giving us all the Nordic forest feels.
11. Add abstract elements to contrast
More often than not, conventional mantelpieces are sleek, rectangular and boxy in nature. So, why not soften this scheme with an assortment of curvy lines and abstract art.
Styled by interior stylist, creative consultant and art director Hannah Franklin (opens in new tab), this living room uses soft shapes in the form of sofas and small tables to add interest and comfort. The wall decor idea above the fireplace comprises of abstract lines and colors to give this space a relaxed and free-spirited feel.
To finish, Franklin has used a variety of round vases and ceramicware to give this room a lived-in look.
12. Choose a fireplace made for family time
Despite what modern day living throws at you, you should always make time for family. And this set-up is perfect and practical for spending time with your loved ones. This cassette-style modern fireplace idea slots perfectly into a space below the flat-screen TV so would work really well as a small living room idea.
Styled with deep blue paint, the unit makes clever use of the alcoves, providing tons of storage opportunities.
13. Zone an open-plan apartment with a fireplace
If you live in a studio apartment, or have a home with an open-plan layout, the space can often feel like one big room. But, when weighing up the pros and cons of open plan living, we came across this idea of zoning the scheme with a strategically-placed modern fireplace.
Installed just in front of a lower wall that leads into the kitchen, the Gyrofocus by Focus Fireplaces (opens in new tab) makes use of the higher ceilings in the living room, drawing the eye up.
This award-winning design was the first suspended, 360° pivoting fireplace and in 2019, was voted the 'World's most beautiful object' in a battle against 100 designer objects in Italy's Pulchra design competition.
14. Go for a modern coastal feel with exposed brick
There's nothing like a staycation in a cottage to give you a home from home sense of familiarity. And this holiday home has lots of creature comforts including this cozy exposed brick fireplace!
Located by the beach, this property is a real pic 'n' mix of contemporary coastal, with an industrial chic feel. We can't get enough of this modern fireplace idea, which although electric, is styled with logs within the inset of the original traditional fireplace design.
'The fireplace perfectly complements drizzly days and brisk evenings on the shore,' says @beside_the_sea_holidays (opens in new tab), a company offering self-catering stays by the seaside.
A blue door and sofa gives off nautical vibes while the exposed brick and Brooklyn 5 Wire Pendant in Brass by Industville (opens in new tab) toughen up this calm and quaint accommodation.
15. Or fake a traditional brick look with wallpaper
If you are wondering what type of fireplace to install for an industrial style abode, look no further than this fine example. This warehouse style apartment has incorporated a modern wood burning stove set in an exposed brick alcove.
'There’s a reason that the industrial trend is one that keeps returning to our walls. The perfect blend of classic and contemporary design, an industrial effect wallpaper is a way of bringing the classy, stripped-back aesthetic of old factories and industrial spaces into your home.' says Alex Whitecroft, head of design at I Want Wallpaper (opens in new tab).
'This minimalist style is all about raw, natural materials, making it the ideal option when looking to frame your fireplace or the perfect ploy for transforming a painted or papered chimney breast back into its original brick magnificence – all without needing to bring the builders in.'
16. Go against the (wood) grain with colorful flames
If the thought of orange-red embers feel a little too traditional, take things up a notch with a colorful and unconventional flame design.
'One of the benefits of electric fires is that you can set the ambient mood giving the owner incredible versatility to suit their individual taste,' says Andy Hitchman, managing director of Solution Fires (opens in new tab).
'You can use one of the six preset options through the remote control, via Alexa or through the Solution App. Not only do our one of a kind, built-in fires offer a completely relaxing and luxurious experience, but they also have the ability to be entirely customizable for your comfort.'
Love the look of the Lunar Panoramic Installation preset? Light up your living room with this modern SLE150 (opens in new tab) fireplace.
17. Make a freestanding fire stand out with wall decor
Unlike insert fireplaces, freestanding modern fireplace ideas can enhance all sorts of properties, whether they are traditional, contemporary, eclectic - or a mix of all three styles.
Not only this, but these designs also offer the flexibility of positioning your appliance against the wall for space, in an existing fireplace slot or by making it the center of attention in an open-plan room as long as the flue can be fitted through a wall or ceiling.
In this living room, the fireplace sits against dark blue wall decor which perfectly contrasts the orange embers of the fire, while the wall art ideas in similar shades of red and orange complement the burning logs.
18. Add a modern fire screen
Stoke your style with some modern fireplace accessories. Glowing and glamorous, this fire screen by Jonathan Adler (opens in new tab) with its gem-like orbs and icy blue glass and polished nickel waves will give your fireplace a facelift and send your hot stuff credentials soaring.
What does Ecodesign mean and why is it important?
'Ecodesign is a European Standard that guarantees stoves installed after the 1st of January 2022 meet a new higher, minimum efficiency (75% Net efficiency) and a reduction in the maximum level of NOx's and carbon partial emissions,' says Declan Kingsley-Walsh, managing director of Morsø UK (opens in new tab).
'Running parallel with Ecodesign, UK stoves will still need to be approved by DEFRA to burn wood in smoke-controlled areas, making them eco-friendly, as well as a very cost-effective way to heat your home. From 2022, you will no longer be able to purchase or install a non-Ecodesign stove.'
How can I minimize my emissions?
'Investing in a modern, clean burning Ecodesign Ready stove can reduce emissions by up to 90% compared to a traditional open fire for example.' says Phil Wood, Contura (opens in new tab)
“Ecodesign Ready stoves have been engineered to burn wood more completely. The targeted introduction of combustion air at higher levels in the fire box of the stoves reignites the combustion particles before they can leave the stove.'
'This technology reduces particulate emissions by 90 percent compared to an open fire or 80 per cent compared to a stove of 5-10 years old. It can also lead to significant reductions in Carbon Monoxide, Nitrous Oxides and Organic Gaseous Carbon compounds (OGCs).'
'If you have an open fireplace or an out of date wood burner, consider replacing these with a wood burning stove that meets the Ecodesign Ready regulations. To optimize efficiency, it is important to choose a size of stove to suit the room size you want to heat.'
'The stove should be cleaned out regularly to remove excess ash, soot and debris, as this will ensure a more efficient burn and minimize smoke. Get your stove serviced by a professional chimney sweep once a year, as this will troubleshoot any issues and ensure the stove is working at its best year-round.'
'To minimize emissions, it is also crucial that you burn the right fuel, learn to light the fire correctly and refuel the stove at the right time.'
What are the rules about smoke control in the UK?
'Restrictions on wood burning in towns and cities are determined by criteria given in the Clean Air Act 1993,' says Kingsley-Walsh.
'You will need to check with your local authority before purchasing a wood-burning stove to ascertain if your property falls within a smoke control area.'
'A wood-burning stove can only be installed in a restricted zone if it has been approved with DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) as an exempt product. You should consult with the stove manufacturer or authorized dealer to establish a stove's compliance.'
Where should you place a fireplace in a room?
'Our homes and living styles of today all differ from each other. The traditional practice to center the fireplace in the middle of a room has been liberated with modern fireplaces,' says Andrew Dickson, CEO at Le Feu (opens in new tab).
'Still as efficient, some require no chimney or flue making them portable to locate to suit, whether this is be in the center of the living room or other places to suit your personal needs.'
How do you make an old fireplace look modern?
‘A fireplace creates an instant focal point in any room, making it the perfect area to showcase your sense of style. Using wallpaper to create a feature wall on or around your chimney breast is the perfect way to do this, by refreshing, reviving and injecting a touch of on-trend decor into your home.’ says Whitecroft.