Fireplaces are architectural features that can highlight both the character of a home and the personalities of the people who live there. They are a natural focal point, drawing people’s eyes regardless of their look. Whether your plan is to upgrade an existing fireplace, or move or install a new one, fireplace remodeling can greatly alter the look of your home. Below we offer some fireplace remodeling ideas to inspire your design.
We have seen fireplaces stuck in a weird corner, off-set in a confusing manner, or placed so they cut off flow from one room to another. In these cases, it may be best to move the fireplace altogether. Do not assume that this design idea will require a brand-new chimney – it will depend upon the type of model you choose, its flue requirements and where you place it. If you are looking to install a wood-burning fireplace, you may need to build a chimney, However, most of the new gas models can be vented straight out the back of an exterior wall.
For the project shown above, we removed a fireplace that was placed between the kitchen and the family room, making each space smaller than necessary. We relocated it to an exterior wall in the family room, dismantling the existing structure and replacing it will a beam for support. Since the fireplace was moved to an exterior wall, we were able to vent to the outside right behind it.
This design change took a home that was compartmentalized and tight and transformed it into an open-concept first floor. We were able to expand the kitchen into a more functional space and connect it to the living area. To complete the fireplace remodel, we added cabinetry on both sides and a full-length, wall-to-wall mantle. The design not only added visual impact to the fireplace wall, it offered additional functionality with both closed and open storage.
Moving a fireplace was also part of a French- inspired whole house remodel we completed for one of our clients. In this case, the fireplace was placed on an interior wall, so we built a chimney through the attic and out the roof. Our client wanted the largest firebox possible, which meant they would have to have a wood burning model. However, they did not want the hassle of actually burning wood, so we added a gas line, and authentic looking gas burning logs. Even though they never planned to use anything but gas, we built the venting system to support the firebox’s original intent, just in case they or the next homeowners changed their minds. French-themed architectural details completed the look.
Again, the newest gas fireplace designs make the dream of adding a fireplace to your home a doable reality. Our clients were remodeling a condo in Downtown Indianapolis, creating an open floor plan. They wanted to add a fireplace at one end to serve as a focal point for the kitchen and great room. Each fireplace design is different, and when it comes to gas the considerations are less about structure and more about aesthetic. The greatest challenge in adding a new fireplace is creating a safe and functional pathway for the venting system. We ended up going above the fireplace, turning right above the bookcases, and venting to the outside of the home. Once we had the venting plan in place, we installed the gas and electrical lines and built the stone surround and a solid limestone mantle.
If you are looking to upgrade the look of an existing fireplace, the sky is the limit in terms of design options. We usually start from inspiration photos collected by our clients, and then create a design that incorporates the scale and look of the rest of their home.
Our client wanted to refresh their fireplace as a part of a whole-house renovation. We used the same firebox, but placed a new stone façade, woodwork and cabinetry. It turned out the original kitchen countertop material that was removed during the remodel was a perfect addition to the new fireplace design. Repurposing those materials also helped blend the newly remodeled space with the rest of the home.
Remodeling older homes often requires blending the beautiful original architectural details with new materials and functionality. We completed a gorgeous Arts & Crafts remodel (which you can read more about here), but our client wanted to keep the original design of the fireplace. It was in need of repair, however. Fortunately, we were able to locate tile and stone that match the originals. We completed the repairs in the same manner used by the craftspeople in the early 1900s, so no one would notice any difference between the original and the new. This attention to detail is what made the project successful.
If you are considering remodeling, moving or adding a fireplace to your home, reach out to me. My team and I will talk you through all aspects of your plan, including structural considerations, material choices and overall design. Send me an email or give me a call at 317.596.0928.