Designer: Sheila Rich Interiors
Location: Monroe, New Jersey
Homeowners’ request. “The homeowners wanted a warm and inviting living room steeped in elegance and grace,” designer Sheila Rich says. “They wanted a timeless, fresh, traditional aesthetic utilizing performance and stain-resistant fabrics.”
Fireplace details. “The elegant two-story marble-and-wood fireplace, enhanced with rich millwork, displays cherished art,” Rich says. “The soft, subtle draperies frame the fireplace and fill the volume of the 20-foot coffered ceiling.”
Other special features. “The coffered ceiling and wainscoting enhance the room with beautiful millwork,” Rich says. “Rich architectural details are maximized with gently contrasting Sherwin-Williams Reflection on the walls, creating a luxuriously timeless design, balancing elegance and refinement. The scale and proportion of the dual-purpose cocktail ottoman completes the room.”
Designer tip. “Creating dramatic focal points adds interest to this room,” Rich says. “The fireplace is on one wall and a custom, asymmetrical entertainment unit, which uniquely frames the TV and beautifully displays prized collections, is on the other wall. The custom wool area rug adds warmth and defines the living room in this open floor plan.”
“Uh-oh” moment. “Our ‘uh-oh’ moment — and there always is one — occurred when a sectional that was too large and out of proportion for the room was delivered,” Rich says. “The client didn’t realize at first because the fabric and style of the sofa were similar to the one we ordered. A room does not work when the furniture is out of scale. We eventually got exactly what we ordered. Problem solved.”
Designer: Emily Mughannam of Fletcher Rhodes
Location: Napa, California
Homeowners’ request. “The owner has a small child who was just starting to crawl,” designer Emily Mughannam says. “They wanted the space to feel sophisticated for their friends but soft and child-friendly enough for their little one. The space was cold, with concrete floors everywhere and massive ceilings. We added a lot of soft textiles, materials and furnishings for them to get cozy.”
Fireplace details. Reclaimed-wood boards that match the dramatic ceiling beams. “We didn’t want other dark colors to overwhelm the space, so we opted to use lighter, creamier colors elsewhere,” Mughannam says.
Other special features. “We kept a very consistent color palette throughout,” Mughannam says. “Neutral sofas have layers of texture and subtle patterns with pillows and throws.”
Designer tip. “Because the space was so large, we had two full sitting areas,” Mughannam says. “We used the same rug in both spaces to pull the spaces together and keep them cohesive.”
Homeowners’ request. “This contemporary Houston home stands in contrast to the area’s historic and Victorian-style homes,” designer Laura Umansky says. “The homeowners wanted the interior to match the exterior facade while honoring the neighborhood’s past. The goal was a warm and thoughtful space to entertain friends and family. The team delivered a formal living room paired with postmodern silhouettes and antique accents.”
Fireplace details. Oxidized steel surrounding a wood-burning fireplace. “It was a great focal point for the room,” Umansky says. “Its continuous face ties in the color scheme perfectly.”
Other special features. Oxblood sofa. Custom textured chaise. “The use of refined finishes such as leather, walnut, oak and cordovan communicates the grandeur of the space,” Umansky says. “The homeowners’ handsome piano, accompanied by a soft cream boucle bench, rests in the corner. The inkblot flat-weave rug offers continuity throughout the space, joining the pale Scandinavian neutrals with their heavier dark-toned counterparts.”
Designer tip. “Don’t be afraid to use bold colors, even in a modern space,” Umansky says. “For this living room, we selected burnt sienna and cordovan hues. Even though these are darker hues compared to the rest of the pieces in the living room, they complement the room perfectly.”
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Homeowners’ request. A bright, open floor plan.
Fireplace details. Rift-cut white oak. Cedar Creek Berkshire Rubble stone surround. Firebrick firebox and hearth. “The room is designed to focus on the fireplace,” architect Greg Kent says. “The ridgeline, or high point, of the ceiling aligns with the fireplace to add further emphasis.”
Other special features. European Oak Cayman flooring. Wall painted in Antique Paper by Dunn-Edwards.
“Uh-oh” moment. “We struggled with how to make the basement level not feel like a basement,” Kent says. “The stairway is located directly behind the fireplace. That created an opportunity to use open shelving on both sides of the fireplace to bring natural light from the living room into the lower level. It was also an opportunity to extend the pitched ceiling into the stairwell and use those same materials on the fireplace down into the lower level.”
Project photos: Roehner + Ryan
Homeowners’ request. For this new-construction home, the owners wanted to capture the stunning mountain views.
Fireplace details. Black slate tile surrounding a simple modern gas fireplace. Wood hearth that doubles as a bench with storage underneath.
Other special features. “This neutral palette of black-gray and wood is complemented by simple midcentury-inspired furniture in pops of colors chosen by the owner,” says architect Kristen L’Espérance, who used Houzz ideabooks to tease out her clients’ design sensibilities.
Designer tip. “Extruded surfaces or changes in elevation like lowered ceilings and floors, soffits and walls help delineate more intimate and purposeful spaces within one large space,” L’Espérance says.
Designers: Laleh Shafiezadeh (interior design) and Mark Teale (architecture) of Teale Architecture
Location: Corona del Mar, California
Homeowners’ request. “This was a new-build home, but the difficulty was a long, narrow property with a canyon view at the rear,” says architect Mark Teale, a Houzz Pro who collaborated with his clients through ideabooks for this project. “The wall on the right had to be broken up to not look like a long blank wall. The fireplace needed a dramatic material to emphasize the end of the room and reorient your view as you came into the room.”
Fireplace details. Marble-look porcelain slabs. “The fireplace material needed to be light and contemporary without being stark,” Teale says. “The organic shapes help to soften the appearance despite being a bright, light material.” The slabs are echoed in the nearby kitchen backsplash and island.
Other special features. “The wood flooring ties all the materials together and ensures the warmth of the space,” Teale says.
Just the hint of cool weather has many people thinking ahead to gathering around the fireplace. But a fireplace is an important design feature no matter what the season. Often the focal point of a living room, a fireplace can set the tone for the entire space. And there are many ways to handle it. Here, design and remodeling professionals on Houzz share which materials and details they used to create a captivating fireplace in seven living rooms.
This content was originally published here.