We all need to heat our homes, and the most appealing way to do so is still the most old-fashioned: a fireplace that provides the inimitable comfort of safely contained warm, crackling flames. Radiators just can’t compete. In addition to serving an important purpose, a beautiful fireplace will act as the centrepiece of your living room and will provide a natural gathering place for your family and visitors. Many older houses come with traditional fireplaces built in, but if yours isn’t one of them and you’d like to install a fireplace of your own, there is a huge number of ways to depart from convention and do something very different with this crucial feature of your home. The designers of all of the fireplaces listed here have each created something a little unusual. There’s not a traditional mantelpiece to be seen anywhere, for a start.
This cute, sturdy little model has a versatile appearance that's neither old-fashioned nor ultra-modern, meaning it would fit in almost anywhere. The design is very sweet and very simple, and it comes in a range of different colours so you can mix and match to your heart’s content.
This highly unusual fireplace is a master of disguise. In fact if you didn’t know what you were looking for, you could easily be forgiven for thinking this room didn’t have a fireplace at all. The understated form of this piece means that, unlike in most other cases, the fireplace is not the focal point of the room. It’s very functional, but so discreet as to be almost hidden. Once someone does notice it, however, it’s sure to be a talking point.
If you’re confused about how it actually works, this photo should help clear things up!
This asymmetric wonder dominates the room – and it certainly deserves to. The straight, clean lines and off-centre design make it just right for a large, modern space such as this one. There’s a slightly industrial feel about this piece, partly due to its metallic finish and its enormous size, but this is mitigated by its quirkiness so that the end result is characterful rather than cold and utilitarian.
Using this supporting wall as the storage area for firewood was a wonderful idea. Not only is it a neat, convenient and practical solution to a common storage problem, it also looks great and adds to the room’s personality. The natural colour of the wood complements the olive green paint on the wall beautifully, and the pattern created by the pieces breaks up the space and adds a focus to what would otherwise be a boring, blank pillar. The fireplace itself, meanwhile, is sleek, streamlined and totally up-to-the-minute.
Potential safety hazards aside, this striking fireplace makes a big statement that would light up any living room. The simple, open design means this is a little like having a campfire inside your home.
As with some of the other fireplaces shown here, this unique fireplace is one that requires a fairly large space. Shaped much like a periscope, it emerges unexpectedly from the ceiling to provide a fantastic – and slightly odd – centrepiece for this room.