5 fireplace trends to warm up to

Some of the biggest design trends are contemporary rustic and cottage décor, with fires being a key feature.

Words: Nadene Hall

Trend 1: The elevated freestanding fireplace

New technology means designers no longer need to have a freestanding fireplace sitting on legs. Instead, they can be placed at eye-level, sitting on a ledge.

Trend 2: The multi-sided fireplace

There are now wood and gas fireplaces with two or three glass sides, so you can see the fire from different angles or even separate rooms. They can be used to divide a large open plan living area – some new gas options are up to 2m long – or connect two spaces.

Trend 3: The dramatic wall

Bold is beautiful. This trend makes a feature of the whole wall from floor to ceiling using colour, highly decorative feature wallpaper, artwork, or a feature mirror.

Trend 4: The hanging fire

This floating style has been coming back on-trend for a couple of years. One French company has a model that can turn 360°.

Trend 5: Tiles and brick

Tiles or bricks around a fireplace aren’t new, but may not be your first thought in terms of a style statement. Feature tiles are a way to add a pop – or even a loud bang – of colour. With brick, the trend is toward warmer colours instead of the traditional red, and contemporary geometric patterns.


When you’re designing a lounge, it can make sense to save space by having the two most common focal points on the same wall. But the heat generated by many fireplaces may damage a TV’s delicate electronics. The technical manual for a fireplace will list the minimum clearances required.

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Also, measure the heat rising above it. Generally, TVs shouldn’t be exposed to temperatures above 40°C. Additionally, unless you have an enormous room and reclining chairs, a TV above a fireplace creates a terrible viewing experience that’s hard on the neck. TVs are designed to be viewed straight on, with the bottom third of the TV at eye level, not at a steep angle.


The term ‘rustic’ has more than 3 million hashtags on Instagram, almost double the next closest (‘cottagecore’). A study of Instagram hashtags and trends says: “While you won’t find modern furnishings and materials in this décor trend, contemporary rustic styles combine elements of the old and new for a fresh, light, and grounded aesthetic.”

‘Rustic’ uses natural materials such as reclaimed wood or unfinished wood and stone. Décor includes wooden tables, accent chairs, floorboards, exposed beams, or logs.
In second place was ‘cottagecore’, a nod to the traditional English countryside style, inspired by a romantic interpretation of rural life. It features muted pastel colours, vintage style prints (eg, floral, check), natural elements such as plants and flowers, vintage vases and crockery.

Rounding out the top 10 was ‘rustic minimalism’. This features a lot of wood in a clean, simple style, such as natural floorboards, exposed beams, and wood shelving, but with no clutter or monochromatic colours.

NZ Lifestyle Block This article first appeared in NZ Lifestyle Block Magazine.
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