Fireplaces Take Center Stage in 2012!

Installation by Luke Denny

  While 2011 was 'The year of the Backsplash',
we can already see that 2012
will be a year filled
with many fabulous fireplaces.  

Image provided by Oceanside Glasstile
Here's why:

1. Designing a fireplace is just downright fun.

2. A natural focal point of any living space, the hearth represents the heart of the home, a gathering place for family and friends - a relaxing spot for a good book and a glass of wine.  

3. Our fireplaces warm us up and calm us down - staring into the flames we tune out the worries of the day and zone in to comfort...so doesn't every fireplace deserve to be beautiful?

4. A relatively small project, typically from 10 - 50 square feet, the fireplace presents the perfect opportunity to make a big design statement on a reasonable budget... 

Image provided by Oceanside Glasstile

Designers find increasingly creative treatments for these focal points of the home.  We continue to encounter integrated installations like this Vermont slate bench and feature wall with low-profile gas fire in a bed of broken obsidian glass beads.

Vermont Slate fireplace feature wall

Installation by Luke Denny

An intimate space in a focal place presents the perfect home for an exotic material.  1" x 6" 'Repose' Glass Veneer in 'Tea', by M2 Innovative Concepts continues the visual of rough wood color and texture...

Image provided by Robert Waer, M2 Innovative Concepts

...And who says the fireplace must be reserved exclusively for fire...

Fireplace design is not bound to traditional hearth and mantle combination.  Here, a recessed installation is integrated into a shelf unit and entertainment center - interesting angles and streamlined trim details come together in this innovative design.

Image provided by Cove Finishings

An influx of products like linear gas fireboxes have opened up new possibilities for designers and architects.  

Juxtapose large format tile with vibrant glass mosaics for a stunning impact. 

High relief decorative pieces like Oceanside Glasstile's 'Extrados' liner perfectly compliment the aspect ratio of linear fireboxes.  Here, the designer extended the visual reach of flames with iridescent and metallic finishes.

Image provided by Oceanside Glasstile

Glass mosaic feature walls have always been our absolute favorite installations because they simply provide a platform for the expression of beautiful materials....

Installation by Luke Denny

A fireplace IS warm....so who says the color palette has to be warm?

Introduce a little color into your life with a feature wall surrounding an insert -  like this gradient blend shown in Oceanside Glasstile Oxygen and Equator iridescent 1x1's. 

Glass mosaics have opened up the realm of color, texture, and finish possibilities.

Image provided by Elizabeth Wheeler, www.oforolive.com

Here, a mosaic feature wall in Oceanside Glasstile's Mandala 'Avani' in the color blend 'Chameleon' fills this space with woven texture and depth. 

According to designer Elizabeth Wheeler,  she achieved this by selecting a blend of natural stone with translucent glass in matte and iridescent finishes.  The closely knit color palette ensured continuity and kept the installation from becoming busy. 

The concept of mosaic feature wall, played in combination with the functional piece is the perfect marriage between form and function....

Installation by Luke Denny
1"x2" V Caps neatly wrap corners
Complex Textures

In this scenario, hearty materials including this massive wood mantle, hand-wrought iron fire screen, natural stacked stone, and metallic glass mosaics create textural complexity and burst with vibrant color..

Below, a fireplace had to step up to the mighty challenge of competing with this fantastic view.  Subtle neutrals created room for multiple materials and finishes.  

Image Provided by Oceanside Glasstile
Spectacular!  (View or Fireplace?  Definitely BOTH!)

But let's not forget the classic fireplace, complete with hearth and mantle.  These, too, deserve a little jewelry in return for their countless hours of toil - burning the fire at both ends to ensure we stay warm and comfortable...

Image provided by Oceanside Glasstile
 A true classic - 1x1 Tessera in 'Sandstone', is a cheerful addition to a traditional mantle, while amber glass 4" x 4"'s are the subtle choice for this craftsman style home below. 

Image provided by Oceanside Glasstile

Image provided by Longart Mosaics

Ornate molding in a formal setting is paired with multi colored glass mosaics - contemporary meets traditional for a nice evening at home.

Our message to our readers?  Give your fireplace the treatment it truly deserves, and have fun with it!  These small spaces are the perfect opportunity for you to express yourself and splurge on that gorgeous product you've been holding out for....

Thank you to everyone who submitted images for this posting!

Amy Denny