11 Tips & Ideas to Decorate a Feature Fireplace Wall in 2024
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A feature fireplace wall is a beautiful addition to any home. It can transform a plain living room into a cosy gathering place and add value to your property.
So, read on for feature fireplace wall ideas you'll want to add to your living room right now!
A feature fireplace wall is a focal point that draws the eye, setting a tone for the room. It's the first thing you'll see when you enter the room — so get your design right!
Otherwise, your guests will stare at your feature fireplace for all the wrong reasons!
In this article, we'll share 11 tips and ideas to decorate a feature fireplace wall using contemporary and vintage materials that help elevate the aesthetics of your living space.
Ready? Let’s get started.
1. Funky up your fireplace wall with reclaimed wood
One popular trend in feature fireplace walls is to clad the fireplace surround in reclaimed wood. This gives the wall a rustic, natural feel, bringing cosiness to bland, featureless rooms.
You can use natural or stained wood to contrast or blend into your colour scheme. And this approach needn't cost a fortune because broken-down delivery pallets instantly offer that rustic look for a fraction of the cost of buying wooden planks.
Of course, when cladding your fireplace surround with wood, it’s essential to apply a fire retardant to minimise the risk of fire outside of your fireplace.
Always choose a fire retardant treatment that enhances the look of the wood — you can go for a glazeless treatment that leaves no visible sheen or a fire retardant varnish or paint that adds colour to your fireplace surround.
2. Glam up your feature fireplace wall with tiles
Another trend is to use patterned or plain-coloured tiles and mosaic patterns to create a unique, eye-catching design that draws the eye to your fireplace.
Consider mixing and matching contrasting tones and textures to create a look that is truly your own.
When designing your fireplace feature wall, it's essential to consider the rest of the room. You want the wall to complement the existing decor but not clash with it.
If your room is already busy with patterns and colours, you may opt for a simpler, more subtle design.
Likewise, if your room is more minimalist in style, you can be bolder with your feature fireplace choices and make the fireplace feature wall the room's centrepiece.
3. Reflect light back into the room with mirrors
Whether you have an uber-modern fireplace or a chic, Victorian hearth and mantle, a simple feature fireplace wall idea is to stack mismatched mirrors on the mantle or shelf.
Not only do mirrors reflect light back into the room, but they also provide the illusion of space. In fact, you'll be surprised by the difference a collection of mirrors makes to the ambience of a small living room — it suddenly feels more spacious while remaining cosy.
Be bold, and mix and match different frame shapes, sizes, and styles. And check out your local antique store or second-hand furniture shop for bargains.
4. Make an impression with a maximalist fireplace wall
The days of neutral rooms and discreet design have been well and truly dispatched to the Naughties. Because the 2020s is all about being bold and unafraid to make some daring design aesthetics.
But remember: bold is about balance — you don’t want to confuse the eye. You’re trying to draw attention to your beautiful fireplace, not hide it amongst a cacophony of din.
In other words, if the general aesthetics of your room is subtle, go fearless for the fireplace. Think big floral wallpapers enveloping your fireplace wall or a bold, unexpected feature colour to draw focus.
5. Don’t forget about texture!
One way to add subtle interest to your feature fireplace wall is to follow the texture route. Now, we're not suggesting wrapping your fireplace wall in woodchip here - we're thinking more like wooden strip cladding and plaster effects.
Adding painted vertical stripes to your wall helps create the impression of height while introducing a stylish modern aesthetic to your feature fireplace wall.
6. Keep things neutral with white
Those seventies brick fireplaces once had held the top position for aspirational home chic, but this short glitch in taste is responsible for a range of ugly bricked fireplaces.
But don't panic — there's no need to rip out those brick tiles; just paint them. Adding a uniform colour to your rough brick tiles, such as matt or gloss white, adds a subtlety that brick alone can't muster.
Much cheaper than ripping out and starting again!
7. Build a feature wall for a TV and fireplace
A trendy choice is to mount a TV above a fireplace. However, leave enough distance between your open fire and your TV set to prevent damage to your equipment.
There are a couple of things to consider when mounting a TV above a fireplace:
- The ideal viewing angle — a TV mounted too high in a small living room makes TV viewing uncomfortable. The smaller the room, the lower the perfect mounting height.
- Leave between 4 and 12 inches between the top of the fireplace and the bottom of the TV.
- Ensure heat from the fireplace is directed away from the TV, using a stove top fan, installing a heatproof mantel, or building the TV into an alcove.
8. Use rustic stone for earth tones and texture
Using rustic stone around your fireplace is a great way to add natural texture, warm earthy colours, and cosiness to your living space.
The natural variation in colour and texture of the stone creates a visually interesting focal point, and the timeless look can work well in both traditional and modern homes.
To modernise this look for 2023, consider pairing the stone with sleek metal accents or minimalist furniture.
9. Always consider safety first with a feature fireplace wall
In addition to the aesthetics, it's essential to consider safety when installing a fireplace feature wall. Follow all local building codes and regulations, and hire a professional if unsure how to proceed.
Ensure that the wall is adequately insulated and that there is no risk of fire or damage to your home.
Overall, a fireplace feature wall is a great way to add style and value to your home. With so many options, you can create a look that is uniquely yours.
Just be sure to consider the safety and practicality of your design, and you'll have a beautiful and functional feature wall that you can enjoy for years to come.
10. How to decorate walls on either side of your fireplace
Sometimes, it's good to maintain an understated aesthetic in your living space because — let's face it — sometimes, a maximalist design looks great in a magazine but is challenging to live with.
So, if you’re looking for your existing fireplace’s beauty to sing solo, consider how you decorate the walls on either side of your fireplace.
You might have a beautiful Victorian fireplace, or perhaps you’ve invested in the stylish green approach to heating your rooms with a funky, modern bioethanol fireplace. In this case, you might want to keep the fireplace itself the focal point.
Frame your existing fireplace with a feature colour on either side of your fireplace, either with a deep rich paint colour or a beautiful wallpaper that matches the look and aesthetic of your fireplace.
11. Go for industrial chic
An industrial feature wall can add a touch of edginess and urban style to any space.
Consider using materials such as raw wood, corrugated metal, or exposed brick to create a rugged and industrial look.
And to soften the space, consider adding cosy textiles such as a plush rug or chunky knit throw.
Feature fireplaces will elevate your living space
Making your fireplace wall a visual feature of your room elevates the feel of your living space, adding warmth and charm to your home.
But if you’re looking for a way to transform your space with a real fire without the fossil fuels, consider a bioethanol fireplace for a greener approach to warming your home.
Remember to keep things simple, balanced and cohesive, and don't be afraid to experiment with different textures, colours, and patterns.
By following these tips, you'll have a feature fireplace wall that will be the envy of all your guests and a cosy spot for you to relax and unwind.