Haute Design Expert Leslie Saul Reveals Three Key Elements to any Room with a Fireplace


Newton Tudor; Photography by Anton Grassl






















A fireplace can make or break a room. It can break a room if the location is awkward, or if the fireplace surround is old and ugly, or even just inappropriate for the style of the room.

A fireplace can make a room, especially in large multi-purpose rooms with the living, dining, and kitchen functions all together. In large rooms, a fireplace can give a sitting area the definition that wall would have made. The first things to figure out are 1) if the fireplace is in the right location, and 2) if you want the room to match the feel of the fireplace or not. If the fireplace is not in the right location, removing it is better than keeping it. If you really want a fireplace, build a new one where it makes the most sense. If the finishes on the fireplace are not in keeping with the style that you want for the room, strip it! A change of finishes on an existing fireplace can really make the whole room better.

Sudbury Home; Photography by Anton Grassl













Once you are happy with your fireplace, you can move on to other elements. Are you a book lover? Perhaps add flanking bookcases to make the fireplace wall a focal point of the room. Are you a modern minimalist? Perhaps adding great modern art with accent lighting that flank each side of the fireplace is more your style. Do you like a little clutter, like small ceramics or sculptures? Perhaps adding floating shelves above the fireplace will allow you to display some of your favorites, while keeping things organized!

Sudbury Home; Photography by Matt Delphenich













For me, art tells a lot about a person, and it is probably the most important element in a room with a fireplace.

There is another element that is equally important, and that is comfortable seating, so that sitting by the fire is something that you crave. Are you a reader? Perhaps a great lounge chair and ottoman will be a necessity right in front of those bookcases by the fireplace.  Do you want to have 6 or more people gathered by the fire?  A large, curved sofa could make a minimalist room feel warm.

Be honest about how much you entertain. If you only have 2 days a year with large gatherings, make sure that the room works on a daily basis, or you may find that you only step foot in the room twice a year! If you have groups over ten every week, perhaps adding another element of interest besides the fireplace would be appropriate.  Other elements such as a built-in bar with multiple TV screens so your weekly football games are all watchable, or add physical games such as pinball or ping/pong that will add to the fun and break the large gathering into small groups for activities.

Boston Penthouse; Photography by Elisif Brandon












A room with a fireplace is in great demand, and not just by Santa Claus! Make the most of your fireplace, and if you do not have one, give us a call, because there are several fireplace units that can be installed, even without an outside wall, even in high-rise buildings, even with little kids. (Hint: it is an illusion that really works. See photos)

Lake House Barn; Photography by LS&A

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *