Winter is on the horizon, bringing with it a crisp chill that calls for evenings spent snug around a fireplace with our palms wrapped around a soothing hot drink. While the heat of the fire is a comfort in its own right, decorating the lounge around the fireplace and styling the mantle can accentuate the fireplace design and create a more harmonious interior design look in your lounge.
Here, we will share top tips on lounge decor, upholstery fabrics and styling advice to make the most of fireplace sessions in the colder months. Outdoor fireplaces will also be covered, for those of you who have an alcove in the back garden with outdoor furniture centred around a fireplace or a fire pit near the swimming pool. It's time to get toasty in a trendy style!
Indoor fireplace in the lounge
First of all, assess the style of your home and the fireplace. Is it more of a 'rustic lodge' feel with an open fireplace, stacks of cut wood flanking the stone or bricks around the fireplace? Or, is it more modernist, with a glass door and electric or gas flame inside a metal frame with a sleek, minimalist feel? Style the decor around the mantle accordingly.
For the rustic lodge aesthetic, Houzz magazine suggests taking inspiration from actual wooden lodges that are built on ski mountains. Antlers are a classic look hung above the fireplace, while iron rods and stokes to tend to the fire can be artfully placed on the tiles in front of the fire for a stylish yet practical adornment.
While antlers or other iconic lodge artefacts, such as a wooden plaque or brass lamp, are good choices for styling the wall above the fireplace, this doesn't mean you can't introduce modern technology. A television screen above the fireplace is a great horizontal balance for the lounge, creating symmetry as the horizontal lines of the television screen echo and parallel the top of the fireplace.
When you're picking commercial textiles for a rustic lounge, opt for earthy neutral hues such as beige, brown and cream. This colour palette will accentuate the reddish-brown tones of bricks or the grey-brown shades of stone fireplaces. Some ideal options of upholstery fabrics in this colour scheme include Parisienne Nutmeg and Morgan Safari. The latter is an organic, eco-feel fabric that would complement the rustic vibe superbly. As for your curtains and drapery, create harmony in the space by choosing solid drapery in similar tones such as Olivia Chestnut, Brussels Cigar and Annabel Latte. The third in this sequence has an elegant scrolling floral pattern which would work a treat in a rustic interior.
On the other hand, a crisp, sleek contemporary fireplace framed in metal with a glass door and an electrically-operated fire with a remote control would require a completely different interior design aesthetic. Pick industrial-style furniture such as chairs with steel legs and arms or sofas with a minimalist form and shape. Monochrome is a guaranteed way to accentuate a contemporary look, since the black-and-white tones cool and sophisticated. Upholster your minimalist-style lounge furniture with Metz Black, Coco Caviar or Zegna Chardonnay.
Of course, there is always a middle ground. Some homes blend both modern aesthetics with a nod to the glamour of the past with vintage accents.
To tie such a look together, it's recommended that you use a unifying colour such as white or cream. Although a white-on-white scheme sounds harsh and modern at first, if you're using whitewashed paint over wicker furniture or white plaster on ornately carved antique fireplaces it can look just as elegant in a vintage setting.
Spruce up the benches, chairs or outdoor lounge furniture surrounding your fireplace with soft cushions designed for use outside. Bright colours can add a pop of vibrancy even in the cold of winter, bringing additional warmth to your outdoor setting beside the fireplace.
Snuggle up with marshmallows, biscuits and chocolate to make s'mores or relax with your loved ones as the heat of the flames soothes you over evening talks and laughter.