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Know How: Best living room ideas with a fireplace

Discover the best ideas to decorate a living room with a fireplace. Whether you own a contemporary or traditional home, explore how to enhance your abode with fireplace specialist Chesneys.

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How can you combine a modern stove within a traditional fireplace surrounds?

Baby, it's cold outside, so now is the perfect time to consider installing a stunning fireplace in your living room. We spoke with leading UK fireplace expert Paul Chesney, the founder and MD of Chesneys, regarding his tips for creating a warm ambience.
We all need to feel cosy and secure this winter, and a beautiful fireplace will always inspire such comfort. With the fireplace offering a central focus and source of warmth, now is the time to explore moving furniture around and mixing up interior styles. The Devonshire fireplace and Alpine stove by Chesneys (featured above) is a perfect example of how a modern wood burning stove can work within a traditional design.

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Tip 1. Focus on the proportions of your room rather than the period of the home

"It’s entirely possible to have a contemporary fire surround in a period building or a period chimneypiece in a contemporary building," advises Paul Chesney, founder of Chesneys. "The same applies to a contemporary style wood burning stove in a period style surround."
As a fireplace designer and specialist for over 35-years, Paul encourages homeowners to combine the best of both worlds. "Just because you live in a Victorian house you don’t have to have an original Victorian chimneypiece or reproduction Victorian chimneypiece. It’s all about proportion and style, and if the proportions are right for the room, the most modern stove can go with a classic Victorian or Georgian surround and look fantastic."

The beauty of smaller furniture such as chairs and snugglers, like the Hartfield, is how dynamically they can change a space. It means your living room can be arranged to enjoy the benefits of your fireplace in winter. Arrange your room to feel cosier and closer to the fireplace by moving furniture in closer.

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Tip 2. Best advice for painting a fireplace surround?

"We’d never recommend painting a fireplace," says Paul, explaining "because of the exceptional quality of our stone and marble it would be sacrilegious to cover these exquisite natural materials in paint!" However, he does believe that wooden surrounds lend themselves more to painting, "Some people paint wooden chimneypieces in paint, but that’s a different thing."

.Alternatively, for colour, choose a fabulous flint such as The Selborne by Steve Charles and Chesneys. Moreover, there is a movement towards bolder hued and patterned marbles and dramatic surroundings. Paul cites Chesney's green and golden marbles as an example. The extraordinary Milo in Breche de Vendomme (featured above) showcases how marble can completely transform your living room. For those who also love dramatic tiled fireplaces then Balineum offers a rich, colourful and artisan selection.

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Tip 3. Best practice for matching a fireplace style and size to your living room?

Can the fireplace be too big? Or the wrong material? They are big investments, so Paul advises to focus on scale, material and installation. "It’s all about proportion," he shares Paul about getting the balance right in your living room. "By no means do you need to have an Edwardian fireplace in an Edwardian house or a contemporary fireplace in a modern house."

Your focus should be on the size of the room and its heating situation. Best practice for installing a new fireplace is to work with an expert like Chesneys and measure the chimney-piece to ensure its the right size for your living room. That way an expert can tell you the size and heat output your room will require. The same measuring process goes for stoves.

Featured above is the Georgian inspired Langley fireplace and Shordtich stove from Chesneys.

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Tip 4. How can a traditional style living room feel more modern with a fireplace?

Homeowners who love a more traditional style can mix a modern fireplace with fresh British design to get the most out of their living room. "Designers will find ways of celebrating the home," believes Paul regardless of lockdown restrictions.
The beautiful London home of stylist Luch Gough featured above, showcases how a white painted surround can look impactful within an interior of dark, deep blue. Her style is a brilliant and cost-effective example of how by contrasting a classic fireplace with a dramatic scheme can make a room feel larger and grander. For more beautiful fireplace friendly furniture explore our range of chairs and snugglers here.

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Tip 5. How can you transform your garden with a wood burner?

Cold weather doesn't mean your garden has to be off-limits. "People started seeing their gardens as a haven in lockdown more than ever before," shares Paul. "It has become our most precious space was and where we can eat, relax and hang out in." BBQs and woodburners have become vital tools to maximising the usability of gardens in lockdown, he adds. "People can use their outdoor space much more with their family than they might have otherwise."

Featured above from Chesneys is their combined BBQ and heater designed for households to stay outside and keep warm in any weather.

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