Home is Where the Hearth Is

A luxury modern fireplace with a natural wood finish and active fire.

Temperatures are dropping, the sun is setting earlier, and we’re all in search of ways to invite a little extra warmth into our homes. “Home and hearth,” as the idiom goes…and that’s exactly what a fireplace brings, a feeling of warmth and security to any room.

For all their utility, fireplaces serves as much more than just a battleground for winter’s bite. Beyond this, fireplaces quite literally light up a room and warm our souls when friends, family, and loved ones join us around the chattering crackles and pops.

Last but not least, fireplaces can be absolutely gorgeous. Coming in a variety of sizes, combinations, and locations, there is a mantle for everyone’s taste. As such, we are taking this opportunity to feature five stunning fireplace vignettes for five distinct personalities, as well as highlighting two Engel & Völkers listings with mantles blazing their own trails.

The Bookworm’s Haven

A classic fireplace with antique couches, a glass chandelier, and bookcases filled with antique edition books.

What goes better together than a book and a fireplace? 

With that being said, avid readers may be wondering, “Can I combine my fireplace and living room to create the perfect reading atmosphere?” The answer: an emphatic yes. First and foremost, flank your fireplace with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves on either side. Perhaps the finishes that you choose could reflect your favorite genre—our mystery lovers may opt for the complexity of deeply stained oak, while our romance novelists lean into the depth of a heart-stopping emerald.

As for the mantle’s material, highlight the oak’s character with corbels and an applique—hinting towards a storied Victorian backstory. Top it all off with a mirror above the mantle, and there is no question who the main character is. 

The Artist’s Muse

A modern, inlaid outdoor fire pit with couches.

What is more inspiring than a flickering fire within a thoughtfully articulated mantle-scape? 

Here in lies an opportunity to bring this centerpiece outdoors. Whether in a more traditional, stone mantle fashion, a circular fire pit, or an artisanal stone fire bowl, a fireplace enjoyed amidst the peace and quiet of the great outdoors is one that inspires. This is perhaps the perfect opportunity to go for a bold, wrapping mantle made of stone or reclaimed wood that matches the natural surroundings. A sturdier base can also double as a seating arrangement for chillier nights. 

For ease of use, consider including a wood storage solution in the design of your outdoor fireplace, and enjoy. 

The Classicalist’s Monolith

An oversized marble fireplace and a grand entertaining room of a classic estate.

There’s something to be said for the classics—grounding, timeless, and constant. For the classicalist, the hearth is truly the heart of the home. Its gravity pulls all, residents and guests alike, to gather in front of its flames. 

Here, there is no question of material; marble is a must. Not only gorgeous, but marble also provides superior durability and longevity. Though like many natural stones, it will etch, and each addition to its surface will add to its old-world appeal. 

The rest is up to you. White marble? Black? We would suggest a hearty mantlepiece.

The Traveler’s Vitrine

The living room of an eclectic collector with a decorated fireplace mantle.

As a global brand, we know that many of our readers enjoy traveling, and, naturally, have brought home tchotchkes from every corner of the globe. What better place to tell the stories behind them than by a fire, and where better to display them than on your mantle? 

Make it an homage, a collection of memories—a wanderlust, conquered. The only detail required for the traveler’s fireplace is a generously oversized, wrapping mantle. Be it wood, stone, or brick, you choose a material that best compliments the treasures you wish to display. 

Alternatively, if you wish to house souvenirs elsewhere, a fireplace can be a blank canvas for creative tilework. Whether sourcing the tiles from one of your favorite countries or letting a beautiful design boldly tell the tales of your travels, don’t be afraid to let creativity take the reins of your fireplace’s design. Standing in the center of your home will be a reflection of your core beliefs: that there is a beautiful world out there waiting to be seen, enjoyed, and appreciated. 

The Modernist’s Showpiece 

A modern living room with a marble wall fireplace and stylish book case and furniture.

Every home needs a statement, and a fireplace can be a hotbed of innovation. 

For decades, interior designers and architects have proved that warm and cozy rooms do not need to come at the expense of a cool and contemporary style. 

Consider playing up the scale of your fireplace; an entire wall of stone, tile, or marble will leave guests awestruck. Dual-sided fireplaces will undoubtedly strike up a conversation about the intersection of utility and design, and a fireplace painted to match the walls of the room creates the “white box” feeling that contemporary museums are famous for. 

Now that we have struck the hotbed of inspiration, here are two current Engel & Völkers listings that feature gorgeous fireplaces. 

400 Deep Fork Circle

The living room of a modern, luxury home with dark wood floors and a floor-to-ceiling fireplace.

Just outside of Oklahoma City, this home features a grand total of eight fireplaces, as well as an outdoor fire pit. No shortage of luxury, the primary suite includes a see-through fireplace. Sounds like a modernist’s dream, no?

400 Deep Fork Circle is currently listed for $5,495,000 USD by Ty Burnett of Engel & Völkers Edmond.

255 N Green Bay Road

The classically designed interior of a home with an oriental rug and pink chairs.

Bookworms will enjoy an elevated reading experience surrounded by the book-lined shelves that flank the fireplace in this Lake Forest mansion. Make sitting back and grabbing your favorite book while the fire casts a warm light amongst the pages your daily reality. 

225 N Green Bay Road is currently listed for $10,100,000 USD by Jennifer Ames of Engel & Völkers Chicago