At Stylish Fireplaces, we work with many talented design professionals. We decided to ask some of them for their thoughts on fireplace design. The following is the input we received from Meredith Heron, of Meredith Heron Design. She’s not shy about sharing her opinions on design, or anything else. Whether you agree or disagree with her ideas, we hope you will find them interesting and inspiring.

SF: Where do you start when designing or redesigning a fireplace?

MH:  When I have a project that has an existing fireplace, we often look to see if it is in the best location possible given our goals for the room. In past projects, we’ve removed a wood burning one entirely because it protruded too much into a room and then replaced it with an electric one for space. We’ve completely gotten rid of others altogether if it made for a better flow in the room if space was at a premium. Location Location Location clearly applies to fireplaces too.   Corner fireplaces are deadly. They ruin rooms.

SF: Do you have a favourite resource for inspiration?

MH:  I love a good visual and pretty much am obsessed with Instagram and still use Pinterest so much to get inspiration or convey ideas to clients. Travel is a big source of inspiration for me as well. Going to design shows always yields new finds and I try and visit shows around the globe.

SF:  What are your pet peeves about fireplace designs that you come across, in clients’ homes or elsewhere?

MH:  Cheap materials and poor quality along with a lack of thought. Reclaimed barn board or stacked stone on a feature wall – sorry but my eyes roll out of my head. I did that 15 years ago. Move along. Classic Millwork or Marble Mantles are pretty much the only way I will adorn a fireplace these days. The exception being the huge fireplace we just put into an Octagon Log Cabin we are designing out in Lake of the Woods, Kenora, Ontario.

Fireplace Design: Chesneys contemporary Manhattan mantel
Manhattan contemporary mantel from Chesneys

SF:  Where is the most interesting or amazing fireplace that you’ve ever come across? 

MH:  I’m a sucker for marble mantles in Brownstones in NY or in old Victorian homes. There are a few Georgian ones too that make my heart go pitter patter. I routinely drool over the Chesney’s Catalogue and visit them every time I’m in NYC.

Stylish Fireplaces & Interiors specializes in electric fireplaces and custom designs. Their Toronto-area showroom features over 40 fireplaces in 20 display walls, with all the materials needed to complete the project. 

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