Jacqueline Corea, principal of Corea Sotropa Interior Design, shares tips and inspiration for a traditional and contemporary designed fireplace and suggests your consider a concrete fireplace!—>>
Fireplaces are a natural focal point in any room and something I get really excited about designing. One of my favourite materials to use for fireplace mantles, surrounds and hearths is concrete. Many of my clients are surprised when I suggest concrete because it is not a product they are familiar with. Often concrete surrounds are mistaken for carved stone, or even tile. It’s amazing what can be made from this basic building material.
Companies that specialize in fireplace surrounds will have existing casts with ornate or modern designs that can be customized to fit the size of your fireplace. Select something that suits the overall concept of your room. For this French Country inspired family room an ornate surround with columns was selected. Concrete can also be used on the area above the mantle, called the over mantle. Concrete tiles mimicking limestone where installed on this over mantle to create a stunning focal point.
Concrete can be stained in many shades from dark to light. For this traditional living room fireplace surround a light shade was selected to coordinate with the mouldings and cornices used throughout the room. This light colour is reminiscent of a carved marble mantle. Another benefit of concrete is that it is less expensive than a custom carved stone surround
Building codes require specific distances between the opening of the firebox and combustible materials, like wood. Therefore, there are certain limitations when designing a wood mantle. Since concrete is a non-combustible material, there are fewer limitations. Also, concrete surrounds are often customized to suit the size of your fireplace. By using concrete your design options open up.
Your fireplace is a wonderful spot to add architectural interest and drama. Concrete mantles and fireplace surrounds are an incredible choice with multiple options. When you are designing your fireplace consider this incredible material.
Corea Sotropa, author of this feature, is a Interior Design firm in Calgary, Alberta. Jacqueline would love to talk to you about designing a space expressly for you.
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