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  • Karen Wilson

10 ways to style a fireplace

It's the focal point of your living room, so it's worth taking some time to create an eye catching mantlepiece display that compliments your fireplace and showcases your style to the max. Here are some of our favourites from the many homes we've shot that deserve a place in our top 10 best dressed mantles.



Perfect colour combo

This stunning fire surround was made by Rollo Developments to replicate what might’ve originally been in the Victorian house in Edinburgh, and houses a new log burner which makes a wonderful focal point. The delicate blush and green colour scheme, with surround painted in Salvia Architect’s eggshell by Paint & Paper Library, is bang on trend. Taking her cues from the colour scheme, homeowner Ella Fletcher has opted for simple accessories in muted shades with a round oak Scandi mirror from John Lewis, so the gorgeous fireplace remains the star of the show. Using Dandelion milk/petal tiles by Marrakech Designs (Tile Expert) on the hearth and inside gives a modern edge.





Go dark

A light fireplace, such as this Victorian marble design, will really sing against a dark wall. Homeowner Claire Wainwright was inspired by a colour called Mid Azure Green by Little Greene, but sourced a similar, cheaper version from Valspar.

Displaying three or four round antique mirrors in different sizes, gives much more impact than one square design and since they dominate the display, just a few pared back smaller accessories are all that's needed on the mantlepiece.











Be inspired by original tiles

When interior designer Katie Allan of JOAN converted an old post office and shop in North Yorkshire, she took her cue from the beautiful brown an orange tiles of the living room fireplace when dressing this room. With a love of mid Century modern design, Katie picked an array of brown and yellow bottles and vases in different shapes and sizes, picking out the colours below for a cohesive feel. The simple 1950s mirror echoes the rounded edges and finishes off the look perfectly.













Let artwork lead the way

The colours of this beautiful artwork by Surfacephilia have inspired the colour scheme in Christina Easton's conservatory in Brotton, North Yorkshire. The fireplace, which houses a dual-aspect multi fuel burner that serves both the living room and conservatory, was created by local firm Wood Heat using slip bricks and a wooden mantle. I love how the rustic feel has been enhanced by Christina's choice of wall colour (Rivington Blue) and blush vase and jug, all by Abigail Ahern. Check out Christina's shop The Lillian Daph Store.










Modern Rustic

Another example of a rustic woodburner - but this time homeowner Rebecca Walding has gone for a white and pastel colour scheme in her 1920s West Yorkshire semi. She's had some fun and injected personality with inexpensive paper decorations in pastel shades, a framed greetings card and quirky modern accessories (Trouva has a similar cactus vase). It just shows, you don't have to go down the traditional country decor route when dressing up a log burner.












Colour masterclass

After discovering a hidden cast iron fireplace in her bedroom, Margy Forshaw was keen to restore it and add a shelf to the top. Then she picked the perfect wall colour to make it come to life - Emerald Delight by Dulux. I love the unusual black and white Cambodian opium pots which Margy picked up while travelling, as they tie in so well with the monochrome hearth tiles below.













Create contrasts

When Claire Johnston first decorated the master bedroom of her Edwardian apartment in Glasgow, she left the dark wood fireplace intact but she soon realised it looked bizarre against the dead flat paint finish. The solution was painting the fireplace in the same colour as the walls and skirting boards - Railings by Farrow & Ball. The chalky matt finish really contrasts well as a backdrop for the glass bottle vases and reflective metallic planters.











Try tile effect wallpaper

Visitors often think Kerry Wilson's dining room fireplace has been tiled, but it’s actually a tile effect wallpaper. If you don't need a fire, then this can be a great cost effective solution for dressing the space. Try Contour Lustro blue brick effect wallpaper from B&Q for a similar look. The surround has been painted in Mountain Midnight by Valspar and Kerry’s added a set of four Miffy prints from King & McGaw above, picking out the colours in her choice of books.











Create a mood

Dawn Dunn's Victorian terrace in Newcastle has the feel of an art gallery with an elegant portrait hung above the period fireplace. So naturally her accessories have the appearance of a still life painting to compliment the atmosphere. The walls are painted in a dramatic shade - Bowler Hat by Dulux - including the alcove shelving, so the artwork remains the star of the show.

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