Light My Fire

Q+A with our design partners

Pros offer expert advice on transforming a drab fireplace into a stunning focal point


Stone itself is art and can be used to create an incredible graphic wall surrounding a fireplace.

—Cathy Purple Cherry, Purple Cherry Architects
purplecherry.com, 410-990-1700


Considering the proportion of a room is critical. Perhaps a fireplace needs to be taller or wider depending on the room size, ceiling height and furniture layout. This can be achieved through millwork and paneling or integrating the fireplace with bookshelves.

—Sarita Simpson and Jason Claire, Interior Matter
interiormatter.com, 202-900-3818


The opportunity for a two-sided fireplace is often overlooked. It can serve as dual focal points and as a room divider, without detracting from the openness of a space.

—Barbara Hawthorn, Barbara Hawthorn Interiors, Ltd.
BarbaraHawthornInteriors.com, 703-241-5588


We have given brick and stone fireplaces a totally new look by whitewashing them. This faux finish can totally transform a space.

—Laura Fox, Laura Fox Interior Design, LLC
laurafoxinteriordesign.com


Large pieces of natural stone or stunning tile arranged in an interesting pattern can turn a boring fireplace into a showstopper. Built-ins with a matching mantel add to the drama and architecture of the fireplace.

—Laura Hildebrandt, IFDA, NKBA, Interiors by LH, LLC
interiorsbylh.com, 571-334-6476


When putting a television over a fireplace is the only option, we recommend the Samsung Frame as a solution to deliver entertainment and eye-catching art in the same space.

—Melanie Whittington, Whittington Design Studio
whittingtondesignstudio.com, 703-533-3705


Selecting a non-combustible material such as natural stone or tile that brings in the colors of the surrounding space can be the perfect way to turn a mundane fireplace into a focal point.

—Andrea Maaseide, Allied ASID, Studio 320 Interior Design
studio-320.com, 571-459-2136


Bonnie Ammon, Bonnie Ammon Interiors
bonnieammoninteriors.com
, 703-778-5755

Jamie Merida, Jamie Merida Interiors
jamiemerida.com, 410-819-8666

DuVäl Reynolds, DuVäl Design, LLC
duvalreynolds.com, 703-989-0521