Home & Design

For equestrian clients with an antebellum farmhouse in Middleburg, Jamie Merida painted the fireplace mantel crisp white and the slate surround black “to achieve a classic look befitting the period of the home,” he says. Antique fenders in brass with leather seats are the finishing touch. Pictured above, the mantel is decked out by the designer for Christmas in lush greenery, muted brass accents and nature-inspired details. Photo & Styling: Stylish Productions

Hearth Song

Designers share ways to reimagine the humble fireplace

“My number-one trick is combining high and low contrasting materials to create drama. I love a dark wall with a limestone surround to make the
fireplace stand out.”

—Bonnie Ammon, Bonnie Ammon Interiors

“If the budget allows us to change out the fireplace mantel, we like to use natural stone of all kinds. For an existing wood mantel, we might change the surround tile and hearth materials. Sometimes a fireplace can become a star with only paint and a great piece of artwork or a mirror hanging above it.”

—Jason Claire, Interior Matter

“We love a classic fireplace with paneling and painted moldings. White paint is always a good choice, but we also love using an unexpected color. Styling the mantel with sophisticated accents and a whimsical touch helps complete the look.”

—Jamie Merida, Jamie Merida Interiors

PHOTO: Stylish Productions

“There are lots of ways to accentuate a fireplace: paint, architectural details, stone, mantel details and more. As the fireplace is typically the centerpiece of the room, I try to make it a superstar.”

—Laura Fox, Laura Fox Interior Design, LLC

“Don’t just focus on the fireplace; incorporating the whole wall into the fireplace design will draw the eye and create a focal point. Full bed stone, marble slabs and mother-of-pearl mosaic tile are my favorite materials for fireplace surrounds. I love a hand-hewn timber floating mantel or painted wood with brackets on paneling—or no mantel at all when you are going sleek and modern.”

—Cathy Purple Cherry, AIA, LEED AP, CAS, Purple Cherry Architects

Barbara Hawthorn, Barbara Hawthorn Interiors


PHOTO: Kenneth M. Wyner Photography

Melanie Whittington, Whittington Design Studio


PHOTO: Helen Norman

Laura Hildebrandt, Interiors by LH


PHOTO: Angela Newton Roy Photography

Joyce Pearl, Interior Concepts, Inc.


PHOTO: Geoffrey Hodgdon Photography

Josh Hildreth, Josh Hildreth Interiors


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HOME&DESIGN, published bi-monthly by Homestyles Media Inc., is the premier magazine of architecture and fine interiors for the Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia region.

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