Fire Goals – rooms with colour-feature fireplaces at their hearts

Have you gone into hibernation where you are yet? If ever there was a time to dim the lights, get the blankets and boxsets out and huddle around the fire then it’s – certainly in the UK – now. With our thoughts firmly on the fire part of the equation we’ve been weighing up how to decorate this ‘focal point of a room’ in a way that goes beyond having the nicest wood burning stove. You guessed it, we’ve been roaming for ideas that involve colour and what we’ve found is pretty experimental. Here’s the edit.

Colour blocking your fireplace

Image from here

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright created the house that contains this pink hunk of a fire but it wasn’t completed until a few years after his death in 1959. Whether he was the mastermind behind the pink or not, it makes a convincing case for creating your own colour-blocked wonder. Dutch modernist Gerard Reitveld was also onto the idea for his Schroder house in Utrecht, one of the most famous examples of De Stijl architecture and a building that was influenced by the paintings of Piet Mondrian. It’s quite different to Frank’s fire and helps prove that whatever your colour choice – pink, blue, yellow and so on – if you block out your chimney breast in a jazzy way, you won’t actually give a hoot what type of actual fire goes inside it.

Image from Design Best

Image from Pinterest

Tile feature

Alright so you’re not up for disrupting a whole room with a new fancy paint, but how about jollying up the hearth of your fire with some tiles? The world of colourful tiles is now a large one with plenty of choices whether your budget is Tile Giant or Moroccan Zelliges.

You could even update a miserable 60’s boxed out fireplace with a complete tile overhaul – patterned tiles are also readily available for a spectrum of budgets (these ones would create a similar feel to below).

Image from Remodelista

The next project is the perfectly preserved Derngate house by one Charles Rennie Mackintosh who probably spent some time planning the tiled fire surround at the drawing board. But it’s an inspired idea to steal – install tiles on your wall up to a good height for adding a shelf/mantel then finish off your hearth in matching tiles.

Updating a traditional fire

The fireplace in the Parisian apartment of creative guru Clarisse Demory features a green finish within the hearth. Paint will do here to get the look!

Image from Farrow & Ball

Or why not finish off a standard Victorian wood surround by painting it in a colour that will tie in with the rest of the room. It’s an inspired way to update something that could be quite drab if left a more predictable white.

Go for a colourful fire

Image Dwell

It turns out this fire is a bit of a collectable Mid Century item and can be found all over 1st Dibs – it’s called a Preway and is distinctive for its cone shape and use of colour (orange, green, red). The good news is they are still available on eBay and probably a few salvage yards. Look out too for Malm and Majestic fires too, which are similar in style. A lovely way to enliven the neutral wood-clad cabin we’re all dreaming of owning one day.

Jill Macnair


Jill Macnair has worked as an interiors journalist for 13 years, contributing to titles including Elle Decoration, The Sunday Times and The Guardian. She set up cult interiors blog My Friend’s House in 2009 with Ros Anderson and continues to run the forum daily.

The Chromologist 2019 | Farrow & Ball

The Chromologist