Beautiful classic fireplace surrounds of the past were constructed with a galaxy of stylish features and an array of material resources. The architectural details created on many of them ranged from the simple but elegant cottage brick or stone fireplace surrounds to the polished cast iron fireplace surrounds of the Victorian and Edwardian eras.
The fireplace surround was crafted with pride, and the style and size almost always depended on social status and income. What is certain is that the interior designs of the 19th and 20th century homes took the fireplace as one of the most important interior elements that deserved a lot of creative thoughts and attention.
Classical Fireplace Mantels and Surrounds
Classical fireplace mantels were mostly designed and built with pine, hardwood or marble. They consisted of elaborately carved features and details, and were edged with brass or steel. The cheaper variations were made with painted fibrous plaster that looked equally nice and convincing.
The classical reproductions have real or constituted marble slabs, with their edges and fire openings lined with shiny brass or polished steel.
Hole-In-The-Wall Fireplace Surrounds
This design is the simplest of fireplace mantels. The opening is mostly edged with metal, and it comes with a fire basket for burning the fuel. For the top of the range variation, designs come with a French influence, which has either a brick, slate or stone plinth. Wood for fuelling can be stored below the plinth.
Victorian & Edwardian Fireplaces
The size and shape of a room will determine the size of these classic heating systems. Sizes do vary, and range from the smaller ones for the bedrooms, to the more grandiose and regal proportions.
Cottage Style Fireplaces
These are simple arched fireplaces constructed with brick or stone. Cottage style mantels and fireplaces are one of today's popular choices for those who love the vintage look. Modern variations may also use briquettes. I many cases, the chimney breast wall and seating are sometimes decorated with similar materials to echo and enhance the rustic theme.
Inglenook Fireplace Mantels and Surrounds
A style used during the medieval era, the inglenook fireplace surrounds was built big enough for two people to sit in. These fireplace surround styles were constructed, to specifications; with stone or brick materials. They are constructed with ample space for fuel (wood) storage, but really have to be built to specifications.
Fire for heating is contained within a fire basket which sits on a raised plinth. A metal hood is installed to aid in drawing up the smoke into the chimney.
Tudor Fireplace Surround
Choosing The Right Fireplace
All in all, whatever the size or style of your choice of fireplace mantels and surrounds, there is nothing as comforting as traditional style eco-friendly heating systems. And though they may take a lot of work to design and construct fireplaces, the effort put into constructing one will be certainly worth it when the end result is attained.
And for those who live in small house designs or flats, where getting fuel storage facilities poses a challenge, gas flame effect fires, complete with classical fireplace mantles and surrounds, are convincing enough alternatives.