Fireplace surround designs will determine the rest of the design of your room. You might be working with vintage pieces that you don't know how to compliment. Maybe you just hate your fireplace but you can't afford to replace it. Here are a few ideas for fireplace surround designs to incorporate the style you have into the look you want.
The first thing you need to do when choosing a fireplace surround design is be practical and safe. I know I know looking at building codes just isn't fun. However, this is one of those areas where you just can't skimp. In a lot of modern designs there's a tendency towards sleek styles. This has even been done on a lot of TV decorating shows. They'll replace all of the rock and the brick and it looks great until you realize that it's drywall right next to the fireplace opening. You'd think they'd realize "Hmm fireplace...fire place, the place where we put fire." Remember, it's not just looks that matter here. Choose materials that fit in with building codes and can hold up to heat.
Go big or go home. The fireplace was probably one of the reasons why you chose your current home out of all the others. Depending on the size of your room it just might not be practical to create a focal point from a little tile and a small mantle. You really need to think of it as part of a much larger focal point. For instance, just adding bookshelves on either side can really give it more substance.
Know when it's time to just let it be. Many Arts and Crafts style homes have half bookcases on either side of the fireplace. This is one of those cases where you'll want to design around the natural wood and the existing stone or tile colors. Sure, it might not be exactly to your taste, but it has a sense of history that you're just not going to be able to replicate with paint or modern materials.
Make it grand. Changing up your fireplace can totally change the look of your room. You could find a carved marble mantle that will really add a sense of history to your space. Remember the fireplace should be the focal point of your room; not the TV. This is also true of electric and gas fireplaces. Often these are just placed in a room and look like a black box. Take the time to build a proper surround and mantle around it so it becomes an integral part of your space. You can also get the same effect by the type of stone you choose to go around the fireplace.
A lot of vintage tile is green so if you want a classic look try that out. For more enduring style go with cream, gray, black or brown stone around the fireplace so you'll be able to redecorate without doing extensive remodeling work in the future.
The right fireplace surround design can turn a lost space into a work of art. Take your time to do your research beforehand so you know the value of the items that are already in your home. You can always just mix up your design style to create a room that you love that also works with your existing fireplace.