Before pic Cape May Potbelly Stove | Distinctive Interior Designs | Cape May NJ

Fireplace Redesigns for 2022

As we all sit inside trying to warm up during these chilly winter months, we get toasty and we gaze longingly at our fireplace.  Some of us like what we see (warm flames), and some of us can’t stand what we see (outdated style).  Fireplace redesigns were HUGE in 2021 and are definitely continuing in 2022!

Want to join the revolution?  Check out 6 great options (and more) below.  Ideas include stacked stone, buildouts with brick veneer, unique built-ins perfectly planned for mounting TVs, modern linear fireplaces, conversions from wood burning to gas/ electric, and even simply white washing of an old brick to make it new.  BIGGEST TREND = Electric fireplaces!  You must read to understand WHY…

Check out these fantastic projects below to warm your design heart (and toes)!

Moving To Modern

Cape May Living Room Dry Bar | Distinctive Interior Designs | Cape May NJ

Clean lined styles are big these days…including related to your fireplace!

Here are two great examples of ‘less is more’ (my honey’s favorite phrase of all times!).  The original version of these fireplaces was extremely traditional (see that pot belly stove above!!)  which was a mismatch with these homeowners’ style.  Simple, sleek, modern with just a touch of style and texture–now these are perfectly matched to the rooms they’re in!

The unit above is electric/ below is gas.  Why choose one or the other — KEEP READING…

(If you click on the image above you’ll see how dramatically we changed the above fireplace and the project surrounding it.  Distinctive Interior Designs helped them take that from ‘Grandma & Grandpa’s 1970s’ to 2020.)

Modern Fireplace Redesign | Princeton, NJ | Distinctive Interior Designs

Let’s Get MESSY!

Wanna get splashy happy?  Well, if you’re a bit adventurous and feeling the need for a massive transformation, painting your old brick fireplace is the way to make it happen!  It’s by FAR the most cost effective way to get a completely fresh look…especially if you actually like all the funcionality (but not the look) of ‘old bessy’.

Here’s the scoop on what the best products are to make it happen from one of my BIGGEST trusted sources, Bob Vila.  With reading those details under your belt, I now send you off to change your world (or at least your fireplace)!

Adding Texture

To STONE or not to stone?  That is the question.

The absolute most popular addition or modification to fireplaces these days is stacked stone and there are many wonderful textures and colors to choose from a bunch of resources, but qualities vary dramatically.  Poor quality stacked stones can cause labor for installation to double when the precut puzzle pieces have too much variance.  We’ve seen it happen and our installer wanted to ‘kill’ us!

Our recommendation–use Eldorado Stone.  It was voted the best stacked stone and brick veneer manufacturer in 2018.  (Your installer will thank us for the recommendation!)

Colorful Kitchen | Haddonfield NJ | Distinctive Interior Designs

(Note that these fireplaces were originally completely flat to the wall with no bump out at all.  If you want to see the befores for these, take a peek:  #1 pic and #2 pic.)

Build-out or Around?

Custom built media center and fireplace by NJ interior design firm Distinctive Interior Designs

Who says built-ins are ‘out’?!  With extra wall space comes the opportunity for a statement (and the chance for storage).  As well, a built-in can be used to add a fireplace when there is no chimney.  (Did you just read that correctly?  YUP!!)

Guess which one of these fireplaces is actually electric (and it looks fantastic and generates heat).  That same fireplace has cool columns that pull out for lots of mini-shelf storage.

Big statements like these are often more costly, but, BOY, do they add something amazing to a room!

Fireplace Custom Built in | Cranbury NJ | Distinctive Interior Designs

Convert to What (& Why)?

Wood, Gas, Electric?  The burning question.

Along with doing things that look wonderful, we are regularly tasked with helping our clients figure out the best function of fireplaces in their homes.  So, WHY, choose one or the other of the above?

Wood burning:  You will NEVER get the real crackle & pop, or wood burning smell from any other version.  But some of my clients can’t stand the mess, or the bugs, or the wood burning smell that is imbedded in their homes now.  (BTW, here are some products that can help get rid of that scent.)

Convert to Gas:  If you want true massive heat to be generated, a rather natural look, and a ‘clean burn’ this is the solution.  But be aware:  too high a level of BTUs generated from a unit can blast you out of your space AND dry out the air SO badly that you may need a humidifier to offset it!

Electric:  Our Biggest trend and best solution for a huge number of clients is a built-in electric unit–whether it’s freestanding or built-in.  It’s tremendously less expensive AND you can get all the benefits of a gas look with complete control over IF you want heat or just a romantic glow.  PLUS:  the price tag is fantastic vs the gas unit reno process (especially if it’s freestanding). Negatives:   You’ll never have the look of a rip-roaring fire, no crackle-pop sounds, and never heat a whole house with just from an electric unit.

Check out this electric 60″ linear unit…it’s the most popular unit we’ve used to date!

Now, we’re curiouos, which one would you choose?

Cape May Living Room Dry Bar | Distinctive Interior Designs | Cape May NJ

Here are a few more great images of looks we’ve helped clients achieve–from reinventing their current fireplace with white washing to completely blowing them up!  Call or email us if you’d like great ideas for your fireplace revolution…

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