Spreading the Glow

Fireplaces are fabulous features in any room. These ideas and choices will fire up your imagination.

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  • 1 of 10

    Luxe in the Living Room

    A glowing fireplace in the home's main gathering room is a glorious tradition. If you've the good fortune to have one in your living room, arrange your furnishings around it to maximize your family's enjoyment of it.

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    Drawn to the Den

    A small fireplace in a den, home office, or study greatly increases the cozy feeling of that room. Put a chair close to the fireplace to create a reading spot. The dried flowers in this firebox show a wonderful way to keep the hearth appealing even in the summer months.

  • 3 of 10

    Rest Easy

    Gently flickering flames are sure to bring sweet dreams when you install a fireplace in the bedroom. Position the bed to maximize the view when lying down. Gas fireplaces are perfect in these situations, especially with a remote control: Simply turn the flame off with the touch of a button from across the room when you're ready to slip into sweet slumber.

  • 4 of 10

    Kitchen Comfort

    The first indoor fireplaces were used to cook; heating the room was just a pleasant byproduct. Today, fireplaces in kitchens add even more warmth to the center of the home. This wood-burning stove is tucked into a tile-lined niche to enhance its room-warming quality.

  • 5 of 10

    Warmth Down Under

    Many homeowners wishing to improve a basement face a common dilemma: How to warm the space. Supplementing a home's heating system with a wood- or gas-fueled stove is a smart solution. The casual charm of antique-style stoves perfectly complements the laid-back appeal of these spaces while providing heat when and where it's needed.

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    Move Outdoors

    There's no reason to confine the pleasures of a fireplace to the indoors. Think of an outdoor fireplace as an elegant variation on the campfire. Arrange the space just as you would indoors: circle seating around the hearth, and when the evenings turn cool take advantage of the warm glow to stay outdoors and listen to summer's last crickets.

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    Multiply the Enjoyment

    If you're torn between putting a fireplace in one room or the room next to it, consider a multi-sided model. This three-sided gas fireplace casts a panoramic view of its gentle flames. Another advantage: When not in use, three sides of glass keep the fireplace light and bright.

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    Impressionist Approach

    Part of a fireplace's magic is that it warms the heart whether it's lit or not. Simply install a pre-fabricated fireplace mantel on the wall and dress it to play the part and -- presto! -- you've got a hearth worthy of gathering 'round.

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    Play with the Concept

    Fireplaces come in an amazing range of sizes and styles. Take in all the options to find one that suits. This super-contemporary model is actually an electric fireplace hung on the wall. The pretend flames glow pink, blue, or green over a bed of ice-toned stones. It's a playful choice.

  • Next Slideshow Before and After: Fireplaces

    Before and After: Fireplaces

    If your fireplace is in need of a facelift, find inspiration to get started from these remarkable makeovers, complete with new mantels, fabulous surrounds, and cozy hearths.
    Begin Slideshow »
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