A fireplace is an excellent architectural focal point for any room.
And we in New Orleans have a great abundance of fireplaces in our older homes; some are not working but many still are.
Regardless if they are functioning or not, they offer us enormous design choices and opportunities due to their numerous styles.
Some are built-in, some are freestanding; some are surrounded by brick, some have sheetrock or plaster; some are wood burning, some coal burning and some natural gas.
Likewise mantels come in many styles and varieties.
Use the type and look of your fireplace and mantel as a jump-start to designing your room.
They set the stage for color, formality, texture, layout and balance. Follow their lead or create contrast around them.
A special benefit is that we as people usually conotate fireplaces with warm feelings and a sense of comfort and family and/or romance. And we find fires interesting to watch.
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