A fireplace surround generally consists of the mantle and the sides or supporting legs / slips – there is also the fire chamber to consider, but this is not as such, part of the surround.
There are several differing materials that surrounds can be fashioned from, including; limestone, granite, marble, slate, cast iron, wood and quartz; and it could be said that there are three main styles; traditional, contemporary and colonial – in fact; these are the styles I will be discussing in this article.
With styles matched clearly with the Victorian era, the traditional fireplace surround is usually made of brick and would make the perfect focal-point to country setting.
Many contemporary styled surrounds are fabricated from stone; granite, marble, slate and quartz, to name a few. My favourite has to be limestone, although with this said; I am a limestone fireplace designer, so I am slightly biased.
A contemporary style would best suit a modern flat / house setting – minimalist décor, coupled with maybe an over hanging mirror designed from the same piece of stone.
Suited to larger rooms, the colonial styled fireplace is typical for America in the mid 20th Century period. They were commonly coupled and complemented with objects that gave rough symmetry and from my experience; this style tends to be slightly larger in size than average and can be a little more elaborate in design than others.
What ever your choice is, it can definitely be said that this type of product can make the perfect centre-piece to any room – with any product, care must be taken with it and obviously dependent on the material used, different levels of care should be observed and different methods of maintenance should be adhered to. It is my advice that when you purchase your new fireplace, you ask your suppliers to explain the maintenance instruction for you.
Fireplace Surrounds can be purchased from By The Fireside. They are based in Broxbourne, on the border of Hertfordshire and Essex, but supply and install fires and fireplaces to many locations throughout the UK.