Traditional fireplace ideas – How to find the perfect fireplace for your period home

1. Embrace heritage charm with a Tudor design

The earliest surviving traditional fireplace ideas were typically built from brick and left exposed. They would house a small fire with inglenooks either side; these could range from small spaces that provided log storage ideas or larger areas with seating. This fireplace, in a 1580s house, was uncovered behind a 1930s gas fire, and is beautifully finished with a stone hearth and recessed wooden lintel.

2. Go for a timeless look with a Georgian design

Similar to modern fireplace ideas, Georgian fireplaces were about making a statement, featuring generous proportions and classic motifs. Wealthy homeowners opted for marble or stone fireplace ideas, while more modest designs were of painted wood, with veining added to emulate the look.

3. Channel Bridgeton-chic with a regency design

‘Regency fireplaces marked a high point in English design. Usually carved in marble, they are typified by lightness and refinement, often with a flat mantle shelf. Details such as S-curve corbels, the bullseye roundel and floral pateras were also popular,’ says Charlotte Freemantle, co-founder at Jamb.

4. Embrace authentic Victorian design with tiling

Victorian fireplaces are one of the most iconic traditional fireplace ideas – instantly recognisable for their decorative fireplace tile ideas that flank the cast-iron grate. Designs ranged from floral motifs to embossed friezes and were typically bright and eye-catching in their colour schemes. The Victorian Fireplace Store has myriad antique and reproduction designs available.

5. Celebrate the ornate nature of Victorian design

Appearing in almost every room, traditional fireplace ideas were an essential part of the Victorian home. Cast iron was the favoured grate material, as it can withstand extreme heat (up to 1,400˚C) and is compatible with both wood and coal. Slate or tiles were the popular fireplace hearth ideas.

6. Prioritise efficiency with an Edwardian fireplace

When it comes to buying a fire and fireplace, knowing the period of your home is a great starting point. Edwardian traditional fireplace ideas prioritised heat output and lower fuel consumption. In this era, the cheeks were splayed to direct more heat into the room and grate sizes shrunk to reflect the need for less fuel. Aesthetics played a part, too, and styles drew on classical yet modest designs. Shelving became an attractive addition with space for ornaments.

7. Create a bold focal point with an Art Nouveau design

Despite coinciding with the start of the Edwardian period, Art Nouveau fireplaces were highly stylised. These traditional fireplace ideas often featured floral embellishments with designs influenced by the natural world. They would be made from cast-iron, stone or wood.

8. Go bold with a decorative Arts & Craft design

Born out of a backlash to the industrialisation, the Arts and Crafts movement saw designers reaching for inspiration from Tudor and medieval designs – something that is clearly seen in Arts and Crafts traditional fireplace ideas.

8. Restore rather than replace

If you have an original fireplace, then look to restore rather than replace. ‘An original is a direct link to the era of the building and will have a quality of craftsmanship which is rarely found in reproductions,’ says Chris Wright, owner of P.J. Wright & Sons Fireplace Restoration. ‘Even if it looks beyond repair, seek professional advice as projects that can seem unsalvageable to the untrained eye often aren't, as evidenced by this project.’ Restoration is also more sustainable and likely to be more cost-effective than buying new.

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