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how to make a natural stone fireplace focal point

Apart from offering a beautiful centre piece to a room, fireplaces make great spots to lounge or chat in front of, or simply to watch television basking in the light and heat. There is nothing quite like a real fire. Lovely warmth on a chilly day and the scent of burning wood, all adding to the cosy feel. Even if you can’t have a real fire, you can still create a wonderful focal point in a room by adding a natural stone hearth and fireplace.

Choosing the right fireplace design and stone is key to ensuring your fireplace is a positive part of the home you love. Fireplace design ideas vary widely, but no matter what your style, there is a fireplace for you. But, first you'll have to decide what type of fireplace is right. Will the unit be a source of primary heat or will it be used for decorative purposes? Is ease of use and maintenance a priority? What kind of fuel do you prefer? What colour theme are you thinking of? These questions should help you determine whether you'd like a wood burning, gas, electric fireplace or even just a decorative hearth.

Branching out towards wood fires
There has been a strong trend toward wood burning or multi fuel stoves over the last few years, as they pump out the heat, while being relatively fuel efficient. Getting the right chimney system whether using an existing chimney or metal flue is essential to ensure the system is safe, reliable and efficient. What you are making the fireplace out of is also important, as it must be built to withstand the heat generated. Brick and stone fireplace designs are probably the most common choice, with suitable stone varieties including limestone, marble or slate.

Firing on gas
Gas fireplaces can be more affordable to build, with pre-fabricated metal units increasing the options. They also provide radiant heat and a hearth flame without the inconvenience of wood. They offer a wide variety of sizes and aesthetic choices lots of options in terms of venting (inserts, direct-vent and vent-free models) than wood-burning fireplaces. But make sure you choose a gas fireplace with the highest efficiency rating.

Going electric
Electric fireplaces may not be the norm, but in certain situations they can offer a perfect solution as they are typically smaller, which makes them ideal for smaller rooms.

Whatever you choice, if you've decided a room colour and theme, then a stone fireplace with complimentary natural features can easily be designed. Hand finished, they can also be made even more bespoke with additional features and carvings added to make it unique to your home. And once there, you can add to the impact by adding decorative touches like mirrors, statues, flowers or artwork to really complement your theme.