Many contemporary kitchen designs are part of a greatroom.

And many greatrooms include a fireplace.

This can be a great opportunity for the kitchen designer to incorporate the design of the fireplace area into the overall design brief.

By coordinating the design of the kitchen and the fireplace area you can achieve a cohesive overall design in the greatroom.

In today’s VESTA Blog we will explore a variety of fireplace wall designs and inspire you to add them to your design offering!

Coordinating the Kitchen and Fireplace

The kitchen design in a greatroom should be the jumping off point for the fireplace design.

In this greatroom the fireplace was connected to the kitchen through the use of color and line.

The color of the fireplace mantel was the same as the island.

The dark charcoal grey worked well to provide a focal point on the backwall of this greatroom.

And the placement of it between the two tall windows with spectacular views worked perfectly.

When choosing the mouldings for the design of the mantel, I coordinated them with the trim used in the kitchen cabinetry.

It purposely is not a perfect match but both sets of trim have similar coved shapes and geometric elements.

FYI, this mantel was designed using crown moulding and an architrave.

Fireplace Mantels from Mouldings & Trim

Using stock crown mouldings, architraves, panel mouldings, corbels and miscellaneous trim is a great way for the kitchen designer to design a greatroom mantel that coordinates with the kitchen design.

Often the trim offered by your cabinet supplier can be used or you can source trim pieces and then have the finished mantel stained or painted to match.

All the mantels above were produced from mouldings and were then finished to match the kitchen cabinetry.

A bonus of designing your own mantels is the flexability.

You can better employ the elements and principles of design to get the perfect size, shape and proportion of mantel for the room.

You also are able to match the decor style of the fireplace mantel to the kitchen at the other end of the greatroom.

Above is a very ornate mantel design that was developed with decorative elements to produce a one of a kind look.

It could have taken the designer months to source something like this in an antique shop but by designing it herself, she got a perfect fit for her client’s greatroom.

Include Low Built-ins on the Fireplace Wall

A great way to integrate the fireplace wall in a greatroom is to include built-ins around the fireplace.

There are many different approaches, so let’s start by exploring “Low Built-ins”.

Low built-ins are great when you want to emphasize horizontal line in a design.

This is also a great way to add coziness to a space.

Specifying low built-ins can allow the designer to include windows on the fireplace wall, which can be very desirable in a greatroom setting.

Low built-ins are also a good choice if you are designing in a modern style.

Try an offset approach for a unique fireplace wall installation.

Traditional Fireplace Built-ins

Traditionally, built-ins either side of a fireplace include tall units, mostly as open shelves.

Designers can develop this type of built-in in any decor style to coordinate with the kitchen as part of the greatroom.

Depending on the decor style you are developing for the room, you could specify solid or glass shelves.

Open shelves are a great place to showcase client’s treasures and many homeowners would appreciate having them included in their design.

Another approach is to combine both open and closed storage within the fireplace built-ins.

This way your client has the option of having some items on display and other items tucked away behind closed doors.

Experiment with designs with different heights of closed storage and even include tall closed storage if you have extra width on the wall.

If your client is concerned about dusting open shelves, you could include glass doors as a way to get the best of both worlds.

Built-ins under the Fireplace

With the popularity of rectangular fireplaces, another way to approach built-ins is to design them under the fireplace.

As with low built-ins, cabinets at the floor under the fireplace provides a horizontal line that makes the space feel cozy.

This is a great way to incorporate a hearth.

I will often specify these cabinets as drawers for more functional storage. Ideal for books, games, toys and all the items that can accumulate in a greatroom living area.

Personally I like to place the TV on top of these built-ins for optimum viewing height.

Working With What is There

Sometimes the fireplace area just needs an update.

Here is a great opportunity for you to work with what the client already has and update it to coordinate with the kitchen.

In this renovation, the kitchen was updated in a yellow toned cabinet and the existing fireplace area was updated with the same finish.

I specified built-ins either side of the exiting brick fireplace and wood mantel to balance the two ends of the room.

This greatroom remodel included a dark cherry toned kitchen and there was an existing brick fireplace and mantel at the opposite end.

To pull the room together the same type of cabinetry and finish were installed either side of the brick.

Hopefully these examples will inspire you to think about how you could incorporate the design of fireplaces in all your greatroom kitchen designs.

Let me know if this is something you would see yourself including in your kitchen design practice.

Leave me a comment below.

Jan Rutgers has been designing for over 25 years. Developing functional layouts for every area of the home is her passion. She has designed more than 1000 kitchens in her career, learning valuable skills with each one! Her experience in Kitchen Design, Millwork Manufacturing and Product Development has led her to create VESTABUL SCHOOL OF DESIGN where she educates and mentors people passionate about the Kitchen Design Industry.

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