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  • Writer's pictureG.S. Harris Co., Inc.

Design Elements for a Modern or Contemporary Stone Veneer Fireplace

Homeowners don't often think of stone when they envision materials for a contemporary fireplace. Stone works very well, though, within the décor style. Stone can even serve as the connection between the old-world ambience of a fireplace and a more modern aesthetic. Contemporary and modern are similar styles that feature interchangeable elements that you can implement at will.

Find out some of the design elements you can use for a stone veneer fireplace.

Implementation of Monochromatic Palette

Both modern and contemporary styles favor a monochromatic color palette. With contemporary style, designers focus on neutral colors such as beige or taupe. So, you'll want to look for a stone veneer that falls within that range with little variegation. Travertine, ledgestone, sandstone, and birchwood stone are all likely candidates because of their warmth and understated façade.

With the modern style, the palette tends to be bolder. You may see a stark black or charcoal fireplace. If that depth of color feels too dark for your interior, look to cool grays or even white instead. You'll find a lot of options within the stone veneer selection.

That said, with the modern aesthetic, you can break from the monochromatic palette with a bold flourish. For instance, imagine a frame of black stone for a white fireplace.

Emphasis on Texture

Texture plays a big part in both kinds of contemporary style. With straight contemporary, the target ambience is warm and inviting. Therefore, you may look for stone veneers that feature a rough edge that looks like carpet pile from afar. In other words, you see the slight pits and valleys of the veneer, but the interplay of light and shadow softens the look of the stone.

Again, the modern style takes a bolder approach to this principle. You may look for stone veneers with a rougher hewn texture so you get an industrial vibe from your fireplace. Stacked stone is another way to add modernity to your fireplace. A stacked stone veneer consists of narrow stones that create an abstract design of lines. This veneer surround would be quite striking.

Play on Proportion

A uniting factor for both contemporary styles is a desire to be clever. Designers want to make you think beyond normal design principles. One of the ways they try to spark thought is by breaking rules of proportion. Those rules hold that all elements within a room should be within a certain scale of each other. Contemporary designers love to extend elements though.

So expect to extend your stone veneer. Instead of a tidy square in your wall, the stone should extend up or out — or both. Indeed, a firebox inside a wall finished entirely of stone would meet this design value.

You can also play with proportion in more subtle ways. For instance, say you don't want to extend the fireplace surround. Instead, you could elongate the hearth in front. Conversely, you could counter small stones in the veneer with oversized hearth stones.

Addition of Unusual Elements

In a similar vein, contemporary designers like to incorporate unusual elements that promote thought. You can achieve this principle with your mantel or burner accessories.

For example, imagine your stone veneer fireplace façade. Let's say instead of a protruding mantel you incorporate an oversized slice of wood or stone. It can sit flush with the surround rather than protrude. In that way, it can show off its texture and shape.

Modern gas fireplaces feature a burner element for the flames. You can add fake wood as a backdrop for the flames. However, you can also look for accessories with a more modern appearance. For instance, shaped metal works well in both types of contemporary style. Look for a metal burner with unusual shapes.

Make your stone fireplace truly unique by incorporating contemporary design elements that most speak to you. Harristone has a wide variety of stone veneer products to meet your design needs.



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