In timber homes, where post-and-beam construction makes load-bearing walls unnecessary, a centrally located fireplace, such as this stone hearth graced with a beautiful wood mantel, can help delineate space without blocking access from room to room. Photo: Rich Frutchey and Davis Frame Co.
Red brick construction and rustic wooden mantels are always a popular choice for post-and-beam home fireplaces, and they provide a uniform, consistent backdrop for any decorative mantelscape. Photo: James Ray Spahn
Your fireplace should be a focal point, so don't limit yourself to traditional designs. This Arkansas fieldstone fireplace with a sandstone mantel fits neatly in with this room's irregular ceiling, providing an unusual conversation piece for guests. Photo: James Ray Spahn
Increase your enjoyment with a double-sided fireplace. This massive stone hearth pulls double duty and warms the kitchen as well as the surrounding living areas. Photo: James Ray Spahn
Hearths aren't just for great rooms, as this modern bathroom fixture demonstrates. Surrounded by gorgeous views, layered with fragrant bubbles and warmed by a nearby modern fireplace — what could be better? Photo: Colin Jewall