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Inspiring Timber Home Fireplace Design

Great rooms and fireplaces are as synonymous as salt and pepper, but the way you play with your hearth’s size, shape and materials are what adds spice to the space.

Written by Donna Peak

Pioneering Spirit

 Home by PrecisionCraft Log & Timber Homes; Heidi Long photo
A contemporary-classic log home with a Wild West twist calls for a fireplace that’s up to the task. This dry-stacked unit with a raised hearth holds its own against the distressed, random-width Douglas fir logs and expansive king post truss overhead. To give the walls a western-expansion edge, no two logs are stained exactly the same shade, and the varying tones of the stone, from rose to peach to slate blue, emulate that ideal. Classic forged iron andirons accentuate the firebox, while the granite slab provides a spot to cozy up to the fire on frosty Rocky Mountain nights.

Simply Refined

 New Energy Works home and photo
For an elegant, refined design that’s still true to its natural roots, look to stone veneer to encase your great room’s fireplace. Here, a thick chiseled rock provides heft to the hearth but the rockwork that comprises the fireplace is sliced thin, giving the fireplace a sleek appearance and minimizing the unit’s infiltration on your livable space. Plus this approach can save you money on materials and construction, since the veneer’s reduced weight load may not require subfloor or foundation reinforcements.

Farm Fresh

 Home by Coventry Log Homes; Roger Wade photo
Modern farmhouse is a trend that shows no sign of slowing down, and the key to success is a bright and cheerful interior. From the whitewash on the logs to the colorful color palette, this great room has many of elements that achieve that goal, but the fireplace is still the focal point. Note how the direct-vent, gas-fired unit uses small, stacked stones in a patchwork pattern to drive the farmhouse feel home. Open shelves flank the unit to reinforce the design, as does the open loft perched on top of it. Capping the whole thing off are the richly stained timber trusses adjoined by exposed faceplates and bold rivets that make you feel like you’re in a barn-turned-home.

Two-for-One Tableau

A full masonry, wood-burning fireplace is common in a log and timber home, but since it also can be expensive to build, be sure to make it count. Case in point: this timber home’s double-sided fireplace. One side is the centerpiece of an expansive great room while the other warms an intimate conversation area on a covered porch. Both sides feature 12-inch thick mantels built from reclaimed wood — a detail that complements the heavy-timber, rough-sawn oak trusses and other wood elements that define the design. 

Cabin Bliss

 Christopher Marona photo
Dreaming of a small cabin? Don’t think that because your living room is short on square footage that means all the room’s features have to fall in line. An oversized fireplace and substantial details can make a small space feel grand.
Take this rustic cabin’s gathering room. Though the entire cabin is roughly 600 square feet, a massive fieldstone fireplace featuring a sturdy screen made of hand-forged iron is an appropriate match for the large-diameter, handcrafted logs. The tapered chimney keeps the weighty rocks from overpowering the room, while the sheer size of the unit generates warmth for the entire tiny cabin.

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