Fireplace Surrounds Popular Choices
Fireplace Surrounds determine the style and overall effect of your direplace as a whole
Fireplace surrounds are the frames which, as the name suggests, surround the main grate of the fire. They are the major factor in the style and effect of fireplaces and vary as widely as any other kind of décor.
They are also, like other aspects of décor, very much a matter of personal taste. Among other materials they come in marble, brick, cast iron and wood. And in this age where less is more, one style of surround which is increasingly popular is no surround at all. If you're unhappy with what came with the house, you can always rip it out and paint what's left to your own liking and/or put your own tiling around the hearth. Alternatively, and sometimes more safely, you can get someone else to do it for you, perhaps adding some of the impressive stone work you see in trendy bars.
If you don't want to spend the money or time removing what's there already, you could significantly change its appearance by painting it in a color either contrasting with or blending into the tone of the walls. And if you're considering buying a surround, think carefully about what you want. It may seem obvious, but remember to look for one which goes with everything else in the room: it will be the focal point of the space so it shouldn't clash with the rest of the décor. A piece of mock Victoriana which looks great in the showroom may not look quite the same when teamed with your minimalist white leather couch (then again, it might. all it takes is thought). If the fireplace is already there and you don't want to remove it, the reverse applies - keep its style in mind when you are deciding how to decorate the room.
The appearance of fireplace surrounds can also be enhanced and altered by the addition of trappings such as a (probably cast iron) coal scuttle, tongs and poker or, in the summer, fresh and dried flowers. As we said before, it's all a matter of personal taste. even if you are considering putting china animals on the mantelpiece. Consider some big candles or a couple of nice picture frames too though.