Mid century modern design doesn’t do anything subtly. It’s bold design in every sense. Whether it’s over-the-top glam or minimalistic-natural, it’s go big or go home for this ever-popular style.
One of our favorite elements of mid century design is the fireplace. Designers tend to make a spectacle of the fireplace in mid century design. Some of the most loved television shows from that time are excellent examples of this. Have you seen the natural stone-covered pony wall and brick chimney in the sunken living room of the Brady Bunch? What about the ceiling-height, brick-encrusted fireplace in Bewitched?
You couldn’t have missed the ornate marble encircled fireplace in the Ricardo’s early apartment, or the oversized stone fireplace in their country home on I Love Lucy.
The love of mid century modern continues today both on TV and in residential design. Mad Men featured a fireplace offset in a long rectangle of white brick. Mrs. Maisel enjoys a glamorous, carved mantel painted white.
We’ve picked out a few of the favorite fireplace styles of the mid century that even Mrs. Maisel wouldn’t be able to resist.
The Three-Sided Fireplace
For a standout fireplace right out of the mid century, think about a three-sided fireplace. These linear style fireplaces have two sides open so the fire is accessible to more of the room. The longer, linear shape is just right for a mid century modern design.
It is also the perfect opportunity to make the wall around the fireplace stand out. Even if you simply paint the wall a different color, the fireplace will become one of the most striking features in the room. Use stone, tile, brick or another complementary material and you’ll have a fireplace to rival Hollywood’s mid century sets.
The glam of the mid century was an undercurrent to the clean-lined organic style that is most prominent when you think of mid century modern. But no modern design is complete without a touch of opulence.
Details matter in an ornate fireplace. A carved wood surround look with lots of embellishments is preferred. Opulent materials are also important for this style. Marble surrounds with some more clean-lined accents and accessories balance the look and ensure you can blend it with some crisp, mid century modern furniture.
The bigger the fireplace the better. The actual firebox doesn’t have to be big. The idea is to design the fireplace to draw attention, even be the center of attention in the design. Start by planning the wall.
Don’t be afraid to take up the whole wall in a bold paint color or cover it in stone, tile, paneling, etc. Then add a fireplace that is equally as flashy. You might even consider a fireplace that has some unique features like a glass bed or colored flame options that draw attention to it.
A large mantel or fireplace surround helps the fireplace to have a presence in the room. Another way to make the fireplace seem bigger is to place it higher up on the wall instead of by the floor. A hearth is effective at doing this, or you can go with the linear wall mounted electric fireplace, which can go up higher on the wall.
Another popular fireplace set up in the mid century was the offset style. These featured long rectangular backdrops in brick or stone with a rectangular fireplace situated at the far end instead of being centered. This design blends perfectly with a three-sided fireplace design or a peninsula fireplace design.
The offset linear arrangement places concentric rectangles next to each other in an unexpected way. It’s one of the most popular designs from the mid century and is enjoying plenty of attention in today’s designs as well.
The mid century modern fireplace has been a beloved design over decades. Now is the perfect time to add one to your space. Can’t get enough of fireplace designs? Check out these mind-blowing electric fireplace styles.