A raised-hearth fireplace will keep pets and children away from a fire and also provides a place to showcase some of your best decorating treasures. It calls attention to its end of the room, inviting people to gather around the fireplace and relax. A raised hearth can be made of many different materials, making it easy to integrate a raised-hearth fireplace in your home's decor.
Build a raised hearth out of fieldstone that matches the fieldstone surround of your fireplace. Use large slabs of fieldstone for the flat top of the hearth, extending the sides to hold fireplace accessories and wood. Paint the outside of the firebox black for a bold contrast, or add gold-toned metal fireplace doors to provide a warm, inviting feeling to your hearth. Add a matching gold-toned or black wrought-iron wood basket to hold logs and kindling. Place matching fireplace accessories at the other end of the raised hearth.
Build up your hearth using a herringbone pattern of red bricks and grey mortar. Use a straight brick pattern as a contrast for the fireplace surround. Build in square cubbyholes on either side below the hearth to store wood and kindling. Install a gas fireplace insert in the fireplace so that it is flush with the fireplace opening. You could also install a fireplace insert that extends out over your raised brick hearth.
Recess a gas fireplace insert into a wall, and build out the bottom of the recess to act as a raised wall or shelf hearth where you can display glass or crystal decorations that take advantage of the light from the gas fire. The recess becomes a combination raised hearth and mantel. Leave this raised hearth the same colour as the wall to focus attention on the decorations, or paint it a darker colour to draw attention to the fireplace.
Slate and Tiling
Build up your fireplace hearth with a light stone base, and use dark slate as its flat top. Tile the fireplace surround and the base of the raised hearth with matching or contrasting-colour tiles that pick up other colours in the room. You can also extend the tiling out from the base of the hearth to create a matching tiled floor space around the hearth area.
Build your hearth base and fireplace surround out of dark-red brick with a light-coloured mortar. Use a textured cement for the flat base of the raised hearth that matches the brick mortar. Use the same material to create a mantel with edges that appear to be rough hewn. Add some gold andirons and fireplace accessories to create a smooth contrast to the roughness of the bricks, mortar and cement.