Fireplaces are generally a focal point in any room; decorate yours with a surround that fits with your overall room design. Cover a brick fireplace surround with stripes of wood for a design that can be bold or subtle, or embellish a plain drywall fireplace surround with glass mosaic tiles or stainless steel to make a contemporary surround that stands out.
Design your fireplace surround with strips of wood running vertically or horizontally from the hearth to the ceiling to create an impact in your space. The alternating wood strips can be different sizes, different styles and different colours, depending on how much you'd like the surround to stand out. For example, alternate 6-inch planks of maple with 2-inch strips of mahogany for a striking surround with bold contrasts. Or opt to make a more subtle wood strip surround with 4-inch strips of oak, all stained the same. The wooden structure would be a focal element in the room, but would not command as much attention as the bold stripes of contrasting colour.
One of the most beautiful fireplace surrounds you can design is a shimmering wall of mosaic glass tiles. Run the tiles floor-to-ceiling around a plain fireplace wall to create a design element that will become an instant showpiece in your home. Use the same mosaic glass tiles that you would use on your kitchen backsplash, applied with a white thinset mortar that includes an additive for additional bond strength. The surface of your fireplace should be smooth and made from all one material before you install a mosaic glass tile surround. Different materials like metal or mortar cool at different rates, which could cause the glass to crack if you tile over multiple substrates. Cover your surround in drywall or backer board before you apply the glass tiles to keep your fireplace maintenance-free for a lifetime.
Stainless-steel fireplace surrounds are a simple solution for transforming a traditional brick fireplace into a contemporary design. Leave the metal smooth or add design interest with swirls from an orbital sander. Cover a brick surround with backer board or drywall before you attach the metal sheeting for a smooth metal surface. Depending on the size of your fireplace surround, you may need to piece the metal sheets, creating visible seams in the metal surround. Incorporate the seams as part of your design by emphasising them with decorative metal embellishments or minimise them with your mantle decorations.