Top Ideas for a Perfect Fireplace at Your Home

fireplace

There’s no denying the thrill of a redesigned kitchen, new primo memory foam mattress, urban pieces of furniture etc. And a fireplace is something to stand out among the list points; we’ll show how you can easily create three effects – even if you don’t have a chimney.

The Classic Surround

There’s nothing quite like a fireplace to create, especially on a chilly evening. You can fill this one with an array of candles to create the effect of burning logs; a few marshmallows add to authentic fireside entertaining.

TIP

Place a mirror at the back of the opening to reflect the burning candles you display in the open space.

Shopping list

  • Base unit two 1500mm x 500mm x 16mm (base);
  • two 600mm x 140mm x 16mm (inside panels, sides);
  • one 630mm x 140mm x 16mm (inside panel, top);
  • two 600mm x 150mm x 16mm (outside panels, sides);
  • one 900mm x 150mm x 16mm (top panel);

1 MINIMALIST SURROUND

  • two 750mm x 200mm x16mm (vertical fronts);
  • two 750mm x 190mm x 16mm (inside panels);
  • one 935mm x 65mm x 16mm (cross brace, top);
  • one 1300mm x 250mm x 16mm (horizontal front);
  • one 1300mm x 190mm x 16mm (mantel);
  • two 985mm x 190mm x 16mm (outside panels);

2 CONTEMPORARY SURROUND

  • two 1500mm x 250mm x 16mm (mantel);
  • two 985mm x 200mm x 16mm (front panels);
  • four 985mm x 190mm x 16mm (sides);
  • one 900mm x 235mm x 16mm (front);
  • two 900mm x 80mm x 16mm (panel detail);
  • six 200mm x 80mm x 16mm (panel detail)

3 CLASSIC SURROUND

  • two 1500mm x 250mm x 16mm (mantel);
  • two 985mm x 200mm x 16mm (front panels);
  • four 985mm x 190mm x 16mm (sides);
  • one 900mm x 235mm x16mm (front);
  • two 650mm x 150mm x 16mm (panel detail);
  • two 250mm x 200mm x 16mm (panel detail);
  • one 700mm x 80mm x 16mm (panel detail)

Other items

  • Professional wood glue;
  • 3.5mm x 30mm cut screws;
  • medium grit sandpaper (120 grit);
  • paintbrush and foam roller multisurface primer;
  • water-based enamel/acrylic PVA

Tools

  • Cordless drill and 2.5mm combination countersink drill bit (available as part of a set or individually);
  • router plus router bits (optional)
  • G-clamps combination;
  • square tape measure;
  • sharp pencil

The contemporary surround

Project notes

The faux fireplace surrounds shown here are made entirely of 16mm Supawood/MDF (medium density fibreboard), which is a flammable material and as such should not be used as an actual fireplace surround. Candles or an ethanol fireplace can be used only if placed well forward of the structure so that heat will rise in front of it. The components for the three surrounds were cut from two sheets of 16mm Supawood.

All three constructions can make use of the same inside framework onto which either outer structure (the minimalist, contemporary or classic surround) can then be placed. Should you decide to construct either one of the fireplaces surrounds shown here, add the measurements of the unit you like to those of the base unit and take the combined cutting list along to your wood merchant. We finished all three units in the same manner: first, we primed the units with a multisurface primer, and then overcoated them with a white acrylic PVA – use any color you prefer. We then used medium grit sandpaper to remove the layers of paint and primer from all the edges to expose all the detail. The minimalist surround   Get started to

CONSTRUCT THE BASE UNIT  

1 Measure and mark out 16mm-wide bands at both ends of the 630mm x 140mm x 16mm (inside edge, top) section. Then drill pilot holes at each end.

2 Use cut screws and glue to fix this piece to the two, as shown. Use the combination square to make sure all angles are at 90 degrees.

3 Fix the two 600mm x 150mm x 16mm outside panels to the edges of the 600mm x 140mm x 16mm sides, as shown.

4 Then fix the 900mm x 150mm x 16mm top panel in place.

5 Use offcut pieces to secure the top panel and the sides at the back, on both sides. 6 Position the structure created in steps 1 to 5 onto one of the two 1500mm x 500mm x 16mm pieces and secure with screws. The structure should be fixed toward the back (long edge) of the panel and face forwards.

7 Now fix the second 1500mm x 500mm x 16mm piece to the bottom of the first, as shown.

8 (OPTIONAL) Use a router and an edge profile bit, of your choice, to finish the top edge of the base.

CONSTRUCT THE MINIMALIST SURROUND

9 Create two vertical columns by fixing the 750mm x 200mm x 16mm (front panels) sections to the 750mm x 190mm x 16mm panels (inside panels). Then fit the two 985mm x 190mm x 16mm outside panels in place, as shown. These longer panels should face outwards on either side.

10 Place the two columns constructed in step 9 to either side of the base unit (longer panels facing outwards) and then fit the 935mm x 65mm x 16mm cross brace to the top of the 750mm x 190mm x 16mm inside panels, as shown. The cross brace should sit 16mm from the front edge of the columns to allow for the horizontal front panel.

11 Fix the 1300mm x 190mm x16mm (mantel) to the tops of the 985mm x 190mm x 16mm outside panels. Place the horizontal front panel (1300mm x 250mm x 16mm) in position and fix it to the mantel and to the tops of the outside panels.

12 (OPTIONAL) Use a 5mm straight bit and the router to create horizontal channels 100mm apart from top to bottom of the surround. Use a straight-edged plank as a guide to ensure that the channels are cut straight.

CONSTRUCT THE CONTEMPORARY SURROUND  

13 Repeat the process outlined in step 9 to create two vertical columns by fixing the front panels (2 x 985mm x 200mm x16mm) to the sides (4 x 985mm x 190mm x 16mm). Place these to either side of the base unit.

14  Fix the 900mm x 235mm x 16mm front panel to the top of the base unit using one of the 900mm x 80mm x 16mm panel details, as shown. Then fix a 1500mm x 250mm x 16mm mantel section on top, and screw it into the front panel and columns. Now fix the second mantel section onto this to create a solid looking mantelpiece.

15  Add the remaining 900mm x 80mm x 16mm panel detail to the front panel just underneath the mantel.

CONSTRUCT THE CLASSIC SURROUND

16  Repeat step 13. Mount the 900 x 235 x 16mm front panel to the base unit. Screw it into the top panel of the base, from the back, using two offcut pieces (as in step 5). Affix the mantel as in step 14, then add the detail pieces: the first edge them all off using the router. Then fit the two 250mm x 200mm x 16mm panels to the base of the columns. Now position the two 650mm x 150mm x 16mm panels above these (as shown). Add the 700mm x 80mm x 16mm panel across the front panel just below the mantelpiece. Add the six 200mm x 80mm x 16mm panels to complete the look. Fix these to either column – in line with the 900mm lengths – and also to the bottom of each column. Finish off by routing the edge of the mantelpiece to give it a profiled edge. Don’t forget to read articles about how to decorate a fireplace and how to use it safely.