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Fireplace Tiles Are the Unsung Heroes of Your Living Room Design

Six styles to consider.
Courtesy of Max Humphrey

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Fireplaces don’t get their fair share of attention, at least not from a practical standpoint. When they’re not providing seasonal warmth, they often have to share their space with the likes of oversized flat-screens. We usually overlook them, but giving them a second glance might just be the thing you need to give your living room a quick facelift.

Fireplaces can anchor an entire living room. They tell us how to position large sofas or arrange smaller side tables, and they create an easy place to display artwork and other vignettes. Even if we only light them for a few months a year, fireplaces make the room look cozier every day, and maybe that’s enough reason to pay them attention. Because replacing the entire mantel is not always an option, there’s an easier solution to make them enticing even when not in use: decorative tiles.  If you need a little convincing, we found six fireplaces tile ideas which range from eclectic to bold and laid-back to traditional. 

If you like symmetry…

Photo by Jenna Peffley

Set in a colorful Scottsdale, Arizona address, this geometric black-and-white tiled fireplace is all about the beauty of symmetry. The singular line of the mantel overhead mimics the pairs of lines in the tiling, creating a harmonizing effect that’s almost subtle enough to be missed. Those neutral shades also allow the pink painting to really stand out. 

If you’re all about color…

Photo by Laure Joliet 

As if it weren’t enough to love the retro, avocado-hued fireplace in this California home, it’s also impossible not to fall for the bold tiling work. The vibrant circular pattern mixed with bright pink, green, and tan shades make it a worthy focal point in this living area.

If you rather color within the lines…

Photo by Chad Mellon

Black-and-white tiles can also make a statement in a fireplace’s design, if you’re unsure about using color. Stick to a simple lined pattern, like this one from Lindy Galloway, and the bold effect will be just as powerful as a bright shade. 

If you’re all about traditional woodwork…

Photo by Jessica Antola

Dark red may not immediately come to mind as an option for your fireplace, but take a peek at how this shade comes alive when it’s used alongside traditional woodwork. The subtle inclusion of this deep crimson shade adds an eye-catching detail to what could have otherwise been an overlooked piece, and it also brings out the red in the accompanying artwork above the mantel. 

If you want something graphic…

Photography by Nathan Kirkman and Anna Knott

A colorful, graphic tile might be exactly what you need for a mantel that’s covered in lively artwork, since it will stand up to the challenge of not being forgotten amid all of those pieces. Just be sure to keep the rest of the living area streamlined so that your handy work can really stand out. 

If you like mosaics…

Seeing as the rest of this living area by Max Humphrey skews traditional, the mosaic tiling on the fireplace feels like a fun accent. But since the colors in the tiles are neutral, they also blend into the calm color palette. 

Read on for more inspiration:

These Tiled Fireplaces Are Living Room Game ChangersThis Paint Trick Is the Cheapest Way to Refresh Your Living RoomThis Emily Henderson Living Room Design is what Dreams are Made of