Is it just me or is it getting hot in here?! We’ve warmed up with plush comfy rugs, now let’s gather ’round and warm up by the fireplace! The hearth has for centuries been at the core of what makes a house a home (runners up include the kitchen and the family dog), but while in today’s modern homes everyone may get a little distracted by their smartphones, there’s still nothing quite like curling up in front of a fire with a good book. Modern fireplace trends are running like just about everything else in our fully designed lives: long, lean, and low. So let’s take a look at some fabulous fireplace trends and inspiration and how they can truly light up a space.

One of the best ways to think about a fireplace is as a connector between spaces. Usually we see this as a way to bring together the living room and dining room, serving as a focal point in both areas when in use and creating a fun sort of pass through for light when it’s off. The examples below are from JAC‘s own project archives, first in a modern eclectic home in Los Angeles and second in a super funky desert design near Palm Springs.

If you’re used to more traditional design, it may be difficult to think of fireplaces as complementary to modern design, but gone are the days of massive heavy ornamental wood mantels. Instead, modern minimalist design calls for fireplaces that stick out less but make no less of an impact. When done right, a modern fireplace blends right into the wall, a thoughtful and humble architectural accent.

But what about if you want to go up, up, up! While we’re totally obsessed with sleek linear fireplaces and how perfect they work in low-ceilinged spaces, there’s also absolutely nothing wrong with a fireplace that emphasizes verticality – flaunt it if you got it, girl! In these cases the fireplace itself can be a more traditional square shape, or more modern, but in any case they’re the perfect centering point for a cozy living space.

One last note to close on: keep the surround natural! Go with simple stone or clean paint. If you’ve absolutely got to mix it up, try to find a chill textured tile or stone that won’t compete with the calm nature of the fireplace.

Now heat up that cocoa, cozy up with that book, warm up and relax.