Fireplace design trends for 2021 - according to Architectural Advisor, Richard Miller

Year after year, we’re inspired by the constant innovation we see in the architecture world to push the boundaries when it comes to fireplace technology and design. We consistently ask ourselves how we can make our fireplaces better and remove the limitations that get in the way of design freedom.

We spoke to our architectural advisory specialist, Richard Miller about the fireplace design trends that were prevalent in 2020 that we expect to see more of in 2021.

Double-sided room dividers

Open plan living is a concept that drives interior design increasingly each year. But how do we designate spaces in large areas without disconnecting them entirely? Enter the Escea DS series double sided fireplace.

This fireplace creates a showstopping room divider while emphasising open plan living and creating connected spaces as well as making a dramatic statement.

The design possibilities are endless with this style according to Richard with “more designers styling each face of the fire with different materials and depths to add contrast and variety to their interiors”.

We expect to see this style executed in more and more grand designs in 2021, particularly Escea’s DS1900 which takes linear to new lengths at almost 2 metres long.

Image 1: Escea DS1900 Gas Fireplace. Image 2: Escea DS1400 Gas Fireplace. Photography: Studio Weir.


Brick is back. In previous years we saw raw red brick substituted out for a lot of lighter coloured brick – but in 2021 we are leaning into warmer colours and natural materials, enhanced with splashes of colour and pattern.  And rather than just seeing it in traditional fireplace surrounds, it’s the devil in the detail appearing anywhere and everywhere!  In order to achieve the sought after flush finish, brick slips are used like a “brick tile” says Richard, “the slips are used in the area of the wall that contains the firebox and then regular brick complete the design.”

Outdoor Kitchens

We’re picking 2021 will be the year of entertaining by flame as more people seek to create an outdoor oasis to retreat to in their homes. Richard says the biggest design trend to come out of the “post COVID renovation mania” is the outdoor living space and “cooking fires are at the heart of all this, where the great flavours of a wood-fired BBQ meet the comforts of roaring fire”.  Escea’s range of outdoor woodfires come with additional cooking plates and grills to get you started – just add a long bench and outdoor sink for preparing food (and drink!)

If you fancy a bit of al fresco dining, check out our recipes to try on the Escea EK to get you going.

Freestanding Fireplaces at eye level

The industrial, freestanding look celebrates what’s raw and untouched, so the fireplace speaks for itself. This look is often emphasised by the addition of luxurious furnishings and subtle pops of colour and texture. Thanks to Escea’s zero clearance technology, freestanding gas fires are also capable of being fitted directly onto raised joinery without risk, which Richard says makes them a great retrofit option.

In 2021 you’ll also see freestanding fireplaces positioned on top of designer ledges rather than on the floor – giving you eye level, front row seats to the flame show!

TV's over Fireplaces 

There is a bit of contention around TVs placed over fireplaces as often they can take away from the aesthetic of the fireplace design. Samsung has solved this issue with its introduction of “The Frame” a TV that doubles as a world class art gallery.  Thanks to this innovation and our zero clearance technology the two can sit closer together than ever before.

Art has always been a key element of interior design, but in 2020 when the world stopped, we relied on art so much more as a sense of worldly exploration and as a form of self-expression and this will remain important in 2021.

“Its great that Escea fires allow for the lowest TV clearance on the market, but when you see the detailing of a contrasting timber frame around the TV itself it just looks next level” – Richard Miller 

Image 1: Escea DS1400 Gas Fireplace. Image 2: Escea DS1650 Gas Fireplace.

Heritage Home Revivals

We spent more time in our homes than ever before in 2020 and it got us itching to take to the tools and spruce things up.  We expect to see a big trend towards renovating in 2021 and in particular, embracing heritage features with retrofit fireplaces.  This trend is also driven by the clean air regulations and initiatives we’re seeing to clean up the air in our towns, according to Richard, “using a clean-burning gas unit that’s designed to fit the majority of older chimneys like the Escea DF range means so many spaces can have a fire again”.

We’re also anticipating the return of the mantelpiece. For everything you need to know about retrofitting old fireplaces, click here.

Escea DF700 Gas Fireplace. Design by Paul Tilse Architects. Photography by Roderigo Vargas.

Escea DF700 Gas Fireplace | Read more about this revived terrace house.

In built into Bespoke Cabinetry

Last but not least, we anticipate more and more examples of innovative design and bespoke fireplace settings.  Zero clearance technology has taken fireplace design to a whole new place where a fireplace can be surrounded by almost any material. This means we’re seeing fireplaces appear in timber cabinetry and open shelving.  So there’s no need to decide between a TV, library, bar, or a fireplace – you can have it all in one beautiful, integrated space.

“The integration of flame into what is essentially furniture (like a bookshelf or entertainment unit) is so imaginative and totally possible. Understanding the boundaries can be confusing but by consulting with Escea’s Architectural Advisory team we can have these concepts approved at the design stage.” – Richard Miller

Escea DS1150 Gas Fireplace

Escea’s Architectural Advisory team are on hand to provide expert advice and answer all fireplace related questions at the project planning and implementation stage of your build. Get in touch with the team here. 

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