There is a huge variety of options when it comes to adding or upgrading a fireplace in your home or garden, from the different types of heating options to the materials used in construction.
Although popular, electric fireplace inserts used to be ugly looking appliances which served their purpose in terms of heating, but didn't look great in the room. Nowadays though, there are many designs on the market that are excellent quality and look almost as real as a wood burning fireplace. Similarly, there are also gas fireplace inserts that do just as good a job. The choice will depend on budget, which style you prefer and the factor of what type of heating can be installed in your home.
When it comes to the design of your fireplace you're really limited by your own imagination. Fireplaces and mantels can be designed out of different materials and in endless styles so you can really make it the focal point of any room, which is ideal for most people. The fire is a warm and cosy place which is why a lot of people pay particular attention to getting it right.
Obviously all homes differ, which will affect the choice of materials used in the fireplace. Stone fireplace designs have become particularly popular recently, because they're unique, stylish and look great too. Of course there are other materials that can be used as well including brick and tile, and the masonry designs always look timeless. At the end of the day it will all depend on your personal preference and the existing decor in your home.
In addition to the fireplace you use inside your home are outdoor fireplace designs that you can use to create a featured fireplace in your garden. It didn't occur to me to do this for quite some time until a friend built their own fireplace outdoors, but once I did it made a big difference on my garden. It's one of the places I spend most of my time in the evening with friends and family. Like indoor fireplaces, you can use a number of materials. I found that a rock fireplace suited my backyard but you can use brick or stone if you prefer.
You can even factor in an outdoor fireplace to outdoor kitchen plans, if you have a garden that will fit one. Outdoor kitchens are really useful for functions such as parties, but are practical just for relaxing outside during the summer. Adding a fireplace in the plan creates a fantastic place for friends and family to gather.