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But the Fire is So Delightful…

As we hunker down for the winter season, I wanted to revisit one of my favorite home features—a cozy fireplace. A fireplace is often the main focal point of a room—whether it’s indoor or outdoor so we’re showing you a variety of designs to incorporate these natural show stoppers into any space. Nothing beats a roaring fire on a cold winter’s night, just be sure you keep up with annual maintenance for proper functionality and safety, which we’ve previously outlined here.


Stone fireplaces are considered the more traditional option, as they complement almost any setting. As long as you have the right stone, shade, and a professional designer and installer, the outcome is sure to elevate your space. Check out these examples from our Kan’t Beat the View and Live Lucky custom home projects.

Modern Coastal:

For a more contemporary look and feel, many homeowners incorporate tile into their fireplace surround – my top pick for this is porcelain. Its expansive slabs make it perfect for large fireplaces with cathedral ceilings. Porcelain is durable, heat resistant, and comes in a variety of colors, making it an ideal choice for crafting a stylish fireplace surround. Our Double the Fun, Sea Glass, Star of the Sea, and Surfside custom home fireplaces are as durable as they are timeless.

Mixed Materials:

If you’re undecided on traditional vs. modern, consider designs using mixed materials such as shiplap, tile, and stone. X-ta-Sea blends shiplap with a porcelain surround for a twist on the traditional vibe.

Beach to Bay incorporates a classic shiplap fireplace with a custom driftwood mantle I found washed up on the beach. We dried it in a kiln for thirty days and now we have a mantle straight from North Bethany Beach.  

Our Bay Breeze fireplace features a black shiplap surround for a slightly more modern approach.

For a fun, beachy spin, Sandman boasts a stucco surround painted Soft Shell by Benjamin Moore.

Outdoor Fireplaces:

For year-round beach home entertaining, an outdoor fireplace is the perfect addition to roast marshmallows while gazing at the stars—any time of year! Check out this stone design from my DIY Network’s Big Beach Builds episode.

Adding a fireplace to your screened-in porch like we did in our BeachWood build allows you to enjoy your outdoor space year-round.

This built-in firepit overlooking the bay in our Bay Daze build was designed with storage in the benches to keep cushions dry when not in use.

If a built-in structure is not for you, consider integrating a gas line connection for your outdoor deck fireplace during the planning stages of building to ensure seamless functionality and convenience as we did in our Kan’t Beat the View build.

For more fireplace inspiration, see more of our fireplaces in our Explore by Features section here. Fireplace design options are endless, so get creative in your space.