Right: Apparently a mortar and stone chimney that's evolved over time from an ancient era, this fireplace is flanked by comfy bench seating. Texturing is rustic, distinctly casual and unpretentious. Unexpected wall sconces add fun-loving quirkiness.
Bottom right: Floating in a white mosaic tile surround, this fireplace becomes the visual center of a contemplative library. On either side, books and art pieces are displayed against vertical paneling of built-in bookcases. Standing guard on the marble mantle, three elongated medieval knights rest on their longbows amid the forest ferns.
Bottom left: Angular and modern, this fireplace is topped by a dramatic glass art plate in crimson. Matched wall lights in dark metallic finish and austere rectangular shape give balance and visual depth to the white, floor-to-ceiling surround. But for sheer comfort, settle into one of the overstuffed armchairs and lose yourself in the pages of the latest best-seller.
For more design and decorating ideas, visit the Getdecorating Web site www.getdecorating.com.