Fireplace & Mantel Design: Tips & Tricks for DIY Makeovers

There’s something special about a home with a fireplace. Whether it’s the inviting atmosphere, or the extra warmth, a fireplace can make almost any home feel like the coziest place on the planet.

Even if you love your fireplace, you might not love its lackluster design. Maybe it’s beginning to look worn and outdated. Or maybe you’re tired of its style and want something new. Regardless of the reason, a fireplace facelift is a worthwhile project, especially when you don’t want to spend the time and money on a full home renovation.

Looking for ways to freshen up your fireplace and mantel? A stone makeover is always a sensible solution. Every year, more styles and colors of manufactured stone enter the marketplace, and are readily available for home improvement projects. These include the latest trend of stone with a distinctly contemporary feel – perfect for modern fireplace designs.

Faux stone veneers can take the heat! They are made to withstand the extremely high temperatures produced by most wood and gas fireplaces. And because manufactured veneers are more lightweight than natural stone, they install faster and easier, and typically don’t require extra support.

If you think manufactured stone sounds like a smart decision, Casa di Sassi has what you’re looking for. As you read, pay attention to the helpful design ideas. And don’t forget to top off your new stone fireplace with a stylish wood or stone mantel.


Before you start shopping for stone, it helps if you have a particular style in mind for your fireplace facelift. What aesthetic inspires you most? Do you want the end result to look more rustic? Or do you prefer a look that leans toward contemporary? Or maybe something in between?

Whatever you’re envisioning, chances are highly likely that you’ll find the perfect stone. From stacked, smooth, and linear, to rough, rounded, and textured, there’s a stone profile for every style – traditional, trendy, or somewhere in the middle.

Interior stone fireplace


Once you’ve honed in on a particular style, and made a list of general design guidelines, next comes the fun part – shopping for stone! At this stage, many homeowners have a common concern. They wonder how easy or difficult it will be to install a stone veneer product over their fireplace’s current surround surface.

Most faux stone veneers manufactured today can be effortlessly installed directly over existing brick, tile, limestone, and other traditional fireplace surfaces. You’ll have to consult with your contractor, but in most cases, minimal structural work is required beforehand. Installation is typically quite easy when done by a licensed and experienced professional.

The most important things to consider when choosing the right stone profile are size, shape, and color. Stone facades featuring various rock sizes, shapes, textures, and shades tend to have a rustic, old-world, traditional feel. If you’re longing for alpine lodge, or cozy cottage vibes, this type of facade fits the bill. Stone profiles containing smaller, precisely cut, neatly arranged rock shapes are generally more contemporary. If you want a mid century modern, or industrial loft inspired look, stone profiles in this range will probably work best.


This is the stage when things start happening. If you know exactly how you want your fireplace facelift to look upon completion, and you have materials selected for your surround, mantel, hearth, etc, then it’s go time. If you’re not completely sure about the design, or materials, then this is the time to consult with a designer and contractor. They can help you decide whether a minor makeover or total transformation is best.

Sometimes plans change once old materials are removed, or if new materials become unavailable, so having a bit of flexibility in the design is always helpful. In some instances, additional construction work may be necessary to get the best end result. Building wall shelves on either side of the fireplace is fairly common. This helps balance out unused space, plus it gives you more storage.

Who’s ready to get inspired? Here are some popular stone fireplace design tips from industry experts. If you need an overall plan, hopefully these will spark a few good ideas.

Rustic Lodge Interior fireplace

Modern Makeover

If you have a long natural gas fireplace that currently gets lost in a boring drywall facade, make it a new focal point by surrounding it with sleek stacked stone. Add a simple wood beam mantle for a modern farmhouse vibe.

Rustic Lodge

Transform a basic, builder-grade fireplace into a stunning stone masterpiece. Floor-to-ceiling stones featuring rugged, irregular shapes give a once-boring space a big serving of classic, old-world charm. Finish it off with a barn beam mantel for a timeless look.

Texture Study

An outdated design gets a fresh new look with stone fireplace texture. In lackluster spaces, textured stone can revitalize an entire room. Ledgestone’s unique character has both rough and smooth surface areas, providing a ton of texture that works in traditional and modern settings.

Boho Chic

If your style is an eclectic mix of old world meets modern, and warehouse meets farmhouse, you like to make a statement. Choose a rugged stone, but select a contemporary color palette. Do a contrasting grout, then hang a reclaimed wood mantel, partially glazed with a wash of color, and installed with bold hardware.


Just when you thought there were a lot of design possibilities for your fireplace, there are plenty of mantel options, too. Before we go further, let’s answer the number one question homeowners have about mantels – is it necessary to have a mantel with my stone fireplace?

There’s no right or wrong answer. If you prefer to not have a mantel, that’s your final call. But most designers will tell you that a mantel enhances the look of your stone fireplace and completes the overall design. Plus, it’s a great place to display photos, art, candles, memorabilia, and other decorative finds that are meaningful to you and your family.

In case you didn’t know, Casa di Sassi has stone and wood mantels that will coordinate perfectly with your stone fireplace facelift.


If you absolutely love the look of stone, then a stone mantel is the ideal finishing touch for your updated stone fireplace. Rough edges give it a natural appearance, and five color options coordinate beautifully with every Casa di Sassi manufactured stone profile.


Nothing seems to pair better with stone than wood. That’s why so many people choose a simple wood beam mantel as their stone fireplace’s crowning glory. A barn beam mantel has a slightly rough, somewhat ridged surface, making it the natural choice for rustic design preferences. A classic wood grain mantel has a smooth, distinguished finish, which seems slightly more traditional, but looks incredible with any decorative style.


What should you put on your mantel? This is totally up to you, and almost anything goes! The best decorating advice is to not overcrowd it with too many items. Other than that, the mantel is a great place to display photos, framed art, seasonal decor, and other special items you’ve collected over the years. If all you want is your TV to hang above it, that’s fine. Just remember, the mantel is a great place for TV remotes, too.


Stone fireplace designs have certainly come a long way! Decades ago there weren’t as many options as there are today. Even in our business, new manufactured stone profiles get introduced almost every year, and each one would look amazing on a fireplace.

Your home’s fireplace should be a main focal point. It’s a cozy spot in winter, and a relaxing space in summer. If your fireplace doesn’t match your home’s personality, give it a facelift. Are you familiar with fireplace texture? It’s becoming a thing. The dimensional elements that define stone’s character, give your fireplace depth, charm, and tons of texture.

Casa di Sassi stone profiles are made for your fireplace. They’re meticulously crafted with attention to detail, so they look almost indistinguishable from their genuine counterparts. Plus, our manufactured stone products are easy to install, and backed by an industry-leading 50 year warranty. Are you ready for a stone fireplace upgrade? Contact us today.

Check out our stone profiles here.

As we look to the future, we continually seek to innovate and grow. From pushing the limits on our creativity to developing new stone profile designs – to increasing the efficiency of our manufacturing processes – our team is dedicated to being a valuable stone veneer partner.

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