Minimalist Fireplace Design

By Kate Riley April 2, 2019

We’re closing in the spaces in my client’s home in San Francisco, and as a new addition, I suggested we add an electric fireplace on her blank family room wall. She didn’t want to go through the hassle of adding a gas line, and since modern electric fireboxes mimic the look of a gas fireplaces, and take up just a few inches of wall space, I had her contractor frame one for her.


Traditional wood burning fireplaces or vented gas versions are often designed with a hearth or a mantel which guarantees they’re the focal point (and major heat source) in the room. We modeled my client’s new fireplace after more modern looking versions that are recessed in the wall and lack a mantel altogether.

A shallow floating console below will hide her internet and electrical boxes. Her new electric fireplace is across from her sofa and she intends to hang her flat screen TV above, similar to this style:


graystone builders

Today let’s take a look at other minimalist modern fireplace designs. As previously mentioned, they often lack a hearth or mantel, but I love their contemporary appeal. I like how this framed version allows for a niche inset for a dramatic piece of art above.


stacy cohen design

This fireplace box has the additional trim which frames it nicely and is also paired with large scale artwork.


pierre yovanovich

When wall space allows, adding built in shelving to one or both sides allows for decorative objects and functional storage too. That stone surround is subtle but beautiful!


jane lockhart


And speaking of slab stone installations, how gorgeous are these floor to ceiling installations? Wow.




sources unknown


This design incorporates a dramatic angled large scale stone tile which draws the eye up. Striking!


via jane lockhart

While not an electric fireplace, this plaster fireplace surround is very minimalist in its design, I find it calming yet it still holds the room’s focal point.


via remodelista


I had big plans to build myself a DIY small electric fireplace surround for the winter months at my studio but never got around it, and since spring is near I put it off until next season. I did find some DIY tutorials online, so if you’d like to add the ambiance of an electric fireplace to your home and a moderate amount of heat and only steal a few inches from the wall, bookmark these tutorials!


DIY electric fireplace – Chris Loves Julia


DIY electric fireplace – Kismet House


I’ll share my client’s family room space and new fireplace wall when complete. How about you? Have you installed an electric fireplace in your home? What do you think of them compared to vented gas versions?



  1. I would love to install an electric unit but they all look so very fake to me. I’d love to see what you install in your client’s home.

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