Chimney Breast Ideas & Trends for 2023 | Checkatrade
Review a Trade

Have you completed a project recently? Let your tradesperson know how they did.

Advice Centre

Get Inspired! Check the latest industry expertise and read insider tips from our vetted tradespeople.

Search For A Trade

We interview and vet all our tradespeople to ensure they meet our high standards.

Join Checkatrade

Join us and benefit from the millions of potential customers who use Checkatrade to find reliable tradespeople.

Advice Centre

Grow your business! Check out top tips and expert advice for boosting your reputation online.

Login To Your Account

Edit your profile, view callback requests and ask for feedback from customers.

Chimney breast ideas: Smoking designs with fiery character

If you’re looking for chimney breast ideas, then you likely own or live in a house that has or had a fireplace. There’s a portion of the wall that projects forward and you want to know what your options are in terms of decorating it.

Well, look no further! We have all the latest ideas, trends, and tips for dressing your chimney breast. Make this classic design feature stand out and fit with your desired aesthetic. There’s nothing more homely and welcoming than a chimney, whether you use it as a fireplace, transform it into a feature wall, or turn it into something else entirely…

Read on for some inspirational chimney breast design ideas.

Chimney breast uses

Chimney breasts have several uses, whether they’re dormant or active.

Open fireplace

Open fireplace for rustic chimney breast ideasThe most obvious reason for having a chimney breast is for the fireplace. Whether it’s an open electric, wood-burning or gas design, they’re used to heat your house and add a cosy aesthetic.

Types of fuel include:

  • Wood or other biomass
  • Various grades of coal
  • Carbonised charcoal
  • Smokeless fuel
  • Carbonised coke (a type of coal)
  • Flammable gases (e.g. butane, propane and methane)
  • Ethanol
  • Oil
  • Pellets

Freestanding stove

Minimalist chimney breast ideasSimilar to an open fireplace, with wood, coal, oil or pellet fuel options, a self-contained stove is usually installed in the chimney breast alcove. They’re used to heat the house in the same way a fire is, although in a much more fuel-efficient way. If they’re connected to your central heating, they also help reduce heating bills.

Check out our log burner fireplace ideas for more inspiration.

Feature wall

If your fireplace is no longer in use, they can still make beautiful design features. Consider decorating your non-active chimney breast by installing a mantelpiece (if you don’t already have one), putting flowers, logs, ornaments, books, bunting or even artwork in the hearth.

Entertainment centre

For a contemporary feature, why not consider installing a television unit in your chimney breast or above your mantel? When you’re not catching up on the latest Netflix series, you can pop on a digital roaring fire and give your space a ‘modern-rustic’ vibe.

See the tradespeople we've checked and recommend for your job

Chimney breast design ideas

Dormant chimney breast ideasIf you’re stuck for chimney breast ideas, let us help you get started. Check out a few trends below and see if any tickle your fancy.

Inset cooker

Think white tiled chimney breasts with warm wooded frames and inset cookers – perfect for bright, modern and rustic kitchens. Consider hanging utensils on the adjacent wall for a tidy and homely aesthetic.


Decorate your hearth with hanging plants, potted ferns, orchids or prayer-plants. Let the outdoors enhance your indoors and turn your chimney breast into a living wall.


Perfect for both active and dormant chimneys, pile some logs in the alcove for a rustic design impact. Adorn with candles, adjacent fire utensils, ornaments or bunting for a unique touch. Alternatively, decorate with Scandi baskets and neutral floor tiles to make the space pop.

Inset shelves

Chimney breast design ideasTurn the projected wall into an entertainment centre by boring out inset shelves for items like digital fires, TV’s, stereos, books, LED lights, clocks, mirrors or candles. Get creative with shapes and textures for a truly contemporary feature wall.

Paint or wallpaper

Whether you remove or keep the mantelpiece, either make your chimney breast blend in with the rest of your decor or let it stand out with a personal touch. Textured wallpaper, brick effect tiles, a stone fireplace or stripped back walls will offer different aesthetics, so consider your theme before changing the entire room. Add a shelf or two for extra decoration or leave it bare for a minimalist vibe.


For the most relaxing reading nook in the world, consider filling your dormant fireplace with stacks of your favourite books. Think about placing a feature chair adjacent to the chimney, next to or atop a round jute rug, and install some delicate string lights for extra tranquillity. Now, sit in the chair, turn on the lights, and lose yourself within the pages of a novel.

See the tradespeople we've checked and recommend for your job

Still can’t decide? Why not hire one of our experts for a bespoke transformation? Or, for more ideas like this, check out our carousel content below.

Like what you see? We have plenty more where this came from. Check out our blog for more ideas, inspiration and how-tos.

Chimney breast ideas

See the tradespeople we've checked and recommend for your job

Tell us what you think

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What others think of this article:

No comments yet!

Need More Information?

Related posts