See how a traditional fireplace initiates warmth and intimacy in this edit of living rooms – from Melbourne to Paris to New York City.

As winter takes hold in the Southern Hemisphere, we turn to interiors that favour comforting rituals and congregation. No other place says this more than the living room, with a traditional fireplace. In this design covet, we explore how designers use the fireplace in the living room as an anchor for interior expression.

Queens Park House by Arent&Pyke

Arent&Pyke have created moments of calm in their colourful restoration of this Federation home in Sydney. This is accentuated through textures that meld old and new in the formal living area, such as the boucle-upholstered Cassina 637 Utrecht chairsSika Design Charlottenborg chair and Anna Charlesworth pendant. The eclectic furniture pieces are carefully arranged around a red stone fireplace, making it the room’s obvious focal point.

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Photography by Anson Smart

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Photography by Adrien Dirand

Dirand Residence by Joseph Dirand

Architect Joseph Dirand’s own Paris home captures his recognisable approach to design, underscored by an inherent appreciation for revered materials and traditional craftsmanship. This is best seen in the stone fireplace in the living room. Here he has created a cosy ‘salon’ that levels up to its Eiffel Tower views with nods to the home’s history.

Art House by Studio CD

Studio CD celebrates contemporary art and classic European design in the theatrical transformation of this Woollahra Home. The home’s living area features parquetry flooring and detailed arches, creating a canvas for elaborate furnishings and art pieces. A stone fireplace deliberately contrasts the textural interior elements, tying the space together with an unexpected cohesiveness.

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Photography by Anson Smart

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Photography by Ben Anders

London Penthouse by Banda

Warmth permeates the living room in Banda’s London Penthouse, featuring a striking black Marquina marble fireplace designed by the studio, providing a mantle for the distressed antique mirror. The vintage and artisanal pieces enhance the feeling of warmth. “A French farmhouse tends to be full of pieces built up over the years. This is exactly what we wanted to convey in the penthouse,” Banda creative director and CEO Edo Mapelli Mozzi attests.

Slope Townhouse by nune and Frances Mildred Architectural Design

The Slope Townhouse living room retains heritage details that reflect its 19th-century Victorian brownstone bones. As part of the renovation, the fireplace was recovered by interior designers nune and Frances Mildred Architectural Design before the interiors were gutted. In this sense, the fireplace is a symbolic remnant of the home’s history, guiding the contemporary facelift.

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Photography by Nicole Franzen

Huntingfield Rd by Rob Mills Architecture & Interiors

Photography by Mark Roper

Carrical House by Rob Mills Architecture & Interiors

Rob Mills Architecture & Interiors balance classic and contemporary influences in their revival of a 1930s home in Melbourne’s Toorak. The home’s striking deep blue formal living space takes shape around a restored fireplace in the same colour – layered with other blue furnishings such as the Redono sofa by Patricia Urquiola for Moroso and Bell coffee tables by Sebastian Herkner.

Lena Residence by Smart Design Studio

This Victorian-era home in Sydney’s Paddington maintained period features such as mouldings, doorways, and fireplaces. One, a striking red marble fireplace with an impressive hearth, quietly impressive against the crisp white walls. Using the fireplace like a piece of art, William Smart of Smart Design Studio created a subdued and breathable living room space that pays homage to its traditional detailing.

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Photography by Romello Pereira

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