Warming the Soul

by Nancy Bollefer

There are days when I imagine starting all over; that is, working with a blank canvas.  In my mind’s eye, that blank canvas would include one critical element.  Would it be soaring ceilings, expansive windows, or hardwood flooring?  Yes, certainly.   But nothing brings more warmth into a space than a fireplace. 

And, a fireplace isn’t just functional, but rather, it plays a series of roles.  Most often it serves as a focal point, to which one is naturally drawn.  When lit, the dancing, flickering flames introduce movement and intrigue into a space.

A modern aesthetic takes on a warm personality with the addition of a fireplace, even when the walls are treated with neutral colours, like cream or grey or white.

Treating the fireplace wall with a statement colour, such as Behr Black Suede, instantly introduces drama and style, especially when juxtaposed with Behr Polar Bear, a high contrast white. Note how the golden flames also read as an accent colour, reinforced via the paintings dressing the staircase wall.


Horizontal bands of Behr Pure Earth punctuate the fireplace wall and make a graphic statement.


Red reads as the dominant hue, not only on the fireplace surround, but also mirrored in the curvaceous chairs. This hit of red could readily be painted in a warm golden tone or a rich aubergine. Alternatively, painting the walls flanking the fireplace is another option for change.


Whites are especially suited to modern architecture. One cannot err by selecting white for a space as such. Elements such as the fireplaces shown here are striking, especially when they are positioned within a large room and can be viewed from multiple angles. Introducing Behr Pencil Point in either space on just one wall, or perhaps the table and chairs, would build even more character into this space.

Take a few moments for yourself, whip up a cup of hot chocolate and lounge next to a fireplace, if you are lucky enough to have one.  And, if not – you can always dream of starting over with a blank canvas to warm your soul.

Colourfully yours,




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