It’s never been easier to get fired up about incorporating a fireplace into a lounge design. A zero-clearance fireplace — made of metal with a masonry lining — is a self-contained unit, which allows homeowners to have a gas-burning fireplace that can be directly vented through an outside wall.
A natural focal point of the room, the fireplace doesn’t have to compete with the electronic attention-grabbers. “With today’s flat-screen televisions, you can hang the TV above the fireplace and not have to re-orient the room to enjoy the fire or a family movie,” Brown says.
The finishing touches of a lounge are its furnishings, which should be comfortable, yet fit a homeowner’s decorating sensibility. “Don’t place Arts and Crafts-style furniture into a home with a contemporary Asian-themed decor,” Brown says. “You want design elements that all play well together.”
Like the walls, make sure the furniture is durable and easily cleaned, especially if food from the kitchen migrates into the lounge. Brown says accent colors in the form of throw pillows can easily be swapped out on neutral-colored overstuffed chairs and sofa.
Amenities such a bar cart or a piano reflect how a family likes to entertain in their lounge. Well-placed lamps for reading, a cabinet that stores board games and a large coffee table to gather around are more reasons for families to lounge together.
“While everyone gathers in the kitchen to eat, everyone piles into the lounge to add to the memories of spending time together,” Brown says. “A lounge extends that feeling of warmth and comfort we all find in the kitchen.”