When approaching a fireplace install, or when refinishing, one of the largest decisions to make will be between buying a pre-made mantle and surface, or having one custom built. Depending on the layout of your room, especially when refinishing a vintage fireplace, some styles of construction may make it necessary to have a custom-built, bespoke surface created to house the fireplace.
When approaching custom fireplaces, we recommend working with a contractor that is able to connect you with an interior designer or otherwise provide tips on making material selections, drawing up plans, and deciding on designs. It is extremely dangerous to DIY a fireplace install, and depending on your locale may even be illegal without correct permitting.
At Fine Home Contracting, we partner with a number of stone surface suppliers, and are able to offer a wide variety of finishings for fireplaces from vendors such as Genrose Stone + Tile. These purpose-built, custom fireplaces offer much more customizability, varying aesthetic options, and tend to have longer lifespans than prebuilt options. As expected, they also tend to be more expensive.
Some design options and brands to consider are listed below.