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Transform your cabin with a natural stone fireplace

Peis på en hytte med en base av lys Oppdalskifer murstein tørrmur og en topp av treverk

Not many things create that special cabin feel quite like a real stone fireplace. Read interior designer Elin Fossland’s top tips for anyone considering refurbishing their cabin fireplace.

Elin Fossland is an interior designer and runs her own agency in Drammen. She has advised many cabin builders and explains that there are no fixed rules for where a fireplace should be placed.

– As an interior designer, half of my job is to get to know the client and to map out what they want, she says.

The look they end up with will depend entirely on the client’s chosen style. Whether the cabin is to be modern or traditional tells her what style to go for. Natural stone, however, is a recurring theme in the mountains.

– We often use slate for traditional fireplaces and also for gas-fired stoves.

A cabin with a large fireplace drywall in natural stone; Oppdal slate wallbricks.
Fireplace in natural stone; Oppdal quartzite wallbricks. Photo: Mona Gundersen

Like a piece of jewellery in the room

The size of the cabin determines how much space the fireplace should take up in the room.

– Previously, the fireplace would often be very dominant. I agree that the fireplace should be like a piece of jewellery in the room, but it’s also important that it works with the other materials in the room.

By this she means that the fireplace should be a natural part of the room. It should not take up too much space or stand out too much. How easy this is to achieve depends on the size of the cabin.

– If it’s a relatively small cabin, we need to see what’s possible. Perhaps some beams can be removed, and the fireplace can be reduced. This naturally depends on whether the cabin is being newly built or restored, but the fireplace must fit in with the rest of the building.

Cabin with a large fireplace in natural stone; Oppdal quartzite slate and with a timber plank that acts as a shelf.
Oppdal quartzite bricks in combination with timber. Photo: Mona Gundersen

If the cabin is large, the fireplace can shine a little brighter.

– If the cabin has room for this, I usually build a large slate fireplace with a large grate. It’s also a good idea to have a mantlepiece above the fireplace, to create some contrast. The mantlepiece could, for example, just be a large beam of wood that can serve as a fireplace shelf, she says. 

And if you want a modern cabin? No problem. Slate can also be used here:

– For modern cabins, we often use rectangular tiles and we get a whole piece of slate cut for the fireplace surround, she explains.

Large living room in a cabin with armchair and dining table in front of fireplace in stone and wood
Great combination of natural stone and wood. Oppdal quartzite bricks are installed as a drywall. Photo: Mona Gundersen

The effect must be harmonious

Fossland says that she often uses façade slate or slate bricks when designing cabin fireplaces. In addition, she often combines matte and polished slate.

– I think it’s really nice to have polished slate in large formats on the fireplace, and the same type of slate, but with a matte finish, on the floor in front. The contrast you get is really nice, she notes.

Using the same type of slate is important to her.

-The overall effect must be harmonious, so I love using the same slate both indoors and outdoors.

The shape of the slate slabs will vary a little, however, based on where they are laid.

Dark doors in the entrance area of a cabin. Gray slate flooring and large, rustic wooden planks on the wall.
Elin Fossland likes to use rectangular slate tiles for peace and harmony. Photo: Mona Gundersen

– This naturally depends on the style and layout of the cabin, but I really like to use rectangular slabs indoors, especially in cabins with large window areas. I want the interior to be calm and harmonious, without too many lines and sharp edges.

She also likes to use the same type of slate outdoors, but prefers flagstones.

– It’s very important for me that everything is in harmony and works well together, both indoors and outdoors, she concludes.

ordrett av interiørarkitekt Elin Fossland

– Previously, the fireplace would often be very dominant. I agree that the fireplace should be like a piece of jewellery in the room, but it’s also important that it works with the other materials in the room.

Elin Fossland
Interior architect, ARKITEKTFOSSLAND AS

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