An older fireplace can be an attractive feature in any room if you invest a little time and thought into making it appealing. Some options cost more money than others, but all of them fall into 3 basic categories. You can update your existing fireplace if it is inefficient or unsightly, enhance the surroundings of your fireplace to highlight its beauty, or change the way you decorate your fireplace for a new look. Any of these ideas will add style to your room and make it a place you want to be. Some require a professional company like ours, others homeowners can do themselves.
Enhance The Surroundings Of Your Fireplace
The wall that your fireplace is on and the features that surround it can make a huge difference in looks. There are many ways you can enhance the surroundings of your hearth to highlight this cozy asset.
- Install a veneer to act as a frame for your hearth. The days of shoddy “lick & stick” veneers are gone, and today you can choose from stone, brick, and many types of tile. A contemporary stone wall might be perfect. Bricks? Art tiles to match the age of your home? You choose!
- Consider the mantel above your hearth. Do you want more space for decorating? Deepen the ledge with a kit or replace it with a salvaged mantel unit taken from a historic house. From a simple beam to an elaborately carved mantel, there are many ways to add the perfect touch to your room.
- Some homes have beautiful built-in bookcases on both sides of the fireplace, along with several tiers of ledges above the hearth. Pre-built bookcases can be connected with moldings for a similar look. If this appeals to you, but you lack the skills, research custom woodworkers in your area.
- Paint is a fast way to change a boring fireplace wall dramatically. If you want to paint the bricks, make sure it is a paint that is safe for fireplaces.
- Adding a fireproof floor immediately in front of the fireplace changes the look of your hearth and protects your floor. Brick, stone, and tile can echo existing detail and enhance the beauty of your room.
Change The Way You Decorate Your Fireplace
Decorate your mantle for the season by changing what you display on a regular basis. The fireplace mantel is ideal for vignettes of cherished items and memorabilia.
- Cut some flowering branches in late winter and put them on the mantel in attractive vases or jars. The warmth will encourage early blooms, and you will enjoy hints of the coming Spring season.
- Lean a large mirror against the wall so that candles or lights are reflected, and more light is in your room.
- Experiment and learn what you like. If you don’t like something, change it until you do!
- Be sure to read our previous article about mantel decorations.
Update Your Existing Fireplace
A fireplace that is not doing the job it was designed to do needs to be updated because it isn’t efficient. It also can be a safety hazard if repairs are needed. The solution is simple: explore your options and choose what is best for your home and your budget.
- Many times all it takes are glass doors that will keep the flame safely inside while allowing heat to warm the room. These doors are available in many styles to match any fireplace style. They also increase fireplace safety.
- A fireplace insert can turn a black hole into an energy-saving hearth feature that burns gas, wood, or pellets according to your preference. A professional consultant can explain the pros and cons of each.
- Sometimes repairing your existing fireplace is the best solution. If your home has historical significance, this will keep its features intact.
If you have a fireplace and traditional wood or stone mantel in your home, you’ve got a lot of options for decorating it for Christmas. With the fireplace taking center stage in stories about Santa coming down the chimney to deliver presents, the mantel has naturally played a role in holiday celebrations for decades. Whether you use your mantel just for hanging stockings or use a shelf or countertop, these DIY decoration ideas will help you create a custom display that takes your holiday celebrations to the next level.
Head Outside for Free Natural Decorations
Look outside your home or in local parks and public areas for nature’s contributions to your decorations. Even suburban yards often contain pinecones of varying sizes and styles, nicely shaped bare branches, sprigs of holly, acorns or other nuts, and twigs to turn into wreaths and ornaments. Add some color by including ribbons or bow in your mantel decoration. National parks and national forests tend to have rules prohibiting the collection of these items, but most public parks have no rules against taking a handful of pinecones or fallen tree branches. Natural elements can be arranged along the mantel for larger pieces or stacked in clear glass containers for smaller nuts, pinecones, and other items.
String Some Good Old-Fashioned Garlands
During your next routine grocery run, pick up a bag of cranberries, some popping corn, and a few oranges. You can create three different old-fashioned garlands that add a surprisingly modern look to your mantel display. Mix and match all three elements or try a solid strand of each. You can slice the oranges thinly and string them fresh, but this may cause the orange slices to curl and wrinkle as they dry. For perfectly flat slices that let firelight shine through them, use a mandoline for thin and even slices and dry them layered between parchment paper and pressed under a weight. A baking sheet with a heavy can or gallon of water set on top will distribute the weight evenly over all the slices.
Repurpose Existing Decorations
Are there a few home decorations you already have but rarely display? If you love them but have trouble finding places where they fit, consider turning them into Christmas decorations. Many mirrors, frames, wreaths, and vases are easy to match to a Christmas theme with no alterations, but some paint and a little glitter or artificial snow can make any decoration into a Christmas mantel centerpiece.
Grab Some Clear Glass Vases
A set of tall and clear glass vases allows you to display practically any festive colored material or collection you find. Pour in wrapped candies, colored sand, acorns and other natural items, sprinkles, colored balls, marbles, or even live plants like small poinsettias to create instant displays with little effort. Keep durable materials stored in gallon-sized bags along with the vases to repeat the display next year, or switch out the fillings each year for sweet mantel displays that are always a surprise.
Mantel decorating should be fun and reflect the entire family. Get everyone involved to create a mantel display you’ll want to gather around year after year each Christmas.
Pumpkins and decorative gourds. Golden and crimson leaves. Warm days and nippy nights. It’s promising to be a beautiful fall, full of decorating inspiration. Your fireplace is the warm heart of your home, and that bare mantel is just begging to be spruced up with seasonal displays. We always notice the beautiful mantel decorations while we are sweeping chimneys. There are many options for decorating a fireplace mantel for the fall. Stuck for ideas? Here are a few fireplace mantel projects for people of every skill level:
Play With Colored Lights
Transparent vessels of colored glass beads are a classic for a reason. When they catch the light, they cast gorgeous colors throughout the space. Best of all, this fast and easy project makes a big impact.
Pumpkins are best known for Jack-o’-lanterns, but they also come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. You can buy an assortment of pumpkins, winter squashes, and decorative gourds and create an overflowing cornucopia on your mantel. Alternate light and dark colors for festive cheer, or organize them by shade for a more structured look.
You can also hollow out and carve the biggest one into Jack-o’-lanterns. Not interested in grinning faces? Many stencils on the market will let you create nighttime or autumnal scene lit up by votive candles.
Highlight Fall Foliage
There are two different routes you can go here. First, take advantage of the cooler temperatures to go for a walk, gathering autumn’s most stunning colors along the way. Once you get home, you can place these in a vase or float them in a bowl of water to highlight their natural beauty.
Secondly, if you aren’t a fan of how natural leaves fade quickly, you may want to use artificial leaves. You can get these from most craft stores.
You’re probably very familiar with Christmas Tree lights, but Halloween lights are a hot new trend. Look for ones in glowing fall colors such as orange, crimson, and yellow. If you aren’t using the fireplace yet, you can cascade these off of the chimney. Otherwise, drape these near your mantel and, in the evenings, bask in their warm, gentle light.
Flowers in the Fall
Here’s a great one for families with small children: make this Fall bloom by creating your own flowers. You can help the kids use construction or tissue paper, paint, glitter, glue, and markers to create the blossoms of their dreams.
Older children may be interested in trying out origami flowers. Origami has a reputation for being difficult to learn. However, many flower forms can be made with a few quick folds. Also, origami paper comes in a rainbow of lovely shades and patterns, perfect for this project.
Candles, whether pillars, tapers, or autumn-themed shapes like apples with wicks for stems, add instant comfort and sophistication to any space. They’re also one of the most versatile ways to decorate your mantel and surrounding area. Use the warm, flickering light of the candles to draw attention to architectural features like your chimney or highlight other items displayed on the mantel.
If you aren’t using your fireplace, you can also set them inside that space. Use multiple tiers at different heights to mimic leaping flames, or set a few votives down low to bring to mind glowing embers.
During our fireplace repair and chimney sweeping in Washington DC, we see a wide variety of hearth decorations. You can find out more about our service here. Fireplaces tend to be a major focal point of a room. Some of the decorations that we see enhance the appearance of the room, and other seem to look out of place. It’s important to explore the many fireplace hearth decor ideas. Be sure that your decorations integrate well with the rest of the home. There are all sorts of ways a well-decorated fireplace hearth can to add character to space. Below are some excellent hearth decoration ideas.
1. Use vases to decorate your fireplace hearth
Vases on the hearth have the potential to add contrast from the material used. If you opted for a brick hearth, you could use glass or stone. Choose colors that help to incorporate the other colors you have within the room to finish off the look.
2. Add a culinary touch to your hearth
In the past fireplaces and wood stoves were primarily used to prepare meals. Though modern fireplaces are less likely to be used for cooking, many find using items associated with cooking to be the right choice for decorating a hearth. Many find that decorating their hearth in this way fosters memories of their youth. Pots and pans add a nice decorative touch. You might also want to hang hooks for ladles, spatulas, and more. You can find many low cost, unique options at their local antique shop, flea market or yard sale.
3. Create a fireplace shelf
A shelf is something you can easily install that adds a personal touch. Most of the shelves are wooden, and then you can choose to paint a coordinating color. On top of the shelf, you can add some charm. This could be candlesticks, photographs, a rustic clock, or something else that would help to add your personality into the room.
4. Add a mirror above the fireplace
You might want to consider adding a mirror above the hearth as this will create an illusion that the room is much larger than it is. When you decide to have a fireplace built into a living room or other space, you give up some floor space. To avoid feeling as though you are closed in, you can hang a mirror. Be sure to look at this previous project involving a fireplace with a mirror.
As for the type of mirror you hang, the larger, the better. Some have a lot of ornate features, which might go with other details of your home. Additionally, you can take a DIY approach with the mirror and mount crown molding to the edges, which is ideal if you have crown molding elsewhere in the room.
5. Extend the floor in front of the fireplace
Once the hearth is in place, you can opt for an extended floor. Of the fireplace hearth decoration ideas, this one will help to smooth the transition from the fireplace into the rest of the room. You can get creative and make a mosaic pebble tile on your hardwood or bamboo floors. This gives the appearance that your fireplace has “bubbled over,” adding some character to the room.
6. Use an Ornate Fireplace Screen
Fireplace screens are functional, though they can also be ornate. Consider using a decorative fireplace screen. There are all sorts of designs, and you can have a custom one made as well.
Overall, there are all sorts of decorating ideas for your fireplace hearth. Explore the various options. If you are having a fireplace installed, it is wise to discuss any construction needs related to your decoration ideas with your fireplace installer. The technicians at our company are always willing to help. Overall it is vital for you to feel free to be creative. Have fun with it.