How to Add Life to Your Fireplace

fireplace ideas

Fireplaces can look as attractive and modern as any other part of the room. Here are some interesting fireplace ideas to help you redesign your old fireplace into a more fashionable one.

Fireplace Ideas

Stone Tiles

Stone tiles around the edges of your fireplace can give a warm appearance to the room. Moreover, they are sturdier than other materials and easy to maintain.

Color Harmony

If you have the required space, then installing cabinets next to the fireplace may be a good idea. You can also create a harmonized appearance by using similar molding and panels on the wall directly above the fireplace. Painting the cabinet and the fireplace in the same color will create harmony and will also help to camouflage the cabinet to give the impression of more space. You can hang a painting or install mood lighting to break the monotony of the color and flat surface.

Modern Accents

A splash of paint is a simple way to give a modern look to your fireplace, regardless of the material. Another way to impart a modern touch is to install a fancy fire screen. You can get fire screens in lots of trendy designs so it shouldn’t be too difficult to get one to complement your white fireplace. A raised hearth also adds a good accent to the fireplace by drawing attention towards it. You can panel the hearth to match the floor or the fire screen.

Offseason Looks

Fireplaces look charming when they are lit during the winters. What about the rest of the year? You can still make your fireplace look interesting by using hearth pieces and other installations from around the house. A firebox is a great piece to overcome the emptiness of a fireplace when not in use.

Extended Surrounds

If the fireplace is the piece de resistance of your living room, then why not accentuate it to add a touch of drama. Simply fixing a wooden beam on the mantel can help to direct the gaze from the fireplace to other parts of the room, or even furniture such as a bookshelf. The beam can also serve a functional purpose by adding space to place decorative pieces and objects of daily use.

When it comes to designing the mantel of your fireplace, there are a number of simple tips you can follow to guide your imagination.

Play Off Contrasts

The simple rule of contrasts works well in the case of fireplaces. For example, if you have an unpainted brick or textured wall, you can contrast this off with a smooth, polished coat of paint on the fireplace. Another option is to play with decorative objects and embellishments. If you have a blank wall behind the fireplace, you can contrast it by placing attractive pieces on the mantel.


Moldings go a great way in changing the appearance on a fireplace, particular one with a dated look. You can play around with different types of moldings including crown, lintel, fluted and corner blocks to achieve the desired effect. They are an inexpensive option and easy to install. They can make your old fireplace look like new in no time.

Say it with Tiles

Nowadays, tiles come in a variety of materials, colors and textures so you can use them to decorate your fireplace surround. Be it marble, granite, ceramic or glass, you can have your favorite tiles cut in the desired size and installed in your fireplace. We recommend that you get them cut in large sizes for a more uniform appearance.

Adding Depth

You can add some more functional and decorative space to your fireplace by adding a shelf or cabinet. This helps you avoid the monotonous appearance of a conventional fireplace by setting it apart. Adding a bookcase is an even better option since it creates for you a cozy and comfortable reading nook. You don’t need to have custom-built furniture made for this purpose. An old cabinet or bookcase can be refashioned to the same effect.

Scavenge Around

If you prefer a traditional and historical appearance for your fireplace, then we suggest doing some legwork around antique stores and garage sales to find old mantels. These ready made mantels are often built in traditional designs that will be very expensive to commission today. They often have a weathered appearance that can make any boring fireplace look interesting and pleasing to the eyes.

Be Creative

Feel free to let out the creative spark within you as you play around with a mosaic design for your fireplace. The fireplace surround is ideally the best place to do this but you can also use this on the mantel and other parts of the fireplace, such as the heath. Get hold of the leftover tiles lying in the garage and the broken dishes in the closet. Use a hammer to break those into smaller pieces and stick them together in interesting designs.

Accent Pieces

The fireplace surround is not the only way to frame your fireplace. You can also use the space on the wall behind the fireplace as an extended frame. Lighting options, small paintings and picture frames, and other wall hangings can be placed nicely to surround the fireplace and complement its best features. More interestingly, you can change these pieces once they start to look boring.

Complementing the Fireplace

Different colors and textures can be used to set off different aspects of the fireplace and its surroundings. For example, a plain white wall is an excellent complement for a bricked fireplace. Not only does this draw attention to the fireplace, but it also helps to blend the fireplace in with other parts of the room.

Getting Rid of Blank Walls

Blank walls can be pleasing to some but annoying to many. Instead of looking at blank walls all day, a better alternative is to use them to maximize storage space in the room. Install a cabinet of the same height as the fireplace next to it, and preferably on both sides of the fireplace. Next, you can add an extended mantelpiece that rests on both the cabinets and the fireplace. In this way, the cabinets will blend in with the fireplace seamlessly.

Artificial Fireplaces

Give in to the vanity urges and go for an artificial fireplace if your house doesn’t have a real one. Simply set up a mantel against the wall and place decorative objects such as lamps and crystal pieces on the mantel. Just the sight of a fireplace will add warmth to the room and reflect your quirky personality.

Minimalistic Fireplaces

A minimalistic fireplace is probably the most cost-effective way to dramatize your fireplace. To create a minimalistic fireplace, simply get ahead of the mantelpiece and surround, leaving the inner brickwork visible. An unprocessed wooden beam can be set up above the fireplace to serve as a mantel where you can display decorative objects.

Turn your Fireplace into an Art Exhibit

Your fireplace can be a veritable art exhibit for your room if you decorate it well. Use the space on the mantelpiece to display objects that blend in with the design on the background wall or with the design of the mantelpiece. You do not need to use too many objects for this purpose as only a couple of such objects will serve the purpose if chosen well.

A Dramatic Touch

You can set off your fireplace by painting it in a striking color such as navy blue, which looks very dramatic against a plain white wall. If this is too much, you can select just one part of the fireplace such as the mantel for this purpose. You can even use unconventional colours and materials for the hearth as well as for the mantelpiece. Leather couches or stools can be set up next to the fireplace to create a masculine feel to the room.


Contouring is a great way to make your fireplace look distinct. You can achieve this effect by having a latticed surround made for your fireplace. This can be painted in the color of your choice and be conveniently mounted on the wall with the help of brackets.

Creating Multiple Tones

To avoid a monotonous effect, you can try creating a different effect for each part of the fireplace, i.e. the hearth, fire screen, mantelpiece and chimney. You can do this by using different materials. If you are on a tight budget, then simply painting each part in a different color produce the same effect.

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