This time of year the fireplace in our home is in constant use. To warm us from the winter cold, we are often cuddled around the fire reading, talking, or wrapped in blankets watching the embers burn. Because of this, the fireplace in our house is one of my most favorite architectural pieces to decorate. I love to play up the design season after season with my treasured pieces and when tasked with a new project, I am tickled when the client’s space has a fireplace we get to work with. That said, below are some of my favorite tricks of the trade to make your own fireplace the focal point of your room and sitting by it your favorite place to be.
Advancing the Architecture
Make a play on the fireplaces’ architecture if possible. Focus on a unique hearth shape, chimney breast, or façade of stone or tile. Not seeing some sort of structural design to play up? Make one. Turn that simple gas fireplace hidden in white plaster into the rooms’ focal point by adding stone veneer around the side and front face covering up that boring wall. Tackle a DIY project and add height to your rooms’ design by taking that fireplace all the way up to the ceiling with an overmantle feature and some simple MDF, crown molding, paint and grunt work. Or, better yet, call us and let us transform your simple fireplace into an architectural beauty without having to lift a finger.
One of the easiest ways to add oomph to your fireplace is to add color to it. Paint the structure in a bright red for a lively atmosphere or a gold shimmer for a more luxurious feel. Is the rest of the room dark? Paint the fireplace white to brighten the space. Paint can even be applied over aged brick. If you want to lighten the space, paint the brown brick white for a cottage or rustic lake feel. Other ways to add color are to do so to the surrounding areas. For instance, we love when we see stone blue or deep eggplant painted mantels and trim. Who ever said it had to be the typical white or brown? Another unique option – swap out your typical plain jane hearth into something glorious by use of colorful tiles and designs.
Mantle to Impress
As mentioned above, the fireplace mantle is one of our favorite pieces in design to work with. I love how versatile this piece can be and how it is often the center of the seasons and family favorites. Decorate this piece to match your personality. Use items in various shapes, sizes and colors to capture the eye. We gravitate towards tiered candle holders, small global figures and even lanterns. If using greenery, try to leave some draping for increased vertical length and flowers in vases on one side or both of the mantle for height. One of the coolest tricks of the trade is to also place a mirror on the mantle as it will trick the eye into thinking the space is bigger than it actually is. Another tried and true favorite of ours is to adorn a wreath over a window pane on the chimney breast for an even more dramatic look.
Make a play on the Inside
Some of the most beautifully done fireplaces are those that actually don’t hold fire. If that is the case for yours, easily dress it up by instead adding a beloved treasure to the inside – a favorite piece of artwork, layered family photos, interesting sculptures. For a more playful option, use brightly painted logs. For the more traditional, candles of differing shape and sizes look stunningly lit in the fireplace concave. It’s as close to the real thing as you can get without performing structural surgery. If you want to get even more in depth, think about altering the look of the actual firebox inside the fireplace. Paint or tile it in a funky pattern or color for an eye catching statement. Remember however that you can only tile the inside of the firebox if the fireplace can’t hold fire – you wouldn’t want to do this to one that can as it will jeopardize the structural integrity of your fireplace and we all know what that can lead to.
For more fireplace ideas take a look at some of our past projects here or call us for some custom ideas.