So, you just moved into your beautiful historic home, but there is one not-so beautiful item – the fireplace isn’t operable. Don’t think that you have to just keep it a black hole! A fireplace can actually be made to look decorative and still remain the focal point of the room, without it being operable. The beauty of fireplaces is that you still have plenty of space to display decorative items, bring in color to your space by decorating the surrounding area, or bring in household items to make it functional. Whichever way you choose, beautifying your unused fireplace can be a breeze.

  • Use your fireplace for display: The wonderful part of home decor is that the rules on what you can and can’t do don’t exist. Sure there will be trends towards certain styles, colors, etc… but the reality is, your home should reflect your personal style. An unused fireplace can make a beautiful place to display artwork, decorative vases, floral arrangements and more. The mantle is always a good place to start when adding display. Try a “mantlescape” – which would include bringing in varying elements that add height, texture, and set the scene for a “landscape” of decorative elements.
  • Function and practicality: If you would prefer that your unused fireplace has a function, how about storing items in it? You can start off by cleaning the inside of the firebox, and even painting it with fire safe paint. Once you have let it dry, now it can be used like a book shelf or decorative wall display. Store books, artificial fire logs, or use decorative wrought iron tiered log holders to display collectibles and heirloom items. Think outside the “firebox”, and you will probably find a function you have never thought about before. Besides, who can’t use more decorative and functional areas in your home?
  • Conceal your fireplace: If your unused fireplace would look better closing up the firebox, there are ways to still beautify it. Consider boarding up the firebox hole with plywood and then painting the exterior of the wood. Once you have done this feel free to add colorful artwork in front of it, or make this a backdrop for artwork or floor mounted sculptures that can sit on the floor in front of the fireplace. To accentuate the beauty of the fireplace, consider adding mosaic tile or decorative metal to the fireplace surround (the area around the firebox.) This will help make a focal point to your fireplace, and you can incorporate colors from your room to tie into the paint color of the plywood.
  • Change with the seasons: For many people, the fireplace mantel is treated like their front door wreath – ever changing colors and inspiration based on the season. Consider the same for your unused fireplace. At the holidays, fill your fireplace with autumn inspiration with branches, leaves, and pumpkins. For Christmas time, fresh or artificial evergreen is beautiful and during the spring and summer months, consider adding fresh flowers, and natural elements, like bamboo reeds, raffia, and other organic elements. Take a walk around your neighborhood for inspiration, you usually can find a plethora of items in your own backyard.

Image courtesy of: Paper and Ink

An unused fireplace doesn’t have to be an eye sore; in fact the above mentioned items can give you ideas for beautifying your space, without having to get rid of the fireplace! Other ideas include: placing a decorative folding screen in front of the firebox hole, or even place an LED fish aquarium or digital fireplace in its place! While some ideas sound against the normal decor ideas, that’s what gets your creative mind thinking! See what you can create in your home.

Freshome reader’s do any of you have unused fireplaces? How do you decorate them, or do you live them bare?