A fireplace gives a home a sense of warmth and a finished look. If your home does not have a fireplace, you can give it the same cosy feeling with some creativity. If you have an existing fireplace that doesn't function, you might decorate it in a way that complements your home's decor, or create the same warm feeling a working fireplace brings with a faux fireplace.
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Alcoves are indentations in the wall to create the effect of a fireplace where there is none. A simple design idea for this is to purchase a classic mantle, and mount it in the area around the alcove. Place a mirror in the back and a set of candles in varying sizes to create a dramatic effect. Purchase Greek-style columns to match the height of your alcove as another decorating option. Topiaries or floral arrangements in Greek-style urns on each column make a classy addition to your home decor. Install a matching shelf above and decorate with candles, mirror and classic-style art. Hang two or three chainlink tealight holders on the upper portion of the alcove to complete the look.
If you have a nonfunctioning fireplace, or wish to hide yours for safety reasons, create a whimsical screen using wood or metal. Paint, mosaic or découpage the screen, and place it in front of your fireplace. Designs may be as simple as colourful stripes or circles or as complex as replicating your favourite painting.
If you choose to keep your fireplace exposed, remove all ashes, and clean it thoroughly. Refinish the outside of the fireplace in a tile mosaic design for a splash of colour and interest. Paint your existing mantle in a light colour and decorate it with gold leaf-framed art and natural materials, such as twigs or eucalyptus branches. Accent the inside of the fireplace with fake logs or a silk flower arrangement.
New Age Effects
Mount a simple, yet sleek mantle to an area on your wall where you want your faux fireplace. Paint the wall directly inside the mantle a golden yellow colour to create the idea of warmth. Hang sheer fabrics embroidered in rich designs, such as sari fabric, on either side of the mantle. Tie back the sides so the wall remains exposed. Put a Himalayan salt rock lamp in the middle of the mantle for a soft glow. Lean a mirror against the wall on top of the mantle, and place battery-operated tea lights in glass mosaic vases to complete the look.
Gel Fuel Fireplaces
Gel fuel fireplaces are a good option if your home does not have a fireplace and you want something realistic. These are versatile and produce warmth without creating the smoke associated with fireplaces. Gel fuel fireplaces can also be mounted on the wall at eye level, and the fuel produces the same crackling and snaps as wood, making it a good alternative to the real thing.
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