If your fireplace is not working, the large area may seem to be wasted space. You are not alone. In many homes, fireplaces typically are used only during cold, winter evenings or on special occasions. For the rest of the year, they simply fill up a large area in the room. Many homeowners never burn fires in their fireplace because a family member is sensitive to the wood smoke or they do not want to bother with the clean-up. Fireplaces are often the focal point in a room, and it's advisable to make the most of this architectural feature. Using decor to enhance the area creates an attractive space.
Place a colourful silk plant or a real one that requires little light into the fireplace opening. Allow 7 inches above the plant and 3 inches on either side for the best look. Triangular or T-shaped arrangements work well in the area. This adds colour and interest to the space. Alternatives are a horn of plenty, basket of pine cones or other decor that reflects the season.
Set a candelabra in the interior of the non-working fireplace. Candle holders made specifically for fireplaces are available at discount, home supply and home interior stores. Typically, they hold three to six pillar candles and have a tiered effect. White or cream-coloured candles match any decor and look elegant. Pillar candles are available in every colour of the rainbow. Using seasonal colours adds a decorative effect during the holidays as well. Light the candles in the evenings or any other time you want the flickering flames to add a cosy ambience.
Cover the non-working fireplace with an attractive fireplace screen. These come in materials and designs that match any decorating style.
Set a large sculpture, vase or other decorative art on the hearth. This adds colour, design and beauty to the area.
Position a decorative mirror in front of the opening of the fireplace. The mirror bounces light around the room and reflects other furnishings to make the room seem larger. It hides the opening as well.
Clean the interior of the fireplace with brick cleaner or equal parts white distilled vinegar and water. Paint the interior with a latex paint that coordinates with the room colours. This freshens the look and helps it blend well with the decor.
Lean large floor pillows against the hearth to create comfortable seating. Or place the pillows directly on the hearth to provide padding and additional seating. Don't forget to add decor to the mantle. Framed pictures or other artwork draw the eye visually to the mantle area, creating an attractive focal point.