How to Decorate Fireplaces

Murrye Bernard
Fireplace

Fireplaces represent warmth and become the automatic focal point of a room, so if you have one or more in your home, it is important to know how to decorate fireplaces.

How to Decorate Fireplaces Stylishly

Choose a Mantel

If your fireplace doesn't already have an attractive mantel, design or purchase one. Fireplace mantel designs range from elaborate and traditional to minimal and modern. They can be made of wood, marble stone, ceramic tile or stainless steel. A mantel serves as a frame for your fireplace.

Establish a Focal Point

As mentioned, the fireplace is usually the focal point of the room, but what you hang above it really drives the point home. Lean a mirror against the mantel to make a small room look larger. Otherwise, hang a large piece of art. Be sure the painting isn't wider than the fireplace itself; the goal is to maintain proportion. You may also hang a flat screen TV above the fireplace.

Make it an Accent Wall

Another way to emphasize the fireplace is to paint the wall around it an accent color. Choose a deep or bold color to draw attention to that side of the room. Consider installing bookcases that integrate with your mantel and fireplace design or extend your hearth to provide extra seating or storage space. You may also choose to extend the material of your fireplace surround all the way to the ceiling to make the room feel taller.

Add Decorative Objects

Many people choose to place decorative objects on their fireplace mantels. Some ideas include:

  • Candles
  • Statues
  • Sculptures
  • Plants
  • Books
  • Boxes

When arranging objects on your mantel, aim for a sense of proportion. Group items together in odd numbers, such as three or five. Choose items of contrasting shapes, colors and heights. Some prefer the look of symmetry, but balance can be achieved without using matching objects on both sides.

Lend a Personal touch

Group framed family photos on your mantel. Rather than place a random photo here or there, go for a bold statement by grouping many frames of varying sizes and styles together.

Enhance with Lighting

Although fireplaces give off their own light, you can use lighting to accent your fireplace design. Hang wall sconces on either side of your fireplace, or install directional recessed or track lighting to illuminate your mantel decor.

Don't Forget the Fireplace Interior

When your fireplace is not in use, such as during warmer months, sweep up the ashes and leave a neat stack of logs. You may also choose to place a plant or a decorative sculpture in the opening. If you have a false fireplace, group different sizes of candles together and light them.

Fireplace Accessories

To use your fireplace, you need a few tools, such as a poker set, fireplace screen or log holder. While these items are practical, they can also be decorative. Choose a matching set in the material of your choice or peruse antique stores for unique items.

Design Inspiration

Look to these respected home decor sites for pictures and ideas on the topic of how to decorate fireplaces:

How to Decorate Fireplaces