A fireplace can very quickly become the heart of a home. Usually situated in a living room, they keep the place cozy and warm, and they’re the perfect place around which to arrange sofas and armchairs so that your family can relax together on those long, cold, and rainy days.
However, with some fireplaces being pretty plain or boring, you will likely be wanting to decorate them. Not only so that you make it your own, but so that it matches the rest of the aesthetic and vibe within the room, and so that it doubles up as decoration for a pleasant overall appearance.
The best way to think of the fireplace is as it being the centerpiece of the living room, and that might give you some ideas of how you want it to look.
But how do you decorate a fireplace? Well, it depends on a few things, primarily on if the fireplace is working or not. After all, you can’t exactly place things inside the fireplace for decoration if it’s going to be set aflame! But don’t worry, there are plenty of decorating options, both if your fireplace is working and if it isn’t.
Let’s get started!
How to decorate a working fireplace
With a working fireplace, it means that the fireplace is able to be used for lighting fires and therefore providing heat to the room. A working fireplace is enough decoration in itself, as watching the fire can be pretty hypnotizing, and it will instantly make the room look warm and cozy. However, you might want to decorate the fireplace so that it looks even better, along with the fire within it.
But how do you decorate a working fireplace?
The first thing to worry about is safety. Decorating your fireplace might include adding different decorative elements and objects, but it is of vital importance that you ensure they are safe and that they don’t cause a fire hazard.
If you’re not sure about whether or not the decoration is risky safety-wise, then don’t bother. It’s better to have a boring fireplace than to risk having your house burned down!
This doesn’t mean you can’t decorate your fireplace. It just means you have to take precautions. Here are some tips on how to do just that:
Have a fireplace gate front or glass door:
This is something that is recommended even if you aren’t planning on decorating the fireplace. Having a gate front or glass door will prevent any logs from rolling out into the living room, and it will stop any ash or sparks of fire from ending up outside of the fireplace itself.
If you have children or pets, a glass door is especially important to keep everyone safe.
If you are painting the fireplace, make sure the paint is resistant to the heat it is going to be exposed to:
Fireplaces are made with materials able to resist extreme heat. If you decide to paint over these surfaces, you need to make sure the paint is suitable for fireplaces and fire, or else you’re going to have melted paint all over the place!
Allow for a few inches of space between the fire and any nearby objects and decorative pieces:
As a safety precaution, you should allow for space between the fireplace and the nearby decorative elements that you position around it. This will minimize the risk. And even if you have a glass door in place, it will keep the items safe from being too close to the source of heat.
Avoid decorating the fireplace with highly flammable materials:
This one is pretty obvious, but if you’re going to have an open fireplace, you should remove all nearby flammable materials and items to avoid a serious accident.
Have a nearby emergency method for putting out the fire if needed:
Whether it’s to be fully prepared for worst-case scenarios, or to give yourself some peace of mind, having a nearby method for putting out the fire is super useful. It could be a small fire extinguisher or a fire blanket. These can be camouflaged and decorated so that they blend into the living room and don’t look too out of place.
Once you’ve taken all of the necessary safety precautions, you can go ahead and decorate your working fireplace in a huge number of different ways, depending on the appearance and vibe you want to achieve.
Here are some ideas for decorating your working fireplace:
- Use the top counter over the fireplace to place family framed photos and similar
- Place seasonal decorations over the fireplace, such as a wreath and stockings during the Christmas holidays, bunny rabbits during Easter, or flowers during the summer!
- Place small statues or figurines on either side of the fireplace
How to decorate a non-working fireplace:
If you have a fireplace in your home, but it doesn’t exactly work like a fireplace, which means no fire, you can still turn it into a cozy and appealing centerpiece of your living area. And not only that, as the fireplace isn’t working, there is no fire hazard risk to worry about, meaning that the decorating possibilities are practically endless!
One of the most popular options when decorating a non-working fireplace is to use up all of the empty and unused space inside of the fireplace, as it’s a great way to turn it into something pretty. Whether you fill it with some sort of scene of sculptures and items, or you fill it with books or place some logs in it that will look good and never burn...there is plenty to work with!
Here are some of the most popular decorating ideas for a non-working fireplace:
- Fill the fireplace with a source of light, such as candles, a lamp, or similar. This will make the fireplace look cozy and warm, without the fire.
- Place some logs in the fireplace, and decorate with smaller items in the surrounding area, for a neat and well-curated look.
- Fill the fireplace with a large figurine or item, or fill it with books. Utilize the space as a display area!