5 Ways to Decorate Your Non-Functional Fireplace

Dated: 01/10/2013

Views: 4689

By T.J. Anderson
At a Christmas party a few weeks ago, a friend of mine put an old cast iron log rack to great use, filling it with a couple dozen plain white candles and lighting them all. All of a sudden the non-working fireplace in his old, Tudor-style house was working wonders in terms of ambiance.

Lots of my clients today are interested in old homes, which means that lots of them snap up homes with hearths whose functional days are long over. Working or not, fireplaces are loved by most everyone. The trick is to find a way to make a non-functional fireplace a centerpiece of a home even without a crackling fire. And if you want to get all feng shui-y about it: It's thought that when a hearth is completely empty it creates a "black hole" in the room, creating negative Chi.
Here are 5 great ideas for decorating your hearth and fixing your Chi:
1) Lots and lots of candles. Take a cue from my friend, and collect lots of unscented pillar candles in the same color. Ditch the tired candelabra and find a more creative way to display your candles: maybe something like this.

2) Rethink the traditional fireplace screen. If you want rustic, use an old garden gate instead. Or go for more opulent with something gilded (see below).

3) Shelves. Add storage space and surprise your visitors by installing a shelf or two inside your fireplace. The hearth below is in the kitchen and holds cookbooks and glass containers.

4) Books. Add a pop of color and make a statement by artfully arranging stacks of books with colorful spines inside your fireplace.

5) Logs. Let's don't and say we did. Actually light a fire that is. But make sure your fireplace at least looks ready to roar by cramming it with logs.

Do you have any ideas for ways to bring function to a non-functional fireplace?
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TJ Anderson

TJ Anderson is a Nashville Realtor with Benchmark Realty who's helped countless clients both buy a home and sell a home in Nashville, Tennessee. He blogs about Nashville regularly, from Nashville-area....

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