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As the host of your home, you want to create a space where all can gather and enjoy. Many older buildings come with a fireplace that may not be in use anymore or maybe you’ve decided you just don’t want to care for your working fireplace anymore. Whatever the case, and unused fireplace can become an eyesore in any living space, but you can change that.
Consider the firebox to be a stage where you can show off your unique decorative style. With a little creativity and the right supplies, you can take your unused fireplace from eyesore to focal point with these out-of-the-box fireplace ideas for the home.
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Clean & Repair
Before you begin your décor work, you’ll want to make sure the brickwork around the fireplace is in good condition. If there are any cracks or broken bricks, now is the time to call for a repair. The average cost to repair a fireplace is $380, but will largely depend on the type of damage you need repaired. Also remember to clean any ashes in and around the fireplace. You won’t want this getting on any of your belongings. Even if it’s an old fireplace you’ve never used, it’s a smart idea to give it a good cleaning to get rid of any lasting grime.
Another way to spruce up your brick fireplace is by painting it. This can add to the overall décor of the room. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can change your look with this DIY project. Read How To Paint A Brick Fireplace for more instructions.
Once you have the outside in the condition you want, you can focus on choosing the right décor for your unused fireplace.
This is a classic way to decorate your unused fireplace. It mimics the look, without the necessity of having an actual working fireplace. Variation works best in this design. Get candles and candle holders of different sizes and shapes and place them in your firebox. You can even include a small shelf or riser to hold them above the ground. This may be particularly nice if the bottom of your fireplace isn’t in the best shape. Always follow proper fire safety protocol when using candles anywhere in the home.
If you’re looking for creative ways to add more light into your room, using your fireplace unconventionally might be the way to go. Installing a mirror to the empty space can help spread light throughout the room. Measure the opening and find a piece of mirror that can fit behind it. Stabilize it with a crate that fits just right behind it and double sided mounting tape so it sticks to the inside of the firebox. And now you have a chic, modern looking fireplace design.
You can also incorporate a mirror behind your candles in the above unused fireplace décor option to help reflect more light around the room when candles are lit.
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You can also use your unused fireplace as extra storage space if your bookshelf is getting full. You can either insert shelves to fit the width of the fireplace and fill with books, or simply place books at the bottom of the firebox.
To really add a decorative element, choose books that are full of color and arrange on the shelf. On my bookshelf at home, I have arranged in the colors of the rainbow and it's a fun detail that really pops in our living room.
Utilize a plant in the empty firebox to not only improve the look of the room, but also the quality of the air. You can either try one large plant that really stands out, or an assortment of smaller plants, arranged to your liking.
Remember to choose plants that don’t need much sun and will not harm any pets in the house, since they will be sitting close to the ground. Here are a few ideas of shade-friendly houseplants:
- Snake Plant
- Creeping Fig
- Sword Fern
- Peacock Plant
- Succulent Varieties
If you love the variety of a candle or plant, but want to take less care of them, consider purchasing multiple decorative vases and displaying them in your firebox. This is a totally custom look to your style. Arrange on the bottom of the fireplace in various orders.
For a practical solution to your unused fireplace, toy storage may be the answer. Create cubbies that fit within the space and have children store their small toys there. Or stylish small baskets arranged to fit toys and other items for your child. It's an easy and unique way for parents to keep their children’s toys organized but still stylishly placed in the room.
Often, the fireplace is a focal point to allow friends and family to gather during the holiday season. An unused firebox presents an opportunity to celebrate all holidays any time of year. Find your favorite seasonal décor items and rotate seasonally, or maybe a cozy theme for the winter holidays if you’re feeling less ambitious. Either way, get creative and celebrate through your décor. I love the idea of painting a peice of wood to fit with chalkboard paint and changing it for the seasons. It's a trendy way to rotate your decor without too much extra effort.
If you have an unused fireplace, consider it another place to add flair to your space. One of the great perks to decorating your firebox is the versatility, as oftentimes, you’re able to change it out as you please. You can incorporate any style you’d like and maybe even experiment with a new one to really wow your guests.
Looking for more ways to decorate in and around your fireplace? Read How To Decorate Your Mantel for more tips.