Make the Most of a Non-Working Fireplace

"How can you jazz up a non-working fireplace?" --iVillager jklein

Question:

Working or not working, you’re so lucky to have a fireplace and a mantle to dress up as the focal point of your room. You might not be able to roast chestnuts and marshmallows on an open fire, but if you love to accessorize like I do, this is the place! Get creative and change your fireplace with the seasons.

First things first, it’s time to retire the electric fire log, and invest in a nice decorative fireplace screen. Some of my favorites are from Pottery Barn. I love the Tree of Life fireplace screen for $149, which has a simple but striking design in iron, or the Nouveau fireplace screen for the same price. I also think their Hanging Vase and Candle fireplace screen is really smart. It’s a very simple wrought iron screen with four removable glass vase holders or candleholders, which hang in the front. The price for such beauty--$129.

At illuminations.com, they have a fabulous Iron Scrollwork Screen with three glass teardrop bowls for candles that cascade down the front. The price--$149.95.

Now that you have the perfect screen, you can also place a pile of beautiful birch logs inside. If you’re looking for a little color, I also like to gather a huge bunch of dried hydrangeas in a basket and place that inside the fireplace for the fall. I’ve also seen people cover extra large Styrofoam balls with moss and twigs, which you can pile up in a raw wooden crate for that “I’ve just been to the Adirondacks” look. You can also slice thin dime size pieces off of a birch twig, or buy these at a craft store, and glue them on the moss balls for the same effect.

I’ve also placed my collection of flea market “mix and match” candlesticks, in various heights and sizes, inside a fireplace for a whimsical effect. If you’re worried about it looking too messy, keep them all in one color or material. A collection of mercury glass candlesticks would be divine! You can also place an ornate candelabra, one that you find at the flea market and don’t know what to do with, inside for added drama. Light it all up with candles when guests come over. It will really set the mood.

If you want to keep things simple, you can also go to Target, Pottery Barn, Bombay Company, or illuminations.com and buy a fireplace pillar holder. They’re usually wrought iron with 6-8 connecting stakes that hold large pillar candles. The prices range from $39-$69.

Now that your fireplace is all lit up, make sure to re-arrange your seating to take advantage of your room’s new “centerpiece.”

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