How to Modernize Your Decor with a Decorative Fireplace How to Modernize Your Decor with a Decorative Fireplace

What You'll Need
1 Fireplace screen
Artwork and photos

A decorative fireplace makes a room look elegant and contemporary. With just a few accessories, you can update a room to make it look modern. Take advantage of the space on the fireplace mantle, the floorspace around your fireplace and the entrance to create a fireplace that will appeal to you and and guests. Here's how:

Step 1 - Paint the Fireplace

Re-paint your fireplace to make it decorative. You might just need to spruce up the color you have, or choose a more vibrant color to offset the walls and accent the fireplace. Consider furniture and draperies already in the room as you decide on what color to use.

Step 2 - Cover the Fireplace with a Screen

The easiest way to have a decorative fireplace is to cover it with a fireplace screen. Many designs are available, and fireplace screens are made out of a number of materials, such as glass and metal. Use the screen when the fireplace is not in use, or to stop embers from flying everywhere. Major department stores carry fireplace screens in their home department, and you can incorporate just about any theme you want. Some examples of decorative fireplace screens include:

  • Stained glass (flowers, animals and other artwork)
  • Parker wood and stained glass combo
  • Wire mesh gate with iron scrollwork
  • Single and double panel screens

Fireplace screens can also form a protective barrier to help keep children and pets out. The decorative element is a bonus.

Step 3 - Decorate the Mantle

The mantle is a critical component of a decorative fireplace. Your options for what to put on the mantle and directly above it are numerous, and it depends on the overall decorating style you choose for your home or apartment. Stacking reference books on the mantle with glassware is an example of what would fit well for a contemporary style of decorating. On the other hand, if you're working with a Spanish-style theme, a wrought-iron candle holder in the center of the mantle is a great choice. Above the mantle, consider placing one of the following:

  • Artwork
  • Digital family photos
  • Wallpaper accent
  • Wall clock 
  • Mirror

These are all possible choices for what to put above the mantle. Though there are no hard and fast rules for this, you may find or be the recipient of something not on this list that would be a good fit. Keep in mind that the whole point of decorating the mantle is to draw eyes to the fireplace as a focal point in the room.

Step 4 - Decorate Space around the Fireplace

A decorative fireplace doesn't have to be one that's working. If your's doesn't work, there are ways to make it work for you when it comes to decorating. For example, the space inside the fireplace can be used to display free standing artwork, such as pottery or sculptures. You can place baskets inside the fireplace as well, with artificial flowers. You wouldn't use this design tip with a fireplace screen, so choose one or the other.

Sometimes all a room needs for a good makeover is a decorative fireplace. Use these guidelines to improve your working or non-working fireplace.

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