Fireplace Ideas
Develop Design Cohesion

These fireplace ideas are relatively cheap and are easy additions to an aging facade. If you put in a bit of effort and time, you can create a fireplace that really makes a statement.

Fireplaces can easily be transformed into wonderful focal features for your room if they fit your style well. Many fireplaces are rather "plain-jane" and need some updating to really command attention. Try some of the ideas below to add a bit of class.

Original Fireplace Appearance
In the beginning . . .

This fireplace truly lacked luster. A dark room, vertical striped wallpaper, and the wrong color trim all contributed to an oppressive feeling in this space.

The room was updated around the fireplace yet it still felt "detached" from the space. As a result, updates to the fireplace occurred bit by bit until it reached its present state.

One of the easiest fireplace ideas was the addition of ornamental wood appliques. These can be found in the decorative trim and wood moulding departments of major home improvement centers. They can get a bit pricey but for under fifty dollars, you can really add some nice character to your fireplace mantel.

Mantel Ornaments
The addition of wood appliques in the center and upper corners. Apply wood glue and tack them into place with small brads (nails).

A lighter mantel color helped brighten the room and made the fireplace less depressing. The appliques, painted in an accent color, gave the fireplace a bit more personality. This however, was a short-lived affair. The brick needed attention if I really wanted to give this fireplace and room a new feel.

The idea of painting the brick itself crossed my mind many times. A beige, white or other neutral masonry paint would have really brightened this fireplace while giving it a new, clean, fresh look. Definitely consider paint as an option for your fireplace.

I finally decided that I wanted to tile the fireplace and to introduce some trendy glass tile into its overall look. Since I didn't want to deal with a tile saw, I had the idea of purchasing mesh backed tile sets and randomly placing glass tiles within it to create a personalized mosaic. Visit the Tile Fireplace section to learn about this tiling project and to view some additional pictures of this fireplace in process.

Tiling a fireplace is a more involved commitment than painting and may require a bit of homework if you've never worked with tiling before. However, this is a great project to test out your tiling skills. It is more fixable and less work than say, a tile floor. So, give it a try!

To get back to some easier fireplace ideas, consider the addition of decorative trim and moulding. Browse your home improvement center for many unique styles and to gather more ideas. A compound miter saw or miter box, both of which cut wood at angles, comes in very handy for such projects.

Decorative Rope Moulding

Decorative Mantel

The mantel needed more "umphf" so I added two horizontal lines of rope moulding to help it out. It has really come a long way from its boring, no-frills beginning.

All the additional wood elements really work in harmony on this mantel now.

What about the hearth? This fireplace has a floor-inset hearth made of red firebrick which was too dark and dismal for the space. It disappeared under a few pieces of beige marble tile. Talk about an easy fireplace idea.

Marble Tile Hearth

Marble Tile Hearth

Completed Fireplace

Want some other ideas?

  • Frame out your fireplace to give it a more substantial appearance. Use code appropriate materials and hire a carpenter if you are not comfortable with this project.

  • Create a more substantial mantel. Switch it out with an antique or architectural one you find, or build your own. Rough hewn log mantels are great for stone faced fireplaces.

  • Instead of tile, stone face your fireplace. You can use actual stone or manufactured stone facing which is flat on the back to make installation easier.

  • Create a stucco or Venetian plaster finish, dyed to any color you want.

Although some of these projects are more involved and require more skill, they are other options to consider. Hire a professional for any project you are not comfortable attempting.

Fireplaces can really add some drama to your space if you put in a little effort. Visit your local home improvement center to gather ideas for your fireplace. Visit their wood moulding and tile sections. You will be amazed at all the products available to assist in your fireplace update. You can easily create a one-of-a-kind tile fireplace that is custom tailored to your home and becomes a focal feature in your room.

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