Posted on: 11.12.2023 Posted by: Редакция Comments: 0

A fireplace is usually the centerpiece of a room. Leaving it empty and unused is not only a waste of usable space, but also a missed opportunity for decoration. Just like changing decorative pillows can change the whole ambiance of a room, changing your fireplace can refresh your room without having to replace furniture.

Some unique ways to decorate your unused fireplace include creating a decorative light source, styling a vintage, rustic, or shabby display, and creating a stylish storage space along with some practical ideas. Many of these DIY fireplace projects are simple.

If you are considering repurposing your fireplace, make sure you are certain that you will no longer use or repair it in the future. We will discuss some permanent decoration projects, but most of them will be temporary so you can change your mind. Before we get into the repurposing ideas, you need to understand the condition of your fireplace and what you need to do to make it operational.

Reasons why a fireplace can remain unused:

The extent of required maintenance
Just like a swimming pool, a fireplace can seem like a great idea and can give you many hours of enjoyment but requires a lot of work. If you use your fireplace, you need to maintain and service it by having it swept at least annually, addressing any structural integrity issues, buying a chimney cap, and ensuring the damper and flue are functioning properly. You can help keep your exhaust and chimney clean with a Pine Mountain First Alert Creosote Buster log.

Even if you don’t use your fireplace, there are still maintenance needs. Gas or oil fireplaces should be serviced regularly as they are connected to the heating and hot water system and your non-electric stove. Other oil-burning appliances might cause creosote buildup in your chimney. The interior of your chimney still needs to be cleaned.

Sometimes more things clog up your chimney when you don’t use your fireplace than when you do. Leaves and animal or insect nests can clog your venting. Over time, this organic matter begins to decompose and may develop an unwelcome odor. Regular chimney cleaning can help prevent this.

Fire hazard
Some homeowners do not use their fireplaces because they are concerned about the risk of chimney fires. Minor chimney fires, usually caused by creosote buildup, may go undetected. They might only become apparent when you have your chimney and fireplace inspected and the inspector discovers the damage. Heavier fires can damage both your chimney and other parts of your house near your chimney and fireplace.

Problems with your fireplace and chimney
Cracking is a common problem with chimneys and sometimes fireplaces, which discourages homeowners from using them. Contact with cold outside air might cause cracks in the exterior wall. Fireplaces in homes where earthquakes are frequent may also be frequently damaged. Shifting foundations in older homes are also a common cause of brick or stone cracking.

You live in a warm climate
Fireplaces are not uncommon features of homes in all climates, whether your house is in the mountains or on the beach. They often find themselves unused in warmer climates because they emit unwanted heat. Therefore, they remain as purely decorative features of the house.

How to seal your fireplace

If you have decided that you are most likely not going to use your fireplace in the future, it may be a wise decision to seal it. Not least, sealing your fireplace is more energy efficient. Depending on the season, your heat or air conditioning can escape through the chimney, and cold air or heat and moisture can enter your home.

The easiest way to seal your fireplace is with an inflatable fireplace balloon chimney plug. This chimney product is available in various sizes to suit your needs. As long as you measure your chimney correctly, installation should be simple. This is a procedure you as a homeowner can do on your own.

Another way to seal your fireplace is to make a custom-made cover that fits over the opening of your fireplace. These covers can be simple or decorative. We will examine these further later. Fireplace covers like these are removable and can be reversed as desired.

Watch the video below to see a variety of ideas for decorating your unused fireplace. It includes custom fireplace covers and more ideas that we will explore further below. Reviewing this decorating video is a great way to start brainstorming about what you want to do with the empty fireplace space in your home.

Creating a decorative light source

Your fireplace naturally emits light and warmth when it is in operation. Why not take this idea and creatively reproduce the same mood? Here are some of my favorite ideas for using light in your fireplace. The following decorative concepts with real candles should be done with battery-operated flameless LED candles instead in households with small children or pets. This set of 7 flameless LED candles from Qinxiang is highly rated and comes with a remote control.

  1. Create a large group of candles
    Choose pillar candles of different diameters and heights and add a few ball candles. Sturdy wrought-iron candle stands in staggered heights complete the look. White or ivory candles are classic and go with any decor. Whatever color you choose, it’s best to stick with just one or two. Fill the entire space but keep anything flammable like a rug or floor cushions away.
  2. Use string lights for a pile of birch logs
    There are many ways to approach this DIY project to reflect your style. You could arrange the logs in a huge mass or stack them neatly in a pile parallel to each other. If all the logs are similar, you could fill the fireplace with the cut ends facing outwards. However you arrange the wood, you can use battery-operated LED mini string lights or string lights in between and around the tree trunks.
  3. Place large and small lanterns in your fireplace
    Depending on whether you’re using antique, rustic, coastal, or modern lanterns, you can easily change the look of your room for any season. Some lanterns have built-in LED lights, and others take regular or flameless LED candles. Instead of candles, you can also fill the lanterns with string lights. Many LED lights can change color, so you can set the mood for any occasion.

Styling a vintage, rustic, or shabby chic display

Many statement pieces have no function other than looking decorative and being a possible conversation starter. If you are a collector of such extraordinary things, then your unused fireplace is the perfect place to showcase them. Some items have a distinct vintage, rustic, or shabby chic look, while others can be neutral. You can have fun adding other finds you love to these neutral items to create the perfect look you want. The possibilities are endless.

  1. Use one or two framed mirrors to fill your fireplace
    If you decide to use more than one mirror, make sure they differ in size and shape. Of course, it’s easier to fit a square or rectangular mirror into your fireplace. Place sturdy items around your mirror to secure it. A large, heavy vase or a dimly lit potted plant would work well. If all else fails, you may need an easel, but you can use other items to camouflage it.
  2. Showcase your framed favorite artwork
    Whether showcasing your own artwork or someone else’s, the frame is almost as important as the piece itself. Make sure the size of the artwork varies if you want to display more than one. Unlike mirrors with plain glass, the artwork likely has many colors and more going on. It would be better to add simple accessories, like a plain vase or a leafy plant in a plain flower pot.
  3. Fill your fireplace with stacks of old bound books
    Do this by placing stacks of books in your fireplace, alternating the direction each stack faces. Only show the spines of the books that you find most interesting in these small stacks. Blot out the titles of the rest. Keep doing this until there are no more books that will fit into the opening. You can find old hardcover books at the book and flea markets of your local library.
  4. Stack old suitcases to create a vintage display
    Make sure to stack them in order of their size, starting with the largest at the bottom. You can leave the top case closed or open to fill it with items. Some suggestions for other things you can include in your display are a train case, a hat box, an old camera, a gramophone, an old radio, or an antique-looking globe like this Signature Design by Ashley – Oakden Vintage Spinning Globe.
  5. Place a small piano bench in front of the fireplace opening
    If the seat is not padded, you can always add a cushion to make it more inviting. Add pillows that match the colors and style of the seat upholstery. Prop the pillows against the wall above the fireplace to create a comfortable seating area. Now you have created a cozy spot to chat with guests, enjoy a cup of tea, or read a book.

Creating a stylish storage space

There are storage pieces anyway that you have in your house, so why not use the unused space in your fireplace? This would free up space elsewhere in your home.

  1. Place a freestanding wine rack in your empty fireplace
    There are so many wine racks that would go with anything from a rustic to a modern home. Depending on the size of your home’s fireplace, you can use one or more of these Soduku Rustic Wood Countertop Wine Racks. If your space is large, you can add a few empty wine bottles with string lights and a basket with handles and artificial grapes.
  2. Create a small reading area with some bookshelves and floor cushions
    This area can become a cozy reading spot for an adult or a child. You can use a freestanding mini bookshelf or large bookends or build shelves into your empty fireplace if you are handy enough to do so. Make this area colorful by painting the jamb or keep the wood tones. Be sure to have multiple floor cushions for you to use reading together with your child.
  3. Use built-in shelves to display your favorite knick-knacks or collectibles
    If you are not skillful enough to build and install shelves, you can use freestanding shelves like this MyGift 15-Inch 9-Compartment Torched Wood Freestanding Shelf. With a custom piece, you can have each compartment sized to suit your needs and stain the wood to match your existing furniture. It is possible to find something matching prefabricated.
  4. Place a magazine rack in your empty fireplace
    There are many types of magazine racks ranging from modern to chic farmhouse. This decorating idea is an excellent opportunity to organize your magazines to suit your style. You wouldn’t want to change it with the seasons, so something versatile works best, like this White Frenchi Home Furnishing Contemporary Magazine Rack.

Practical ideas

You can implement these ideas with style, but the priority is functionality. Of course, you can have both. It just takes a little thought, imagination, and creativity.

  1. Create a chalkboard fireplace cover
    Chalkboard art is so popular that people paint almost anything with chalkboard paint. They put it on their tabletops, walls, and refrigerators, so why not on a fireplace cover. Watch this short video that shows you step by step how this homeowner made a plywood fireplace cover and turned it into a reversible chalkboard fireplace cover:

If you already have a memo board that you like, you can attach it to your plywood fireplace cover with wood glue. If you want to make a new custom memo board, you will need a custom-cut plywood fireplace cover, batting, fabric, ribbons, decorative nails, and a stapler. Then follow this easy tutorial to make a fabric memo board.

  1. Place a stylish pet bed in your empty fireplace
    Your unused fireplace is the perfect spot to set up a pet bed. There are many decorative options, like this geometric Petper Pet Bed for dogs or cats. There are also fun options for pet beds that resemble real furniture like sofas. If you live in a cooler climate, make sure you have sealed your fireplace so your pet doesn’t have to endure cold drafts.
  2. Use your unused fireplace to house an aquarium
    Adding an aquarium would make a low stand a beautiful centerpiece for your room. You can do some fantastic things with colored lights in aquariums. There are also some very Zen-themed aquarium decorations you could try. You would have to make sure the aquarium heater is keeping the water at an appropriate temperature since the fireplace wall is likely not insulated.

Final thoughts

Hopefully, these 18 decoration ideas for an unused fireplace have sparked some inspiration in you. Don’t be afraid to make one of these ideas your own by adding your unique touch to them. Avoid doing anything permanent if you are unsure whether you will use your fireplace in the future. One advantage of choosing one of the non-permanent options is that you can try out different ideas until you find the perfect one that makes you smile wide as you enter the room.

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