Do you feel like your fireplace is a bit outdated with its retro-style design? Does it need a little facelift to freshen up its visual appeal? There’s a multitude of options available for updating and modernizing your fireplace – regardless of your budget. All you need is a bit of ingenuity and creativity.
Here are 7 ideas to help ignite your inspiration when it comes to upgrading the look of your fireplace.
1 . Spark a New Flame With a Fireplace Insert
If your old, open wood-burning fireplace is in bad shape, a torrent of cold air is streaming through the hearth, or you simply want to improve its overall efficiency, an insert is a perfect solution.
Modern inserts improve efficiency by an estimated 50 to 70 percent and furnish your masonry fireplace with an appealing and modern touch. They’re installed inside your fireplace’s firebox, and exhaust vent is installed inside your existing chimney. Gas, electric and pellet-fueled inserts can be remote-controlled for optimal functionality and safety.
2 . Find Your Perfect Match: Fire Screen Style
Changing your fire screen is not only simple, but it can completely transform the look and feel of your fireplace.
With plenty of versatility available, you can opt for a basic, cost-effective model, or elect to customize your fire screen by adding your own personal touch. When it comes to style and coloring, there are endless options for designing an aesthetic that accommodates your taste preferences and lifestyle.
3 . Burn Brightly By Upgrading Your Mantel and Hearth
The mantel and hearth can greatly contribute to the final look of your fireplace. And the good news? There’s plenty of room to exercise creativity when it comes to selecting the design materials.
Choose from a concrete hearth for a contemporary style, a metal one for an industrial feel, or a wooden one for a more rustic and traditional style. Also, mantels are no longer made only of wood – cast concrete, textured and painted to look amazingly like wood, or contemporary metal – can safely add a design feature to your room’s main focus and still be able to have a TV or artwork above.
Always double-check your municipality’s security regulations regarding fireplaces, especially if you are using flammable materials, such as wood, to build your hearth or mantel. Many experts specialize in building fireplace mantels, but if you’re good with your hands, there’s nothing preventing you from taking on a little DIY project of your own.
4 . De-light-full Decorating for Your Fiery Friend
The simple act of adding or changing up the decor around your fireplace is enough to furnish the space with a whole new look. From hanging a few vibrant paintings above the mantel to switching up the decor sitting atop or around the fireplace are effective ways to create visual appeal and spruce up the overall feel of your living area.
5 . Rekindle the Flame Surrounding the Unit
Sometimes, it’s not the fireplace itself that needs a little makeover, but rather, it’s the space surrounding it. An easy place to start? Consider repainting the wall behind your fireplace using a modern or vibrant shade – ultimately serving as an accent wall for your space.
If your fireplace and its vent are behind the wall, you can utilize wood or ceramic tiling to refurbish the area. Additionally, adding a shelf (or several shelves adjacent to the mantle) is a smart and stylish way to introduce some depth to your space.
Another idea to consider is installing a built-in bookcase that resides on each side of your fireplace. Opt for a custom-built design or a more wallet-friendly option that’ll create the illusion of sprawling shelves lined with books. For the DIYers, you can also accomplish this look by installing two prefabricated bookcases that use moldings to seal the pieces to the wall and ceiling.
This technique will make it appear as if the bookcases were built directly off of the wall. If you have existing moldings on the ceiling, use the same kind to “connect” the top of the bookcases to the ceiling, making the illusion all the more perfect.
6 . Achieve New Fahrenheits: The Fireplace Façade
Switch up your fireplace façade to invoke a more modernized and clean design. A popular and painless solution for brick and stone exteriors is to simply repaint the surface area. As a best practice, make sure to thoroughly clean the surface before grabbing a paintbrush and diving in.
We recommend using a wire brush to dispose of any filth or grime that’s weaseled its way into the smaller nooks and crannies of the exterior. Once clean, apply a suitable primer to the brick or stone before applying a few coats of heat resistant paint.
Another option to consider is covering up a brick fireplace with decorative stone. These fake stones can easily be installed directly over brick using tile cement, and they have the capacity to create a number of different design aesthetics.
If your gas fireplace has a gold façade that doesn’t blend in with your decor, sand it down with fine-grit sandpaper and apply heat resistant paint. Consult with a specialist before taking on such a project to make sure the products you use are appropriate and safe for a fireplace.
7 . Fuel Your Chimney Wall Creativity
Consider the wall above your fire as a blank canvas on which you can let your creativity run free. Use unique ceramic tiles to give it a particular style, or wood to give it a more rustic feel. Note that all fireplaces have clearance to combustible requirements that you need to research before adding wood above it.
Venture off the beaten track and match two materials for a unique, one-of-a-kind look. For example, install a few rows of black tile, followed by a few rows of wood, and so on. Let your imagination run wild, or hit the internet to find inspiration online.
Exercise Safety When Embarking on a New Project
No matter what method you ultimately use to update your fireplace, it’s always best to consult with an expert before you begin working on or around your unit. Why? It serves as a preventative measure to ensure you’re approaching the project using the right materials and techniques, while also complying with your area’s safety regulations. Once you have the green light, the floor is yours to get creative and design a look that satisfies your desired aesthetic.