Brrrr… I don’t know what the weather is like where you live, but here the temperature plumetted the moment we hit October. I forgot what having chilly toes was like, and am sorely wishing I had a fireplace to cozy up in front of right now. I adore fireplaces, especially antique ones with ornate iron grates, although I have seen a number of contemporary designs that are downright sexy. A hearth can add elegance and beauty, but what do you do if your existing fireplace isn’t your cup of tea? Not to worry, here are some solutions that will tackle your fireplace dilemas.
An antique fireplace can be a real selling feature in a home, and a beautiful decorative element, but not every fireplace is created equal. The fireplace you’re looking at above may be gorgeous now, but it started as a boring red brick rectangle. Using a handsome herringbone tile method and a large mantle stained with an antique finish this fireplace has become a winner. Instructions on doing a similar makeover of your own can be found here.
Childproofing a Fireplace
It goes without saying that little ones and open flames are best kept apart. A hearth gate can do the trick, but maybe you want to avoid using your fireplace until the kids get a little bigger. An empty fireplace can be used as a display space for candles, books, or you can fill it with stacked wood like in the picture above to discourage wannabe chimney sweepers. This trick is also helpful for fireplaces that for whatever reason can’t be lit anymore.
Painting a Brick Fireplace
Sometimes a brick fireplace doesn’t go with the colour scheme of your room, or maybe you just don’t care for the colour of the brick. There are lots of way to paint a fireplace the wrong way, but in order to do it correctly you’ll need the right supplies and some elbow grease. Using the right primer is essential as is giving the brick a good sanding beforehand. For detailed instructions on painting brick you can find them here.
Adding Scale to a Small Fireplace
A small in stature fireplace can be a real eyesore in a room and draw the eye in a bad way. There are a few simple ways to deal with this problem. One way is to add decorative wood molding around the perimeter to give it some added scale. Going for an over-sized mantle can also work, and hanging a large mirror or piece of art above can help draw the eye upwards. Just be careful when choosing a mantle, scale is important and if you go too big or too small it can upset the balance.
Hopefully this post has been helpful in solving your fireplace design dilemmas before it is time to light your first fire. Stay warm everyone!