So, a fireplace in the family room is awesome, right? It does a nice job heating and holds a fire for several hours. Does it seem to be missing something or look a little blah? Maybe it needs something unique, a touch of class to have it reflect your life style. Let’s look at some options to spiff up your fireplace!
If yours is a functioning fireplace, you will need to keep in mind clearances to anything combustible. You must maintain a safe distance between the heat of the flames and any decorations, updates or changes that are made to the fireplace. For safety’s sake, any wood trim, knick-knacks, fabrics, etc. that could burn, must be kept away from the heat generated by the fire. Updating an operational wood burning fireplace with an EPA certified insert is an extremely popular project. An insert will not only give the fireplace a different look, but it can increase efficiencies ten-fold over old, open burning fireplaces. If you’re planning an upgrade to your fireplace, give an insert serious consideration. They’re popular for good reason! Fireplace & Bar-B-Q Center can show you a variety of fireplace inserts available to you.
Another option for upgrading the look of a brick fireplace is to reface it with a cultured stone. What we mean by this is basically going over and covering all the old, outdated and dirty brick with a cultured stone product. There are dozens of cultured stone options available and lots of color combinations. Or if a more contemporary look is what you’re after, there are many tile, marble, stainless steel and metal options available. This type of project, coupled with a gas, wood or electric insert and replacing the mantle and hearth, are worth the investment in your home and are very popular home improvement projects.
If your fireplace is non-functioning, consider the following for safety: Seal the damper, or somehow label or mark the fireplace as unable to burn wood. By doing so, another family member, friend or whoever buys the house in the future does not inadvertently attempt to start a fire.
If your fireplace is non-operational for one reason or another and you do not want to repair and/or replace it, you might consider a mantle and/or hearth makeover to give your fireplace a lift. Many people mount a mirror above the mantle with a sconce on either side to highlight the photos and mementos on the mantle. Accent lights from an adjacent wall or fish-eye spotlights installed in the ceiling can be directed to specific items that you what to highlight and show off.
Another idea for improving the look of a non-working fireplace is to paint it. No more wood will be burned in it, so thoroughly clean it and paint the inside of it to give it a clean, fresh look. Or course, if you like the look of the firebrick and it’s not objectionable to you, leave it. But by painting the brick, and perhaps replacing the mantle, your family room will have an entirely different feel.
There are several decorative screens that could add a nice touch to your hearth. In a non-operational fireplace, stack up cut wood on a grate (white birch looks great!) for a touch of realism or decorate the fireplace with candles, baskets or other items of interest.
Fireplace& Bar-B-Q Center hopes that these ideas on spiffing up your fireplace have given you something to think about! For more ideas, stop by and see us! We look forward to helping you with all of your fireplace needs!