Looking to repurpose your fireplace? Check out our creative round up of alternative uses!
As we wave goodbye to the chilly embrace of winter and spring into sunnier days (see what we did there?), you can bet that Google hits on keywords like DIY and interior decorating tips are going to rise, quickly followed by sales of cleaning supplies and paint. For the creative, the nester, the self-proclaimed carpenter, and the Monica, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.
But while you’re making sure every corner of that weird little half-closet in your bathroom is sparkling clean, other elements of your home are feeling sad and neglected--namely, your fireplace.
Here, we’ll give you six tips for showing it some love, even as the weather warms up-- or if you live in one of those forever-summer states. (Why do they even have fireplaces…?)
Make It a Library
There are about 148 ways to do this, but they all start with a deep cleaning. (Your fireplace is dirtier than you think it is.)
Thoughtfully stack your favorite reads until they fill the space, or arrange them asymmetrically to create some visual interest. Consider sticking to a specific color palette, such as jewel tones or black-and-white spines.
If space allows and you don’t plan to actually use your fireplace (or if you don’t mind putting in a little effort when you do use it again), affix floating shelves inside and stack books to create a fun, slightly spooky, suspended effect.
To bulk up your collection or vary the aesthetic on the cheap, consider snagging some old, antique-style books from your local second-hand shops.
Make It a Pet Sanctuary
Where the pet parents at? Whether you need a place of rest for man’s excitable best friend or an alcove from which your feline overlord can judge you, repurposed fireplaces could be the answer. Many pets appreciate a space that’s just theirs, nearby all the family action but not in the thick of it.
First, super-scrub the area. (We’re noticing a theme here.) If you’re a special kind of cat person with a massive fireplace who’s inclined to DIY-ing, you might hang some version of this cat planter inside. If you’re wondering how you’d do that, a sturdy wall-mounted fixture intended for actual plant-hanging might do the trick!
If your feline is more of a minimalist, perhaps a teeny tiny hammock is in order. Nestle her dishes, a scratching mat, and a sleek box filled with toys into her new nook to give her all the luxury she deserves.
If you need a cozy spot for your canine, grab a well-designed, supremely fluffy pet bed (or memory foam couch, since that’s a thing) and toss Fido’s favorite bone on top.
Hang a tapestry or tailored curtains in front for an extra touch of class and privacy. Voila! Pet paradise.
Make It Art
A little bit of paint can pack a powerful punch, transforming your fireplace from a purely functional asset into an artsy focal point. First, sweep and scrub away all dirt and debris. (We assume, at this point, you’ll remember you need to clean the thing. We won’t mention it again.) Second, go to town.
This is also an excellent opportunity to infuse a space with something that’s purely you. Is there a color that just makes you happy or calms you down? Incorporate it in your hearthside overhaul!
“But magenta isn’t for fireplaces.”
Pish. Creators never say die. And you’re a creator, we can tell.
If you’re concerned that you’ll never again find use for a $50 hand vac, we understand the struggle. You can list it--and tons of other tools you might have on hand--on Sparetoolz, turning them into handy little money-makers.
Click here to get started!
Make It a Gallery
Photo: @alwaysjudging on Instagram
Art isn’t just for walls anymore. Elevate your fireplace by adorning it with variably-sized prints and paintings that speak to you. Add plants, tapestries, vases, and whatever else your heart desires!
This pairs particularly well with the Make It Art suggestion above and is a great way to add a pop of interest in otherwise minimalist spaces.
If you don’t have many pieces you deem worthy of display, settle in with some painting supplies, appetizers, and a few good friends and create what you want to see.
Make It Romantic
Photo: Design Sponge on Pinterest
Ok, so this one requires a little fire. Opt into aesthetic simplicity with a unique candelabra, or go for grandeur with a stunning assortment of pillar candles and tea lights. If you have little ones or rambunctious pets, or if you simply want to up the safety factor, use LED candles with a flicker effect.
Alternatively, hang string lights around the inside of the fireplace and display other items, such as framed photos, baskets, or logs. Prop a decorative mirror inside to reflect and distribute the glow, turn on some jazz, and sink into your sofa.
Make It Disco
Hear us out. This one’s a potentially higher-budget option for the modern rock n’ rollers-at-heart. If you are fortunate enough to have ample natural light in your living space, capitalize on it by placing a large disco ball in your fireplace, a la interior designer Alison Damante.
Need some visual inspiration? Check out the photos that House Beautiful curated of some of these ideas!
Whether you live in sunny SoCal or just never seem to think about setting your fireplace aflame, there are plenty of reasons you shouldn’t let it languish as an empty box. The options are only as limited as your creativity--and maybe your tools.
With a little innovation and tool rentals courtesy of Sparetoolz, you’ll have all you need to realize your vision. Your fireplace will thank you.