Who says fireplaces are only good for burning wood? Check out 5 innovative ways for using your fireplace that don’t involve smoky, burning wood, or massive clean-up! Get inspired with creative alternatives for sprucing up your home’s decor, plus learn a few fun facts about interior design.
Using A Fireplace To Display Special Collections
Because a fireplace is a natural focal point in a room, it’s the perfect place to showcase a grouping of favorite antiques or special collectibles. Why keep these kinds of things locked up in the attic or a cupboard, when, framed by the fireplace, they create such excellent conversation pieces?
When considering your room’s design, pick a theme, and only display one collection at a time. Example of items that might be fun and appealing to display including everything from antique dolls and vacation souvenirs to vintage holiday decorations and sports memorabilia. Depending on what you are displaying, you may have room for only a few select pieces from your collection. Remember, this is the focal point of your room, not a storage area; display the items, but don’t clutter them.
Some fun facts about the fine art of collecting? An item is only considered an antique once it is more than 100 years old. What’s vintage? Generally, anything that’s more than 20, but less then 100 years old. We can also thank the Ancient Egyptians for kicking off the collecting craze when book collecting became a major obsession beginning in the third century BC.
Cheerful Flower Display
Running out of flower vases? Not to worry! Your fireplace can serve as an innovative way to show off your favorite floral arrangements. To create the look, pick flowers in complementary colors to tie-in with the room’s decor, or for special occasions, use flowers with seasonal colors to create a more festive centerpiece. For example, grouping large poinsettias at Christmas adds an instant holiday feel to any room, as can displaying red roses on Valentine’s Day. Use fresh flowers for a temporary pop of color, or dried or silk flowers for a more permanent display.
Decorating with flowers? It’s actually one of the oldest interior design tricks in the book. Even as early as the Middle Ages, people had vases in homes that were used solely for reason of displaying sweet smelling flowers. In modern times, we’ve learned even more tricks, like keeping fresh cut flowers alive longer by adding crushed aspirin at the bottom of the vase.
Surprising Book Shelf Display
Love books? Turn your fireplace into a centerpiece for your personal library! This nifty design shortcut works best with a non-working fireplace, but if yours in working order, just sure to shut the top damper to prevent any harm done to your books. Design-wise, you can choose books to display with spines or backs that are all the same color (all red books, for example, or groupings of colors), or books of all the same genre (i.e., all your favorite mysteries), or pick a mix of all your most-loved favorites as a true conversation piece.
The key to this look is coming up with a way to avoid your fireplace’s firebox from taking on the appearance of extra storage. An easy way to do this is by alternate stacking groups of books on their sides with groups of books standing up for a fun patterned look.
Some bookworm facts? Current worldwide estimates for the number of paper books printed stands at 129,864,880! And as any avid book collector will tell you, the best way to preserve books is to avoid exposing them to wide fluctuations in temperature.
Romantic Candle Display
Burning candles as an alternative to wood can create a soft, romantic look that’s perfect for a low-maintenance evening that doesn’t require ash clean up. For maximum impact, arrange candles in a sturdy metal candelabra, available at most home stores. Have your firebox measurements handy when choosing your candelabra to make sure you get one that’s the right fit.
There are a lot of candelabra designs and surely you will find one the best fits your personality and your fireplace! When choosing one, make sure you’re able to envision the candelabra in your fireplace, they don’t look the same lit up and without the whole fireplace framing them. Just give you an idea, look at a candelabra by itself:
Place the candelabra in a fireplace and light the candles up, and you’ll have an amazing romantic display.
When it comes to choosing candles, for the holidays or other special occasions, look for pillar candles in festive colors and scents. At Christmas time, fir-scented green candles or spice-scented red candles instantly create a snug, holiday feel.
Speaking of scented candles, candles made with fragrant oils account for 90% of candle sales today. Additionally, 94% of purchasers of candles are women!
Earthy Birch-Bark and Spanish Moss Display
Live in an apartment with a non-working fireplace? When burning wood is not an option, a clever arrangement of bark, twigs, and moss can still spark design interest. To duplicate this look, be prepared to use your imagination. Shards of wood bark placed in upright position can mimic the look of a roaring fire. Moss placed at the base references a pile of burning coals.
For maximum impact, compliment the rustic look of your fireplace with furniture pieces or mantel arrangements that have a similar woodsy, outdoor feel. Likewise, your fireplace arrangement can really pop if it contrasts with more urban decor.
Some fun facts — and a few FYIs — for bringing the outdoors in? When collecting bark, check carefully for bugs, especially termites. It’s best to use bark that has been sun dried at least 24 hours.