A fireplace is an instant focal point in any room. Humans have long found that time spent gazing into a fire is both soothing and fascinating. If your existing fireplace doesn’t suit your taste, you can remake these features to suit your future decor choices.
1) Use Paint
The prep work before you can paint brick especially if your fireplace is wood-burning may be extensive. Start with a damp cloth to remove dust and topical soot. Dampen the bricks to get the porous surface damp and increase the porous quality of the brick. If you choose to create a lime-wash or whitewash fireplace look, you will need to thin the whitewash. Make sure you give yourself plenty of room to mix. Whitewash can be thick and take some elbow grease to get it to mix. Work this part of the process in a deep container.
2) Add Tile
If your current fireplace surround is wood or a dated slab of marble, you can really change up the look of your fireplace by adding tile. There are many patterned tiles that can be used both on the surround, the hearth, and the deck in front of your fireplace to give your family room a lovely Moroccan feel.
Tile is also a project that can be quite cost-effective. If you have a local home supply store that offers end lots, you can find your ideal tile color and finish at a great price. If you don’t own a tile saw, treat yourself. Once you own a tile saw, you will find a lot of terrific ways to put it to use.
3) Use Natural Stone
If you have a brick fireplace and are thinking about adding a mantel, consider raising the mantel a bit and incorporating natural stone in slabs around the fireplace. By adding stone, you can
- break away from the “rectangle inside a rectangle look
- introduce colors that will work well in warm weather
- give you ideas on what color to paint your fireplace next year
One of the challenges of having a fireplace in warm weather is it can be a big boring hole in the wall. With a natural stone surround, you will have interesting visual appeal without fire and inspiration for adding electric candles, silk flowers, or more rocks to the inside of your cold fireplace.
4) Incorporate a Woodstove
Sadly, an older fireplace will not be especially fuel efficient. If you really need the heat from the fireplace space, you may choose to incorporate a small wood stove, a pellet stove, or a corn stove into the fireplace hearth for more efficient heat.
Depending on the stove you select, you may also need electricity and space for airflow around your stove. Carefully review the manufacturer’s instructions to protect your stove from damage. Because you may need a chimney adapter to install a stove inside the hearth, it’s a great time to get inside and seal the stone, brick, or concrete within the hearth.
5) Go Electric
If you’re not able to have an official fireplace, consider adding an electric fireplace to your family room. These are quite efficient in spaces that tend to be chilly. They can also be nice if your home is prone to staying hot on the second floor. If your thermostat is in the living room and your second floor is too hot for sleeping on a cold night, use your electric fireplace to take the chill off the main floor to prevent over-warming your bedrooms.
6) Use Ethanol
If you love the look of live fire and don’t need the heat, consider adding a decorative ethanol fireplace. When setting up an ethanol fireplace, make sure you have a secure cupboard far from the fireplace for your fuel. Each ethanol fireplace will have a few common features. There will be a fuel reservoir, an igniter and a fire display field. Ethanol fireplaces can’t be banked very effectively but will give you a pretty burn for a time once you light it. As a pretty piece, they are quite effective because they don’t create any fumes or smoke; all they generate is a lovely flame and some heat.
Adding decorative fire to your home can create a lovely focal point and statement piece in any room. Whether you need the heat, enjoy the heat, or just love the look of a fire, you can customize your fireplace look with the right fuel and features.