A good fireplace doesn’t just help keep you and your family warm through the long winter months, it will also serve as a kind of centerpiece for the entire room. Bland fireplaces that appear unused and/or neglected are drab, and take away from the overall feel of the room. In order to add some spark, we need to add some tasteful decor and accessories to spice it up.
Setting up the furniture in the room in a way where it surrounds the fireplace can easily and naturally draw the eye’s attention. Another way to draw attention is to add a large mirror, or piece of art, above the mantelpiece. This will naturally draw the eye’s gaze in that direction, and a mirror will reflect natural light, which adds some brightness to the room. If you don’t already have a mantelpiece, or you’re not thrilled with the one you have, consider adding one or redoing the existing one. Stone and brick are popular choices, and don’t be afraid to paint the mantelpiece a new color; cool colors such as light gray or white are appealing choices, and those lighter colors will also aide in bringing in some more natural light to the room. Also, don’t forget the decorative accessories, such as a basket for chopped wood, or fireplace tools like a poker, especially if they’re wrought iron. These are some subtle changes that can have dramatic effects on the room’s ambiance.
A few things to keep in mind that you probably should avoid doing are blocking the line of sight to the hearth, as well as adding a TV above the mantelpiece. Blocking the line of sight is a no-no for obvious reasons, but the reason for steering clear of a TV might not be so obvious. In general, you want to draw attention to the actual hearth. While a TV certainly pulls eyeballs, those eyes get locked on to the TV, and often your guests might never even notice the fireplace itself. Consider positioning a TV nearby, but not directly above the fireplace; this way both items get noticed without overshadowing one another.
You don’t necessarily have to make drastic overhauls to the entire room; small, subtle changes can go a long way to improving the overall atmosphere of the room, and your guests will surely appreciate it!