Transform Your Fireplace on a Budget

by Lauren Caggiano

Like it or not, winter is upon us. Among other things, that means cozying up with your loved one(s) with a cup of hot cocoa in front of a blazing fire. It sounds like a dream, right? Or maybe your fireplace and mantel leave something to be desired. Have no fear — read on to learn how to transform this feature in an afternoon. Your friends and family will be impressed with your DIY spirit and determination.

 Make It Shine

This tip seems obvious, but it’s worth mentioning (and won’t cost a dime.) Give your hearth some elbow grease, and it will look shiny and new again. Here’s a DIY guide to getting the grime off yours. 

 Think Color

Bold colors are passé when it comes to hearths. In 2019, white and gray paneling and trim are all the rage. This is a relatively simple and update/enhancement that can speak volumes. Just pick out a color and go to town!

 Go Beyond Brick

Over brick? You don’t have to settle for this material when you can have stone or even tile. Porcelain tile, in particular, offers a clean and sophisticated look. Voila...instant upgrade!

 Focus on the Details

Something as small as a new fireplace screen can really change the look for the better. Not sure which one is best? Here are a few ideas from Pinterest. 

 Get Artsy

Well-curated abstract art hanging above the mantel can tie the room together and even make it look bigger. You can find affordable options at discount stores like Big Lots and even second-hand or thrift stores. As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another’s treasure.

 Don’t forget the mantle itself can serve as a blank canvas for your interior design. For example, pull in an oversized mirror to hang atop the mantle. Picture frames and tasteful knickknacks can also make a plain mantle look unique. Just make sure it all works with your overall theme.

 Embrace the Salvaged Aesthetic 

A mantel offers both form and function. There’s a reason it’s survived the test of time in American homes. If you have a modern home but want to evoke a more antique look, it’s time to channel your inner picker. Luckily, many discarded works of art have ended up at architectural salvage yards. You might be able to find one that suits your needs and tastes.

 Think Outside the Box

Maybe you don’t want the fireplace to be functional per se but more of an artistic element. There are plenty of ways to use this space creatively and make the most of what you have. For example, frame it with pretty fairy lights to create a conversation starter. Or place lanterns and pillar candles inside to evoke the cozy feeling of a real fire. Or channel Mother Nature and put a pile chopped wood or a basket of pinecones in the area for extra eye candy.

 Don’t settle for a boring fireplace when you can have one that commands attention.





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