Published on January 17, 2020

Having a fireplace in your home is like hitting the design jackpot. It can be a space to showcase your love of tilework, and it’s also an extra surface for curating the perfect vignette. Even nonworking ones are major architectural wins (mini jungle, anyone?)—so if you’re lucky enough to have a hearth, don’t sleep on its endless style options. Thankfully, one of the best ways to dress up a plain one is as easy as it is bold: Just give it a lick of paint. 

Coloring your fireplace, whether it’s made of brick or plaster, is no harder than painting a regular wall (remember to use a primer if you’ve opted for a darker hue). It’s also the perfect opportunity to liven up a space or add extra personality—and these six showstoppers are living proof. Not that you needed another reason to stay in and cozy up by the fire this winter, but if you’ve been looking for a sign, consider this it. 

The Literal Work of Art

fireplace mural with multicolored flamesPin It
Courtesy of Flaneur

Between the electric blue front and the flame-inspired mural, it would be pretty hard for anything to pull attention away from this fiery corner in the Maison Flaneur Show House. If you’ve got a spare weekend and a creative streak, grab a few paintbrushes and go wild—there’s no wrong way to freehand

The Hearth Hack 

big mural behind fireplacePin It
Photography by Prue Ruscoe, House of Glam, Gestalten 2019

So you don’t have a traditional built-in fireplace? No problem. Just deck out the wall behind it à la this Sydney home. Abstract shapes and a mélange of colors make up for the obelisk chiminea’s simple matte black finish. 

The Tile Play

light blue room with fireplacePin It
Courtesy of 2LG Studio

Pale blue limewash paint in this 2LG Studio–designed room sets a dreamy backdrop, but the complementary green tilework really puts the nook over the top. To mimic the look, pull from shades already present in the surrounding area (here, that would be green from the plants) to create a pleasing palette. 

The Maximalist Dream

bright blue fireplace with wallpaperPin It
Courtesy of Wallshoppe

Bold Wallshoppe wallpaper, bright aqua paint, and multicolored tiles all add up to quite the display. Take a page from this reading nook and work in layers: First, choose your focus hue (in this case, bright blue), then shop around for tiling and paper to amp it up. 

The Monochrome Moment

all blue living roomPin It
Photography by Cody Guilfoyle

Here’s one way to make your living room stand out: Build the fireplace’s paint job out so it coats every available surface, from the built-in bookshelves to the ceiling. Christina Bryant’s apartment uses this trick to anchor her eclectic space.   

The Color-Blocker 

bright pink fireplace in white living roomPin It
Courtesy of Black Lacquer Design

Alternatively, you don’t have to pick just one favorite color. Black Lacquer Design kept the walls bare, choosing instead to highlight the smaller elements—such as furniture and, yes, the fireplace—to turn this sitting area into a rainbow exhibit. Sure, magenta is a bold selection, but pitted against a crimson sofa and citron console, it feels more like an intentional lesson in mixing and matching. We’re definitely here for it. 

See more ideas for your living room:
Jonathan Adler’s 5 Tips for Making a Mantel the Star of Your Living Room
Who Says Your Gallery Wall Should Be Full of Traditional Art? 
20 Cool (and Affordable) Coffee Tables That Only Look Expensive

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