Once commonplace in homes predating the 1950s, nowadays real (read: working) fireplaces are few and far between. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t fake it for the same cozy feeling—and save a few bucks in the process. In a recent study, Living Cozy found that DIYing your own fireplace, rather than hiring the pros to make you one from scratch, is one of the biggest money savers in home renovations—we’re talking nearly $12,000 when you break out the toolbox. Even if you live in a rental, there are ways to lounge by the metaphorical flames all year round. Here are a few ideas to get you started. 

Optical Illusion

For just $800, content creator Christine Higgs built her dream concrete focal point…out of drywall. Two coats of paint with varying brushstrokes on the surround gave Higgs the look of stone with none of the buyer’s remorse. 

French Connection

Upon first glance, this looks like a chic Paris apartment, but it’s actually a brownstone in New Jersey. Thanks to a floating ornate marble mantel in the living room—a $1,500 online purchase—Jenny Cipoletti gets her dream of living across the ocean.


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Better Than Built-Ins

Up for a challenge? For a true ‘I swear it’s always been there’ addition, take a note from Danielle Guerrero and build a frame out from your wall to house your faux feature. The best part: The electric insert was less than $300 on Amazon.