Published on September 5, 2017

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Photography by CHRISTINA WEDGE

There’s no denying the charm a fireplace can bring to a room. The character and warmth of it can be felt, even if said fireplace is non-functioning. So, if yours isn’t in working order, you still have some great options for how to best utilize it.

And while we’re going to focus on decorating the inside, don’t forget to add some finishing touches to the mantel. Here are some ideas that display how everyday items can transform the inside of your fireplace.

Plant Life

Accessorize your fireplace with some greenery—like how Paige Minear did here. If your room is lacking the space to stash some lush greens, consider this their new home—the plants will be tucked away in their own little nook.

Design by Paige Minear, Photos by Christina Wedge

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Photography by MEGHAN THIELE

Plaster Busts

If your style leans more traditional, a cool white plaster bust can add a touch of elegance to your non-working fireplace. Here, the solo figurine is the star of the show—however, if you add an additional pair of plaster people, you can really drive the look home.

Design by Jessie D. Miller, Photo by Megan Thiele

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Photography by ZEKE RUELAS

Stack of Magazines

We all have massive stacks of our favorite magazines, and it’s likely that (like us!) you struggle with finding a spot to store them. So, why not put them in your fireplace like Emily Henderson does? Not only is it a great spot to corral your ever-growing stack, but it also fills an area that would otherwise stay empty: win-win.

Design by Emily Henderson, Photo by Zeke Ruelas

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Photography by MARA MCEVOY


We’ll admit that this idea is a little wild, but it could work great as a temporary solution. For example, if you have party supplies left over, stash some balloons in your fireplace—much like Jonathan Adler did. While you probably won’t keep this look for years to come, you can always experiment with it for a few weeks.

Design by Jonathan Adler, Photo by Mara McEvoy

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Photography by TESSA NEUSTADT

Small Vintage Furniture

It’s pretty common to have a few random pieces of smaller vintage furniture you have a hard time placing in your home. But if you have a tiny chair of sentimental value—like Amber Lewis’ design client did—we may have just found a home for it.

Design by Amber Lewis, Photo by Tessa Neustadt

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Photography by DANA MILLER


This is one of the easiest updates you can do—just head to your local home store and pick up a few candles of various sizes. You can either stick to one color like designer Sarah Gibson did,  or mix it up by selecting a few brightly-colored ones. This idea is simple, chic, and awfully affordable.

Design by Sarah Gibson, Photos by Dana Miller

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Photography by TARA MANGINI

A Bunch of Books

Stack your favorite novels inside your fireplace. Orient them both vertically and horizontally, and be sure to fill the fireplace to the brim. If you’re in short supply, just head to your local thrift store and stock up on some extra hardbacks.

Design by Jersey Ice Cream Co., Photo by Tara Mangini of Jersey Ice Cream Co.

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Painted Logs

Sure, you can stack some basic logs in your fireplace—but why stop there? Try painting the ends of each stump a bright color. Keep the frame white and style the mantel simply in order to let the logs speak for themselves.

Design by Karen of The Art of Doing Stuff, Photo by Karen of The Art of Doing Stuff

See more chic decor:

21 Kitchens That’ll Inspire You to Remodel Yours
10 DIY Coaster Ideas to Give Your Coffee Table a Unique Upgrade
One Tabletop, Two Ways: Matte Black and Metallic