There is something almost magical about fireplaces for most people. Even an unlit fireplace in the summer months can warm the heart with memories of festive occasions, quiet nights in front of a roaring fire, and other thoughts of home.
You can keep those memories but add new life and beauty to your fireplace with an investment in fireplace resurfacing or more creative approaches. As times and fashions change, there is no need to leave your fireplace design in the past. Why not preserve those favorite memories while adding new sparkle to your fireplace design?
There are many innovative methods for giving your fireplace design a new look. New materials and new concepts allow you to do a simple makeover by undertaking simple fireplace resurfacing or totally changing the look of your fireplace. You can choose the option that fits your budget and your taste to get the job done exactly as you desire.
Sound exciting? Before you start, take a critical look at your current space where your fireplace is located. Consider the look you are desiring and how it would fit into the existing or planned décor. Below you’ll find ten possible ways to implement your plans and make your fireplace even more enjoyable as a fashionable and functional focal point.
- Paint & Powder. The quickest and cheapest way to approach a new fireplace design is the use of indoor heat-resistant latex paint to provide a new look. If you are simply tired of seeing the same brick, this one-weekend chore may be all you need to produce the change you are seeking. There are a few special steps to take when you paint an existing fireplace, but the great thing is once you have done it, you can easily change the color as often as the seasons to add even more variety.
- Add or Change the Mantel. Whether your existing fireplace has a mantel or not, this might be the first consideration in changing your fireplace design. It’s easy to get accustomed to your existing mantel while missing out on some clever approaches with a newly installed centerpiece for your fireplace. If you don’t have a mantel, choosing and installing a new one might be the perfect new look you are seeking or be part of a total redesign using the ideas listed here.
- Install Tile. Hiding your brick under stylish tiles is one of the hottest home design trends. The popularity of this option has produced an amazing variety of tiles designed specifically for fireplace use. You will find almost any color, texture, weight, shape or pattern you can imagine. This versatility will allow you to match or contrast with any current or new room décor and allow your fireplace to provide the perfect complementary look.
- Surround the Area. Don’t limit your creativity to mere fireplace resurfacing. You can create a totally new look to a room by framing the fireplace with a mantel surround or by creating a new frame of wood and other materials to build out or recess your fireplace area. Don’t limit yourself to the current shape or structure of the fireplace in conceiving the ideal design for your space. You can tackle this as a DIY or use a local handyman for a quick update. Just be sure the materials you use are proper for an area where you have an open flame.
- Convert with Drywall. A simpler approach that will conceal your bricks and give you that new look is to cover the space with drywall. Of course, you will want to ensure you have a heat-resistant barrier that separates your new wall from the fireplace and the heat it generates. Once this frame is in place, you can decorate or repaint to fit any room’s décor. Many people confidently approach a drywall project as an easy DIY. Your fireplace resurfacing with this material can be just as simple, but make sure you consult with a knowledgeable supplier to take the issues of heat and moisture into consideration when covering your brick or stone fireplaces.
- Go from Brick to Stone. Another popular approach to modernizing your fireplace’s appearance is covering it with cultured or natural stone. Depending on your approach, this is an update that is easy to redo if you change your mind. You can also use a variety of styles of stone and structures to achieve your objective. You can simply create a new covering of the existing fireplace or extend the stone surface from floor to ceiling for a more dramatic impact. Using cultured or man-made stone has the added advantage of a flat surface for mounting and lighter-weight materials. Depending on your budget, you might also find cultured stone does the job at a reasonable cost.
- Whitewash the Brick. Another easy fireplace resurfacing trick is whitewashing (or limewashing) the bricks. This alternative to painting keeps more of the desirable texture of the underlying bricks while brightening a room and is a popular approach to fireplace resurfacing. Use the right materials to allow easy cleaning and delivering the end results you are seeking.
- Combine Different Materials. If you want your new fireplace design to reflect the very latest in home décor trends, you might consider a mixed media approach. Instead of choosing just one material, consider combining several of the materials above, such as stone and tile or drywall and whitewash to deliver a totally custom appearance. Achieve your new design by adding several different elements to an original design. Again, it is important to always remember that the work you do with the cold fireplace has to safely withstand those roaring winter fires. For example, if you install a white mantel or painted drywall above the fireplace, you will want to ensure it is safe and can be easily cleaned from the effects of smoke and heat. See below to also consider changing your fireplace from wood-burning to another source to increase your flexibility in choosing materials and a new fireplace design.
- Use Creative Patterns. In addition to choosing your preferred materials and fireplace design, don’t limit yourself to a plain or unexciting version. Patterns and unique shapes are very much the thing these days, and the right fireplace design can add appeal and value to your home. You might also explore another current trend that matches patterns in rugs or furniture with the pattern on the tiles or painting of your fireplace.
- Choose a New Shape or Insert. Another creative option is to rethink your fireplace shape. If you are tired of the standard boxy shape, you can add a “pizza-oven” arch with readily available inserts for a totally new look. Likewise, you can convert your arched fireplace with a premade fireplace insert. Also, if you would love a design that doesn’t work well with a standard open-flame fireplace, or if you are just tired of toting wood and cleaning ashes, you might consider replacing your wood-burning fireplace with a new insert that runs on gas or electricity or wood pellets.
As you can see, there are a lot of ways to rethink your fireplace design and appearance. You can keep the job simple and inexpensive or bring in the pros to do a major facelift with a dramatic impact. The many options today mean you are limited only by your budget and your imagination. Just remember to take the safety angle into consideration for any work on your fireplace, especially if you tackle it yourself.
Let your fireplace deliver more than just some winter heat. A little creativity and thought will allow you to create a new look for your space and a new excitement about that old fireplace. Done right, you’ll get a big boost in the year-round enjoyment of your fireplace and even a jump in your home’s value.