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Fireplace Makeover Ideas - Giving New Functions to an Unused Fireplace

Updated on October 26, 2015

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My boyfriend and I have a majestic-looking fireplace in our apartment, but if we try to use it, we might end up as dead as smoked trout. Yep, it's just for show. There is no chimney or any kind of ventilation for the smoke. Nowadays, many people who have a real fireplace don't even use it to warm up their house anyway. A gas or electric heater is just more convenient, less messy and much easier to handle. If you decide not to use your fireplace any longer or have a fake one like I do, why not transform it into something else? An unused fireplace is like a sullen monster with a wide-open mouth. It constantly begs you to do something about its emptiness.(At least, that's how I feel about mine.) To revivify your old hearth and assign new functions to it, consider these fireplace makeover ideas:


Indoor Greenery

Try transforming your unused fireplace into a new cozy home for your indoor plants. Fill the empty hearth with a few large potted plants of different heights and colors. Or you can furnish it with a low shelving unit full of cute mini cacti. Some popular plants that grow well without direct sunlight are Moth Orchid, Chinese Evergreen, Bird Nest Fern and Devil's Ivy. If you are more of a flower person, sprucing up your old hearth with a marvellous floral arrangement can also be a sweet idea. To take another step further, install a couple can lights inside the fireplace. Once the nighttime falls, just switch them on and revel in the lovely sight of your luminous indoor greenery.

Lovely Wine Cellar

Most people don't have a huge enough wine collection to occupy a whole room, though many of us might just have enough to fill up a small fireplace. To make it look like a "special wine cellar" rather than a random storage space, equip your fireplace with a wine rack that fits in it as perfectly as possible. Or, better yet, have your wine rack custom-made to match both the size of the fireplace and the color of the mantel. Also, if you really want to go with this makeover idea, dry grapevines are charming decorative items to utilize.


Nifty Entertainment Center

This makeover idea can only work if your fireplace is pretty large and preferably elevated from the floor a little, or else it might just look too funky. Instead of purchasing a ready-made entertainment center that could cost over $100, look for a low and sturdy cubby storage unit, the right size for your hearth. Arrange your DVD player, cable box, DVR machine, etc. in those cubby holes. Place your T.V. on top of the unit, and maybe put a wall DVD rack above or near the mantel. That's it. This type of entertainment center requires absolutely no floor space. A great way to declutter your room, isn't it?

Mini Library

If you are an avid reader who have collected tons of books but don't have adequate bookshelves to accommodate them, consider adapting your unused fireplace for this purpose. You don't even need to put a bookcase in there. Unlike wine bottles, books can be stacked on one another nicely without risking a damaging accident. To make it look chic, try to stack them up in a creative way. Don't just pile them on top of one another like heaps of garbage. Be playful with the shapes, colors and heights of your "book towers." Placing small framed photos or knickknacks on top of each pile could also add a "cutesy factor" to your new library.


Romantic Candle Display

Burning candles will not provide much warmth like burning wood, but they can make the room just as beautiful and cozy. Try decorating your unused fireplace with a candle-holder centerpiece or candle jars of various sizes and colors. If your hearth has some extra space, antique figurines or dainty pottery pieces might be fantastic items to accompany those candles. This makeover idea allows plenty of room for creativity. Just let your inner artist have some fun!

Candle-Holder Centerpieces under $20


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  • Om Paramapoonya profile image

    Om Paramapoonya 6 years ago

    Hi, carcro. Thanks a lot for stopping by and passing these ideas along. :)

  • carcro profile image

    Paul Cronin 6 years ago from Winnipeg

    These are great ideas, I know many people who do not use their fireplaces, I'll pass these ideas along to them. Thanks for sharing! I really like the Romantic Candle Display...

  • Om Paramapoonya profile image

    Om Paramapoonya 6 years ago

    @KoffeeKlatch - Because his love for food is immense and he's proud of it! LOL

    @akirchner - You want a fireplace and a maid? I want a jacuzzi and a cooking robot hehehe :)

    @Fay Paxton - Hi, Fay. Thanks for the read and comment. :)

  • profile image

    Fay Paxton 6 years ago

    Thanks for these clever and fun ideas. up/very useful

  • akirchner profile image

    Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Washington

    Ah...makes me LONG for a fireplace! That is the only thing I don't have in my house (except for the maid) that I could surely enjoy. Maybe one day I'll have one again...and the maid! Beautifully laid out as always, Om!

  • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

    Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    What a clever idea to put an unused fireplace to work as a focal point of a room. Great job. Rated up and useful.

    Why do you call your boyfriend Mr. Pig?

  • Om Paramapoonya profile image

    Om Paramapoonya 6 years ago

    Hey, nice to meet you, mslizzee. Thanks a lot for dropping by and commenting. :)

  • mslizzee profile image

    elizabeth 6 years ago from Buncombe County, NC

    This is clever and a fun idea. Thank you. I don't 'use my stupid fireplace, so I might as well load it with something useful.

  • Om Paramapoonya profile image

    Om Paramapoonya 6 years ago

    @ahbless - I agree. A fireplace could make a room look very lovely, but when it comes to heating, I prefer a gas heater.

    @anglnwu - Definitely, you could turn it into a showcase of whatever! Creative people know how to think "outside the fireplace." lol :)

  • anglnwu profile image

    anglnwu 6 years ago

    Great ideas. How about transforming it into a showcase of whatever?--shoes, handbags, antique clogs--now, that's a random thought, so feel free to ignore. Love the greenery theme. Rated up.

  • ahbless profile image

    ahbless 6 years ago

    A fireplace gives a house a unique flair, but how efficient can it be? I've been in homes with fireplaces and they weren't that warm.

  • Om Paramapoonya profile image

    Om Paramapoonya 6 years ago

    Hi, Pamela, bloggering and Sinea! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. far the candle idea seems to be the most popular. :)

  • Sinea Pies profile image

    Sinea Pies 6 years ago from Northeastern United States

    Love the candles. They make it so beautiful.

  • bloggering profile image

    bloggering 6 years ago from Southern California

    Great hub - love the candle idea!

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

    These are some good ideas for a fireplace that you are not using for fires. Your pictures are very attractive. Rated up.