A fireplace is a functional and aesthetic addition to any home. It is a cozy gathering spot during cold weather, it creates a romantic ambiance, and it provides backup heat when needed. A fireplace also makes a property more desirable to buyers and can add thousands of dollars to the value of the home. So you should make the effort to make the addition as visually appealing as possible.

1. Add a Mantel

Minimalists may prefer the sleekness of an unframed fireplace, but mantels help to accentuate the feature and give it a more finished look. If you are adding a mantel yourself, experts recommend that each side of the mantel should extend at least three inches beyond the framing around the firebox. It should also be small enough for there to be at least three feet of wall space between it and the ceiling to display wall decor.

Choose a material or type of finish for the mantel that will work well with what is already in the room. For example, a wood mantel may become lost in a room with wood-paneled walls, but metal or stone mantels will stand out. You could also use an accent color when painting a wood mantel rather than matching it to the walls.

2. Include Some Art

Hang something amazing over the fireplace, but choose just one large piece to avoid cluttering the space. Also, do not use this area as the location for the TV. A television will distract from the fireplace, and the constant exposure of the heat from the fireplace can damage the TV. The location is also usually too high for comfortable viewing.

Designers recommend artwork be placed about 60-inches from the center of the piece to the floor so it is easy to view. But this is not always possible over a fireplace. Instead, hang the art at least four to twelve inches above the mantel, depending on the height of the ceiling. You shouldn’t have a large void of blank wall space between the mantel and the bottom of the frame.

You could also decide to display a mirror above a fireplace. Mirrors are used to make small rooms look larger and to reflect light and brighten the room. Only use a mirror over the fireplace if it will reflect something appealing. You should choose one with an attractive frame and in the appropriate scale for the room. Avoid sizes wider than the mantel, and experiment with shapes to find the most flattering option.

3. Utilize the Shelf

The mantel shelf is a great place to display collectibles, artwork, and other keepsakes. Many homeowners use the mantel to showcase holiday or seasonal decor. Sit large paintings or other framed art on the mantel so they lean on the wall rather than being directly attached to the wall. Framed art often looks best at the end of the mantel instead of centered when displaying it with this method.

4. Use All Year

During part of the year, the outside temperature may become too warm to light a fireplace, but that does not mean it is no longer a focal point. Clean out the firebox once the heating season has ended and place pottery, plants or other eye-catching items inside. Another option is a decorative fire screen. Choose from elaborately painted screens, stained glass, or intricate bronze or cast-iron screens.

An investment in a fireplace is one that pays off immediately to the homeowner in comfort, security during power outages, and additional visual appeal. At Alaskan Fireplace Company we offer a variety of gas and wood-burning fireplaces so everyone can find the size and style they love. Stop in to see our selection and let us help you find the perfect design for your home.