While they may be a rarity in warmer climes, most houses in the colder parts of the United States almost always have a fireplace in the living room. They can range from energy efficient gas versions to stately stone or brick edifices that rise majestically from the floor and continue right up to the ceiling.
If you’re planning to decorate a living room with a fireplace, it’s hard to get around the fact that it’s going to be the major focal point. Unlike other architectural elements in your home, it’s hard to ignore or cover up a fireplace. In fact, it’s far cheaper to remove a bay window or a load bearing pillar than a fireplace.
But how do you decorate a living room with a fireplace that wants to be the center of attention whether you like it or not? The best option, of course, is to surrender to its desires and make the best of it.
This is a simple choice if the fireplace works. It’s easy to arrange your key furnishings so that they can take advantage of a roaring fire on a cold winter’s night. In most cases, putting the sofa in front of the fireplace or putting the sofa and loveseat in parallel to it will be the trick. This second option allows you to create a nice place for conversation. You can add a coffee table and complete the focal point for your room.
If you have a particularly large fireplace, the job is even easier to accessorize with furniture. But what if the fireplace isn’t particularly attractive or doesn’t work properly?
Let’s look at the first issue. If the fireplace isn’t particularly attractive, you can opt to have it refaced. This can be as simple as adding new tile to its exterior, rebuilding the entire mantle or purchasing a ready-made one that can be installed over a flush-style fireplace.
If your fireplace doesn’t work at all, then it becomes a bit more difficult to make it a focal point of the furniture. It’s like sitting in front of a television that doesn’t work. What the point?
That said, you can still get some use out of that fireplace. Many stores sell candelabras that are made specifically to fit in a fireplace. These can be a stylish and functional addition to this part of your home and you may even end up looking forward to curling up with a loved on in front of a fireplace you thought was useless.
Another tip for decorating a living room that has a fireplace is to add a striking piece of art above the fireplace. A mirror can work well, too. If you put a piece of art there, consider adding track lighting to the ceiling so the artwork really stands out. This is a particularly useful trick if you have an ugly fireplace. The right piece of art will draw attention away from the fireplace below. A gorgeous painting is one of the few things that can make a fireplace almost disappear in the home.
If you choose to make your fireplace a focal point, remember to invest in some nice fireplace tools. Also make sure the fireplace is properly screened. Burning wood can pop, sending burning embers flying into the room. The tools and screen give you additional opportunities to decorate your living room, too. You can choose designs that match your room’s style or décor.
If you plan to use your fireplace you may also want to consider adding a firewood holder next to your fireplace. This can save you a trip outside on a cold night when you want to build a fire. It will also keep the wood nice and tidy, keeping your living room looking orderly. Styles range from a basic bent metal basket to stunning ones of wrought iron that are not only beautiful, but strong, too.
A fireplace in the living room is one of those defining elements that automatically serve as a focal point. Adding furniture and accessories thoughtfully and artfully around it will only make it more beautiful. And when those cold winters strike, you’ll look forward to building a nice fire and weathering the elements in a space that makes you feel warm and cozy all year long.