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5 Ways to Dress up Your Fireplace

    • A fireplace can become a design feature in a room.Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images

      A fireplace mantle is an ideal place to add decorations to enhance the look of a room or create a personalized focal point. Rather than simply providing a functional element in the home, a fireplace can be transformed into a stylish accent. By using the fireplace mantle as a shelf that provides plenty of space for all kinds of decorative items to be placed upon or hung from, many different looks and themes can be achieved.

    Seasonal Decorations

    • Stockings are traditionally hung along a fireplace in the lead up to Christmas.stockings on a mantle image by Michael Drager from Fotolia.com

      By using seasonal decorations to dress up your fireplace, you can highlight a current holiday celebration, such as Easter or Christmas. A mantle is an ideal space to create a focal point in the room that will showcase the current holidays. For an Easter fireplace, hang painted porcelain eggs on ribbons from the mantle. To commemorate Christmas, drape a length of artificial holly and ivy along the mantle and use a miniature Christmas tree or lighted house -- complete with faux snow -- as a centerpiece. The traditional custom of hanging stockings on a mantle at Christmastime makes a wonderfully festive display. Hanging a wreath over the mantle is a simple but effective holiday decoration that can be customized according to the particular occasion, whether it is for Christmas or Easter or simply a pretty summer flower wreath.

    Photographs

    • Create a personalized fireplace by arranging framed pictures of family members and friends. Highlight meaningful, current events by changing the photographs according to what is happening in your life. If you have recently welcomed a new baby into the family, give her first photograph pride of place in the center of the mantle. Perhaps your child has graduated recently; frame his professional graduation picture and display it for everyone to see. A well thought out collection of photographs is a simple way to dress up your fireplace that is guaranteed to get all your guests talking.

    Mirrors

    • A fireplace can be used to create the illusion of more space in a small or cramped room. A common technique to achieve this is to hang a large mirror on the wall directly above the fireplace. Alternatively, several freestanding mirrors of different sizes and shapes can be placed onto the mantle, leaning against the wall and forming a display that is simple but looks artistic and contemporary. As the mirrors are not attached to the wall, they can be moved around and replaced as you please, giving you the flexibility to make subtle changes to the look of the fireplace.

    Candles

    • Tea lights are inexpensive.tea lights image by citylights from Fotolia.com

      Candles make pretty decorations in numerous places throughout the home and are particularly effective on a mantle. They are extremely versatile and can be placed between other decorations, such as picture frames and flowers. They can also be used on their own in many different arrangements. A single tall, thick candle or a candelabra with elegant taper candles in the very center of a mantle is all you need to make your fireplace instantly more stylish. Several tea lights in glass tea light holders lined up along a mantle create an atmospheric display when the lights are dimmed. The full effect of candles can only be appreciated when they are lit, so add interest to your fireplace during the day by inserting artificial silk flowers between your tea lights.

    Flowers

    • Choose your favorite flowers.flowers in the vases image by Aidairi from Fotolia.com

      Flowers make gorgeous decorations no matter where they are placed in the home. The fireplace mantle is the ideal spot for showcasing an unusual bouquet of fresh flowers or a creative arrangement of artificial blooms. A tall glass vase filled with colorful cut flowers is probably the most simple of mantle decorations but also one of the most effective. Flowers are guaranteed to catch guests' attention. For a modern look, use several slim cylindrical vases, pop a single flower in each one and line them up along the mantle. Create a pattern with the colors of the flowers to complement the color scheme in the room for an ultra contemporary look.



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