Even if winter is your least favorite season, it's hard to deny how cozy a fireplace can be. A decorative fireplace can be the perfect centerpiece for a living room, adding endless warmth and a focal point for your space.
Whether you already have a fireplace and are in need of new ways to adorn it or you're considering adding one to your room—very much worth it, in our opinion—there are many different looks and styles to provide something for every taste.
From brick to tile, wood-burning to purely decorative, we've rounded up our favorite fireplace ideas to add a ton of visual interest and warmth to any room in your house.
Add a Lot of Plants
If your fireplace is solely decorative or you want a way to adorn the fireplace during the summer months, filling the space with lots of greenery is a great idea. Plants can add a sense of calming energy to your room, and a fireplace mantel is the perfect perch for those non-pet-safe plants.
Paint it Green
While we love a neutral mantel as much as the next home decorator, consider giving your fireplace a makeover with a fresh coat of paint. This earthy sage green is a lovely way to ground the entire space and add an unexpected hint of color.
Fill it With Books
Looking for another way to fill a fireplace that isn't operational? This book-filled fireplace is a great choice for bibliophiles. Pick your favorite books and create a collage within the fireplace.
Add a Mirror
One of the most elegant ways to decorate a mantel is by placing a mirror directly above the fireplace. Not only does this fill that awkward space, but it can open up your room and add more natural light by way of the added reflections.
Pick a Colorful Brick
Who says tile is just for the bathroom? Here, a stunning blue tiled fireplace helps to add a ton of personality to this reading room.
Swap it For an Insert
A wood-burning fireplace is great, but a wood-burning stove has the added benefit of warming up your entire house. Swapping out your fireplace for a stove is a great way to save on heating bills and add a rustic flair to your space.
Go for Vintage
This Victorian-style fireplace is sure to be a conversation starter in any home. If you're lucky enough to have a house with period details like these, don't hide them—embrace them.
Go for Stone
Want to recreate a cozy cabin vibe all year long? A white-washed stone hearth like this one is a great way to add a rustic feel without creating a dark or heavy space.
Rethink Your Layout
Not everyone loves a TV over the fireplace. Instead, consider mounting the TV against a perpendicular wall so that your fireplace is still the focal point of the room.
Add Wooden Balls
We love this tiled fireplace look that features a stack of wooden spheres inside the fireplace to give it texture and visual interest. This is a great alternative to faux wood if your fireplace is decorative only.
Allow your fireplace to play well with the rest of your house (and the decor in it). If your taste trends toward the modern and streamlined, opt for an insert that doesn't feel cluttered or bulky.
Paint it White
While we love stone fireplaces in the right setting, they can sometimes feel outdated. By painting the stone fireplace white, this room got an instant makeover and looks light and airy.
Keep the Brick
On the other hand, don't reach for the paintbrush every time. Natural brick can feel earthy and warm in many homes, and we love the Southwestern vibe it gives off here.
Warm Up High Ceilings
Have high ceilings? A fireplace is a great way to help add warmth to a large, spacious room and make it feel cozier and more welcoming.
Make it Pop
Painting the rest of the room a rich, moody color is a great way to make your fireplace pop out and instantly become the centerpiece of your space.
Let the Sun Shine
This light-filled sunroom is the perfect spot for a fireplace. During the day, the large windows allow tons of natural light to enter the space, while at night a cozy fireplace provides warmth all year long.
Looking for a way to add more character to your home? Adding built-in bookshelves to either side of a fireplace is a great way to extend your storage space and add more personality.
Paint it Black
Painting your brick fireplace black instantly adds depth to your room. Keep the rest of the walls bright to provide a lovely contrast against the dark brick.
Add Chevron Stripes
Tiling the inside of your fireplace with a chevron pattern is a great way to update the space and give it a more modern feel.
Make a Dining Room Cozier
A traditional mantel and fireplace in a dining room create a more elegant look that's perfect for dinner parties and formal events.
Add the Right Lighting
A fireplace can add a warm glow to your living room, but a well-decorated living room needs many light sources. Place table lamps on a mantel to add extra lighting in the room.
Pick a Monochrome Palette
Here, various shades of white and black help to define a serene and peaceful space. The white fireplace blends in beautifully with the crisp couches and wall hues.
Make it Sleek
Rethink the traditional fireplace and opt for a horizontal version instead. This sleek, modern fireplace adds a warm glow when it's on, but almost blends in with the rest of the wall when it's not. This is perfect for spaces where a standard fireplace just doesn't fit the aesthetic.
Keep it Traditional
If you have a home with period details, hang a portrait over your fireplace to give your space a modern traditional vibe. If a portrait isn't your thing, any large oil painting can add a time-honored and elegant look.
Go for Gas
If lugging in firewood and stoking a fire all night doesn't sound like your cup of tea, consider swapping out a wood-burning fireplace for a gas insert, which is easier to maintain and manage.
Add a Basket
Filling your fireplace with a large woven basket not only fills up a fireplace when its not in use, but gives you a landing pad for throws and pillows too.
Add Warmth to a Bedroom
A fireplace isn't just for the living room. Create the perfect bedroom layout by adding a fireplace to your primary suite. Not only does it add some cozy ambiance, but it can keep your room comfortable all winter long.
The term “Primary Suite” is now widely used to describe the largest bedroom in the home with an en suite bath, as it better reflects the space’s purpose. Many realtors, architects, interior designers, and the Real Estate Standards Association have recognized the potentially discriminatory connotations in the term “Master.” Read more about our Diversity and Inclusion Pledge.
Add Birch Logs
One easy and classic way to fill a fireplace when it's not in use is to use birch logs. This adds a warm, earthy feel even when the fire isn't lit. This is a great way to style your fireplace throughout summer, too.
Decorate the Mantel
While a bare mantel can feel minimalistic and clean, a mantel with an array of objects and decorative pieces can lend a lovely eclectic feel to any living space. Add a hint of maximalism to provide visual interest to any fireplace.
Lean a Painting
Another great way to fill the space above the fireplace is with a large painting. But instead of hanging the picture, lean it against the wall. Since no nails or adhesives are necessary, this is a great idea if you want to mix up the decor often.
Keep it Rustic
This living room with a reclaimed wood mantel and exposed beams is giving us major modern rustic vibes. Add various textures and textiles via throws and pillows throughout the room to create the ultimate cozy space.
Match the Colors
Use various shades of the same color throughout the living room and on the mantel to create a layered, monochromatic color scheme. When done correctly, a monochromatic room can feel larger and more dimensional.
Hang a TV
While there are two camps when it comes to hanging the TV over the fireplace, in some layouts there isn't another choice. Just be cognizant of the height (and you may need to tilt your screen, depending on how large your fireplace is).
Place the TV to the Side
Don't want to mount the TV over the fireplace? Instead, place it to the side of the fireplace where it almost blends in with its surroundings and isn't the focal point of your room.
Go for All Marble
While some stone or marble fireplaces are on the rustic side, this smooth stone is the perfect way to make marble feel elegant and modern. This look pairs well with streamlined furniture and crisp lines.
Add a Chandelier
The perfect way to elevate your fireplace look is by adding a stunning oversized chandelier to act as a second focal point for the room. Make sure the look and feel of the light fixture pairs well with your fireplace to create the best flow.
Keep it Neutral
A painted brick fireplace plays very well with neutral tones throughout the space. If you have heavy, rich colors such as brown leathers and natural woods, a crisp white fireplace can pair beautifully.
Decorate for the Holidays
One clear benefit of a fireplace? It provides the perect perch for your holiday decor. Lay garland or hang stockings to add that seasonal cheer.
Make it Blend In
If you have a fireplace that's a little outdated or simply doesn't work with the rest of the room, paint it the same color as the wall to make it almost disappear.
Paint the Built-Ins
Paint the built-ins around the fireplace the same color as your mantel to help create a seamless space with loads of character.
Add a Bouquet
Decorate the mantel with a large bouquet of flowers. Either real or high-quality faux can complete a room and make it feel purposeful.
Opt for Earthy Colors
A fireplace already lends a natural feel, so why not add in more earthy tones? Stick with beiges, grays and olives to keep your living space warm and inviting. Add in various textures throughout the furniture and accents to keep the room interesting.
Create a Game Zone
Upgrade your game room with a fireplace. This cozy, kid-friendly entertainment room is perfect for family game nights throughout the cold months.
Keep it Colorful
If a neutral space isn't for you, let your fireplace act as a canvas for a colorful and eclectic living room. Mix in bright throw pillows, colorful artwork and bold bouquets to brighten up any living area.
Decorate With Steer Heads
Mounting steer heads above your fireplace is a great way to add a rustic, country-inspired feel to your space. You can easily find replicas if the real thing is not your style.
Few lighting fixtures upgrade a space as well and as quickly as a well-placed sconce. Hang a sconce on either end of your fireplace to add cozy-yet-elegant lighting and upgrade your fireplace without even touching it.
Add Lots of Art
While your fireplace is definitely the focal point of the room, you can use it as an opportunity to add a variety of pieces of art throughout. From large paintings to sculptures, adorn the space around your fireplace with elegant artwork for a classy look.
Opt for a Stove
A standalone wood-burning stove not only heats up your room, but it gives off a vintage vibe that can make you feel like you're on a weekend getaway all year long.
Keep it Small
Don't have a lot of room for a fireplace? This minimal, modern stove is perfect for small spaces that need a bit of warmth and ambiance. Though you don't get a mantel to decorate, you can add colorful artwork around the stove to highlight it.
Keep it Simple
Sometimes the best fireplace decor is the simplest. Adorn your fireplace with a pair of matching sconces and an abstract piece of art for a simple but classic look and feel. When paired with understated furniture, a simple mantel can be the perfect entryway or living room accent.