Mantle Makeover: How To Give Your Hearth a New Look

Peter Dolkas
So, you just moved into a new place and the reigning best feature is the fireplace. And although you love it (and perhaps even signed a lease because of it), it's not quite the fireplace of your dreams. Fortunately, there are myriad ways to give a mantle a makeover. Here are a few of our favourites: _1
m8 The quickest (and cheapest) way to update your fireplace is to give the surround (usually brick), interior (where the wood goes), or mantle a paint job. If you're feeling bold, paint the whole thing black with heat-resistant paint. Don't worry, we have a whole other guide for how to style a black fireplaceForrest Paint Co. 6320 Copper Gas Fireplace Surround Paint, $31, Walmart
m1 For a wonderfully woodsy look, consider adding a slab of reclaimed wood to make a mantle. The hefty addition can replace an existing mantle or be affixed to a blank wall. Look for actual re-claimed wood, though. Anything imitation will end up looking cheap. Old Barn Beam Mantel, $110, Etsy
m6 If your fireplace doesn't actually work, or if you want it to always look fire-ready, add a stack of logs. We recommend birch, for the lustrous white bark and slender proportions. Vickerman Birch Log Bundle, $32, X Mas Tree USA
m4 Disguising a faux flue or adding a major metallic moment can be as easy as incorporating a fireplace screen. Plus, if you can actually light up, you'll never have to worry about stray sparks. Antiqued Brass Fireplace Screen, $199, Crate & Barrel
m5 If the actual structure of your fireplace is fine, but the mantle is lacking some pizazz, flank fireplace with a pair of sconces. They Will create a dynamic space for hanging your favourite work of art. Branch Sconce, $155, Cedar & Moss
m2 If you've tried the lot of mantle makeover tricks and still aren't satisfied, then just go ahead and replace the whole thing. Antique mantles are the way to go, but plenty of solid reproductions are out there as well. Rope-Edge Fireplace Mantel, $1995, Horchow
See some of our favourite fireplaces on our Pinterest Living Rooms board. Photography: 1. Bethany Nuart (photographer and source), 2. Clements Design (designer and source), 3. Mark Haddaway photographed by Roger Davies for Architectural Digest, 4. via Tip Toe Butterfly, 5. via decor8, 6. Emily Henderson (designer and source), 7. Rose Uniacke (designer and source), 8. Stephen Shubel (designer and source), 9. Thom Filicia (designer and source), 10. Francesco Colagnese (photographer and source), 11. Studio MRS (designer and source)

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