Decorating Ideas

Make Your Fireplace a Focal Point

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The fireplace is a favorite gathering spot during the colder months—but there’s no reason it can’t get in on the fun during the rest of the year too. From eye-catching accents to strategic storage, there are a wealth of ways to brighten up the hearth while the fire’s out.

Let your fireplace have its moment in the sun with a beautifully beachy display of coral. Stick to one or two colors for a pulled-together look. Photo by Tony Vu

Let your fireplace have its moment in the sun with a beautifully beachy display of coral. Stick to one or two colors for a pulled-together look. Photo by Tony Vu

Keep things polished with a neat and tidy display, such as this pyramid of beautifully smooth stone spheres. Photo by Tony Vu

Keep things polished with a neat and tidy display, such as this pyramid of beautifully smooth stone spheres. Photo by Tony Vu

The Sophisticated Stack

Sure, there’s the classic stack of logs—but why not top the andirons with something a little more out of the box? A collection of coral, a set of sculptural stone objets: Anything you can pile together to create a gorgeous vignette is fair game.

Flanked by a set of blue-and-white ginger jars, a large crystal takes the place of a roaring fire—and gives off nearly the same amount of sparkle. Photo by Lesley Unruh

Flanked by a set of blue-and-white ginger jars, a large crystal takes the place of a roaring fire—and gives off nearly the same amount of sparkle. Photo by Lesley Unruh

The Singular Statement

For a simpler (yet no less impactful) option, pick one large statement piece to either fill or partially cover the fireplace. A lush leafy plant, a tortoiseshell, an oversize crystal—just about any eye-catching piece will do, so long as its scale is large enough that it won’t seem dwarfed by the mantel.

Against a brick fireplace painted a creamy matte white, a tortoiseshell adds dimension and intrigue. And because its dark color echoes the firebox interior, it makes an impact without distracting from the art atop the mantel. Photo by Frank Tribble

Against a brick fireplace painted a creamy matte white, a tortoiseshell adds dimension and intrigue. And because its dark color echoes the firebox interior, it makes an impact without distracting from the art atop the mantel. Photo by Frank Tribble

A feathery fern brings fresh life to a dark fireplace—and a jolt of color to an otherwise-neutral room. Photo by Manuel Rodriguez

A feathery fern brings fresh life to a dark fireplace—and a jolt of color to an otherwise-neutral room. Photo by Manuel Rodriguez

An ideal marriage of style and function, this fireplace display frees up major bookshelf space while creating a cozy, eclectic vibe. Turn the spines to the side for a more uniform look. Photo by Tony Vu

An ideal marriage of style and function, this fireplace display frees up major bookshelf space while creating a cozy, eclectic vibe. Turn the spines to the side for a more uniform look. Photo by Tony Vu

The fireplace is an ideal spot for showing off a collection, such as this medley of blue-and-white ginger jars. With varying heights, shapes, and patterns, they have more impact grouped together than they would scattered throughout the house. Photo by Manuel Rodriguez

The fireplace is an ideal spot for showing off a collection, such as this medley of blue-and-white ginger jars. With varying heights, shapes, and patterns, they have more impact grouped together than they would scattered throughout the house. Photo by Manuel Rodriguez

The Repeat

Prefer a maximalist look? Take that singular statement piece and multiply it—think a dozen ginger jars instead of one, or a bookshelf’s worth of books stacked right up to the mantel. There’s power in repetition (and no tricky mixing-and-matching required).

A folding screen conceals the interior of this fireplace—and provides a pretty backdrop for a pair of upholstered ottomans. A bonus: The ottomans can be pulled out into the living room when extra seating is needed. Photo by Tony Vu

A folding screen conceals the interior of this fireplace—and provides a pretty backdrop for a pair of upholstered ottomans. A bonus: The ottomans can be pulled out into the living room when extra seating is needed. Photo by Tony Vu

Stacks of books, sculptural objets, and leaning artwork—both on the floor and on the mantel above—give this fireplace an artfully collected look. Photo by Tony Vu

Stacks of books, sculptural objets, and leaning artwork—both on the floor and on the mantel above—give this fireplace an artfully collected look. Photo by Tony Vu

The Lavish Layers

Bring the display out from within the fireplace and onto the hearth for a focal point with even greater presence. A piece of artwork casually leaned against the firebox, stacks of books topped with decorative objects, even a small piece of furniture: Accessorize this spot as you would the area beneath a console to make the very most of your room’s living space.

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