If you have a red brick fireplace, you may love it and want to try and get as much out of it as you can, or you may find it a little too traditional and are looking for ideas on how to modernize it.
In this article we will discuss some different ways to give those red bricks some life, whether that’s for a specific holiday, some DIY changes you can make, or even some more drastic makeover ideas that you may need to get someone in for.
Whatever reason you want to change your traditional red brick fireplace, we think there will be some ideas you can gather from this article.
Keep reading to learn more about decorating red brick fireplaces, and learn what works for you, below!
Perhaps the easiest place to start is with some easy holiday decorations that can really change the way your living room feels.
Remember, the fireplace is the heart of the home, and holidays are times we notice this most.
Whether you are opening presents under the tree or having some drinks and games after Thanksgiving dinner, you will naturally gather around your fireplace, whether it is cold or not.
The classic decoration that always reminds us of Christmas is when the stockings go up.
Stockings are synonymous with the red brick fireplace, which Santa comes down, and putting stockings up on the mantlepiece of your fireplace is a great way to bring some holiday cheer.
Another good idea is to use holly branches. You may have some holly branches in your local area that you can find, ideally fresh branches that have naturally been severed from the plant are best.
Or you can easily find fake holly or pine branches online. This is a great thing to keep up there from Thanksgiving to Christmas and look really magical and welcoming with fairy lights or candles interspersed above the foliage.
During Thanksgiving the Fall foliage is another great way to decorate your fire, whether that’s something you do yourself, or buy online.
Thanksgiving is a classic time where we celebrate a good harvest, and we all know the classic sight of pumpkins, and other Fall produce like squashes, the type of thing you would see in a cornucopia.
If your fireplace isn’t going to be in use, it does look really suave and cool to put these decorations in the hearth itself. Equally little dolls dressed in the classic pilgrim attire can be a little more cutesy if that;s what you are going for.
Like Thanksgiving, Easter is a time when we celebrate the nature this season and holiday period brings. Easter is all about showing off the new flowers that have grown in your garden or local area, and embracing the changing colors we see around us.
Embrace brighter colors or more neutral spring color shades such as pastel. Easter eggs are a classic look for any Easter decorations, but it’s also just a time to celebrate the spring.
During Halloween, depending on how into it you are, it’s likely every inch of your house will be decorated, but your fireplace is a good area to focus in on.
You can go as cartoonishly spooky as you want for kids, with all the ghost and ghoul characters you prefer.
Spiderwebs are a classic decoration during this period, and your mantelpiece is the perfect place to drape them, and hang other things from. It’s also a great place to show off your jack-o-lanterns too.
If you want something more classy you can get spooky lanterns, candelabras, and focus on lighting for something a little more adult.
Of course, having your real fire alight can be pretty spooky in itself with the right decorative additions.
Replace Or Add A Mantelpiece
If you are looking for some more structural changes you can make to your fireplace that are more permanent, changing or adding a mantelpiece is a really great idea.
On the one hand, you could easily use a mantelpiece to frame your fireplace in line with how the rest of your living room is decorated.
You might have gone for more natural or neutral colors to paint your walls, and the red bricks stand out. While saving the original red brickwork, you can frame it with a suitably matching mantelpiece.
Equally, you can frame with a much darker piece of wood such as some varnished mahogany or something that looks similar.
You can go with something a little cheaper than simply creating this effect, or there are many reclaimed wood options out there as well that will set you back a little further.
This works well with interior walls that are painted with darker colors or are more crowded in their decorations.
In comparison to a framed mantelpiece, which goes all around the fireplace, the shelved mantelpiece is simply a single piece of wood above the fireplace that acts as a shelf.
As it is more of a simple design of only one plank, it’s particularly good for using a piece of reclaimed wood that you like.
With the right piece of wood you can create something simple but stark that can be decorative itself. If you have light colored walls then a varnished, darker, piece of wood can shine.
Or you can go for something a bit more neutral. With dark walls, it’s always best to bring out the dark colors with a darker and more decorative piece of wood.
Put simply, no matter what sort of shelved mantelpiece you go for, having a surface like this without having one previous will open up so many possibilities for decoration on its own.
This mantelpiece is where things go that have pride of place in your home. Whether that is cards from loved ones, or certificates your kids get at school, it’s a great place to show things off as well as to use for decoration.
Maybe the chimney to your fireplace has been filled in since you owned the house, or maybe you just don’t use the fire much because of the climate you live in.
In these cases, replacing the fireplace entirely with faux fire logs, or something similar, may be what you need – the facade of a fire itself. These are larger projects you might want professional help with
No matter how you decorate your fireplace mantelpiece or fireplace, you may simply be missing the warming feeling of the fire, whether it is real or not.
Vented Gas Logs
If you want the illusion of a fire, without actually heating your house too much, then vented gas logs are a great option.
They can create a faux flame the best of all the gas inserts as well as creating what look like embers, but they do require an actual chimney to do so effectively.
The requirement of a chimney also means they don’t emit heat that well, which could be desirable in certain situations.
Ventless Gas Logs
A ventless system works at 100% efficiency and will create some genuine heat in your home, as result the facade of a flame and embers is a little less, but still creates this comforting feeling, with some genuine heat.
They are also the most green choice, in terms of environmental impact and air pollution. In any case, if you want the appearance of a traditional fire this is another interesting route that maintains your red brick fireplace.
A gas insert is much more modern, and something you often see in modern homes. They allow you to retain the traditional brick design your fireplace may have, while installing something that seems seamless and intentional.
A classic gas insert fits into the hole you would create a wood burning fire. They are usually behind a closed system, contained behind a glass screen, and aren’t too bothered with looking like a real fire.
It’s a good way to help your home seem more modern but without losing your home’s traditional quirks.
They are good to help a home feel warm and comfortable, and like gas logs, they come in either vented or ventless systems.
A vented system requires an actual chimney and is worth considering if you don’t actually want real heat, simply the comforting facade of fire.
Your other option is ventless, good if your chimney is filled in, which creates some genuine heat in your home from its 100% efficiency.
What To Hang Above A Fireplace?
Some people simply don;t want to touch their fireplace or mantelpiece and appreciate the traditional look. But, you may still wonder what you can do to make it your own.
If you want to retain your traditional red brick fireplace, the likelihood is that you will have an empty space above your fireplace or mantelpiece that needs filling.
Here’s some ideas of things you hang above your fireplace to improve it as a focal point in your home.
We all have a favorite painting or piece of art, maybe it’s an old portrait of a family member you want to memorialize, or is simply a painted work of art.
As the fireplace is a focal point of a living room, and arguably the home, it’s a good place for you to hang the art that matters to you, that you want to use as a discussion piece in your home.
One tip is to frame the art as a special, perhaps ornate, frame. You could match the frame with the colors of your walls, so they contrast, or you can match it to the wood used in your Mantelpiece.
This gap above the fireplace provides a unique opportunity to mount items that are special to you.
A common example may be something like a taxidermy head of an animal, a deer mount is a common mounted item in traditional homes of the past. Swords and shields provide another classic example.
Yet, you could theoretically mount anything above the fireplace, something that is unique to your family or area.
This could be something more subtle like deer antlers,, or even a piece of natural art like a wreath, or even stuff you can swap out seasonally.
Many people chose to put their TV above their fireplace, while this may seem odd, there is natural space left above your fireplace that your TV will naturally fill.
If you don’t have a fireplace it’s likely your TV is the focal point of your living room, so why not combine the two focal points on your living into one place so that they don’t clash with each other – it can really bring the room together.
When people gather in your living room it will probably be to watch TV, in the modern house, so this is also arguably the time when you will want to use your fire the most, gas or otherwise.
Our main point here is that having a singular focal point and gathering space makes interior decoration easier in your living room. For example you can easily center your couches and coffee table around a single focal point.
We hope that this article has provided you with ideas of how to give your fireplace a makeover.
Whether you simply want some ideas of things you can change right now, ways to decorate the fireplace seasonally, or more permanent changes to your fireplace, whatever you do can remarkably change your home.
The mantelpiece and fireplace are considered the focal point of any home, an area where people mingle around to chat and be homely, whether that;s during the holidays, at a dinner party, or simply to relax as a family.
How you decorate this area can really change the feeling of your house as a whole, or can simply be a great area to celebrate the things that matter to your home, the objects that define your house or your family.
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