Four Ways to Add New Style to an Outdated Fireplace

Freshening up a home doesn’t require a full home remodel. Small steps like applying new paint, swapping out fixtures, and adding some tasteful artwork can transform an elderly house into a home. Another small effort that can pay big style dividends is a do-it-yourself upgrade of a fireplace. Here are four ways to breathe new life into an old eyesore.

A fireplace in a minimally decorated room
A fireplace in a minimally decorated room

Modify the Mantle

Whether functional or not, fireplaces draw the eyes of visitors. Give them something interesting to look at when they enter a room. Make better use of the mantle by updating the paint, and then use it as a display shelf with a rotating catalog of art, knick-knacks, and seasonal decorations. Just make sure the mantle does not become a catchall space for clutter. Stick with three or five key items that add to the overall design aesthetic of the entire room.

Help out the Hearth

Replacing an old, worn, or ugly hearth can lend a sense of polish to the room. It’s also an opportunity to splurge on fancy and more expensive tiles that add a classy touch but would be impractical to use over a larger area. But there’s no reason to stop at the hearth. Refinish an old fireplace surround with tile to add color, interest, and personality.

Build Over and Out

If a fireplace is irredeemably unsightly, a better-looking version can be built right over the top of it. This type of fix can be as simple as adding a large, wood mantle frame to the existing fireplace. For more complex solutions, hire a carpenter to build bookshelves or a surrounding media cabinet that encompasses the whole wall.

Pull Out the Paint

Paint has remarkably transformative powers. It can be used to lighten stone, cover blemishes in wood, and simply make the fireplace pop. Paint, flooring, and decor can combine to make an old room look brand new. In a historic remodel, consider incorporating accurate historical paint colors to celebrate the heritage of a newly revamped fireplace.

Fireplaces offer architectural elements that can maintain the integrity of a home and help tell a story. Small changes like these allow homeowners to transform a fireplace without breaking the bank, turning it into an elegant, timeless centerpiece for any room.

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