Your fireplace gets good use during the winter months, and then it sits dormant, waiting for the next fire season. Depending on your local climate, that may mean the fireplace is idle for 3/4 of the year or more. During this down time, the fireplace can be more than just a gaping hole. Consider decorating your fireplace during the off season so that it can be the focal point of the room all year round.
Here are some simple decorating ideas to get you started:
Instead of being a dark hole, your fireplace can be used to extend the room. During the off season, you can position a mirror or mirrors in front of the glass doors. Now, instead of being dark, that area of the room is filled with light.
Once your fireplace has received a good cleaning after its last seasonal use, it becomes the perfect place to display a floral arrangement or an artificial plant. Measure the inside of your firebox and plan your arrangement with those dimensions in mind. Remember to leave about seven inches at the top and three inches at each side so that the arrangement doesn't seem to be crowded in there. This is the perfect chance to get out that special vase that you've never had a chance to display. Now, for the summer months at least, that vase will show off its beauty front and center.
A simple arrangement of candles can help you use your fireplace for fire display purposes year round. The candles won't give off much heat, but they'll contribute the romance and mystery of dancing flames and flitting shadows. A few large candles on short stands may be all it takes to transform your fireplace for the spring and summer months. Or you may want to arrange a dozen of them on stands of differing heights. You can purchase a fireplace candelabrum for this purpose. There are many different designs of fireplace candelabra. Looking through them all will surely get your creative juices flowing. And the candles you choose can have various scents to add to the enjoyment. Sandalwood, lemon, melon, blueberry, ginger, whatever you like.
A fireplace screen used to be a functional thing only. It was a little draw screen that kept sparks from flying out into the living area. But now you can purchase free-standing screens that sit in front of your fireplace and add class and ambiance. Perhaps all you want is a set of arches to complete the look. Or you may prefer a rustic scene of mountains and trees and maybe a bird or a deer.
Another option that will give year round benefits is painting the fireplace. As it ages, brick can become dingy and faded. Even if you clean it well, it still won't have much luster. But if you clean it and then paint it, the brick can really brighten up the room. Just remember to use primer and paint that's rated for porous material like brick and for high temperatures. Then choose the color you want and transform your space.