Redesigning Your Gas Fireplace

Do you have a boring or outdated fireplace?  If so, never fear – here are some Top Tips for making your fireplace superhot!
Fireplaces are not as common as they used to be, which a shame.  A good fireplace provides is like a work of art and many people happily theme entire rooms around their fireplace; many other people, however, have no idea what to do with their fireplace and find it nothing but an ugly nuisance.  I am here to tell you that this should not be the case; it doesn’t take very much to make your fireplace into something beautiful to be talked about, rather instead of something to be covered up with plasterboard!

The first thing to do before redesigning is to decide on the theme, design or “feel” of the new fireplace; do you want it to be a traditional fireplace or a modern one?  Would you like it to be a minimalist appeal to modesty or perhaps an extravagant statement of identity?  Maybe ask yourself whether it will serve as the centrepiece of the room, or something to compliment the rest of the decoration?  This part of the design may depend on the type of fireplace that you have; a roaring open fire should be treated differently to an inset gas fire for example.  If you’re having trouble with this, maybe consider whether there is a particular material that you want it to be made from; metal or stone, for example.  If stone, which kind of stone?  Slate, granite, sandstone, limestone, marble – there’s a huge range of choices and whichever one you pick will affect the entire project.   It is imperative that this planning is done before you go out purchasing materials and contracting builders; get a good idea of what it is you want to achieve before you set out to achieve it.  There are a massive amount of fireplace design companies out there – don’t be afraid to go in and look around for inspiration, or even check out a few catalogues or webpages.
If a total redesign isn’t on the menu, the next best thing you can do to upgrade your boring fireplace is to it give it a great-looking mantelpiece.  The mantelpiece is actually the shelf that projects from the wall above the fireplace but, when most people think of a fireplace, they actually think of the shelf and surrounding decoration rather than the actual hearth!  Hence, do not underestimate the power of the mantelpiece; not only do they act as a kind of frame that can change the entire look of the fireplace, but they also provide a base for a variety of other decorations like favourite photos or ornaments.  Once again, you’re going to have a huge choice of materials to pick from; even more so this time, since mantelpieces don’t need to be made of fire-resistant materials.  Hopefully you will have decided on your theme before starting out and can make sure that whichever material you pick will compliment that theme.  Mantelpieces are a great investment that are worth every penny they cost, but it’s not worth pretending they come cheap; I suggest having a look around auctions and second-hand boutiques to see if there’s something you can alter at little expensive before you decide to shell out on a brand new one.

The next stage in redesign involves making a careful choice of decorations for your new mantelpiece; don’t clutter it up, but make sure that you decorate it sufficiently so that it doesn’t look bare.  Maybe try adding some seasonal greenery into the equation, complete with tasteful vases and jars.  Mirrors are commonly placed above mantelpieces and help make the whole room look larger as well as drawing even more attention to your masterpiece.  Take care not to over-decorate however; just because a mantelpiece isn’t cluttered up doesn’t mean that your choice of decoration isn’t over-the-top.  The decoration should fit the theme of the entire fireplace; a large golden-framed and extravagant mirror would look utterly out of place above a minimalist modern fireplace for example.  A little bit of forethought will really help prevent some glaring mistakes.
Finally, decorate the actual fireplace itself; a set of fire-related tools that correspond to the decor of your room for example.  Personally, I have two interestingly shaped hunks of wood that I use to fill the hearth when it is not in use; it looks a lot nicer than an empty grate.  Be creative and use the opportunity to really make your fireplace into something personal.
That about covers my few tips on easily redesigning and decorating your fireplace; it is worth mentioning that upkeep is essential to ensuring that what was once a lovely fireplace doesn’t turn into a wreck.  If you have an open fire, make sure to clean up the ashes periodically to prevent dust, dirt and smoke gathering in your house.

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