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Wallowing over the fact that your fireplace is of the non-working variety? Then time for an attitude adjustment. This supposed “flaw” can actually be the most striking and versatile design feature in the whole darn house. Below, ten gorgeous designer tricks for decorating, nay, celebrating a defunct hearth. 

RELATED: 8 Chic Ways To Sneak Extra Seating Into Your Living Room 


Close Off With A Slab Of Marble

Fan of minimalism? Fan of marble? Consider finishing off the fireplace with a custom fitted piece of stone stone à la Studio.LIFE.STYLE. As demonstrated above, the finished look is sleek, clean and modern—while still très cozy. 

Fill With Birch Branches

Stack a pretty bundle of silvery birch (we can all agree they’re the peonies of logs, yes?) inside, and flank with an adjacent woven basket for an organic touch in an otherwise tailored space (as mastered above by Ashley Whittaker). 

Showcase Natural Objects

From potted ferns to chunks of coral, Mark D. Sikes is ever the fan of rotating gorgeous natural elements in his living room's decorative fireplace. 

Or Stash A Ceramics Collection

Looking for a chic and showy home for your heirloom porcelain? Cluster a grouping for a pleasantly busy vignette—like in this chic living room by Sasha Meredith.  

Fake It Fabulously

Just because the thing isn’t actually working doesn’t mean it can’t look like it is. Consider this your excuse to ball out on amazing fireplace accessories, like these snake-shaped andirons artfully utilized by Robert Brown

Use A Decorative Fire screen

The design team behind Massucco Warner Miller considers ornate grates and fire screens “room jewelry." We also love their addition of flanking lanterns to add some natural firelight to the scene.  

Mirror the Interior

Dark room in need of some lightening, brightening magic? Take a cue from this cheery Lauren Liess sitting room and line your hearth’s interior with mirrored slabs. (Pssst, you can totally slide in a chic, freestanding mirror for the same effect.)

Load Up On Candles

A popular alternative with staying power: Create an artful candle tableau with pillars of varying shapes and sizes. Better still, make like Myra Hoefer and add votives to the mantle above, as well as a cozy seating area in front, for illuminating conversation. 

Integrate Your Furniture

Experimental and proud of it? Consort Design recommends placing one end of a coffee or dining table inside of your fireplace, which creates an appealing visual angle in the room, and increases usable floor space (to say nothing of the wow factor).

RELATED: The Designer Trick For Faking Fancier Flowers

When All Else Fails, Paint It Black

This glam yet relaxed living room by Grant K. Gibson attests to two cardinal design rules: 1) Every room needs at least one black element in it, and 2) Less is usually more. 

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