When the fireplace is one of the larger features in a room, or perhaps the largest, it needs to be decorated, and well. Not the mantle, mind you, but that dark hole that is the fireplace, under the mantle. The mantle is comparatively easy to decorating the fireplace itself.

A client came to us with this decorating dilemma – ideas on how to decorate this larger than normal fireplace, which was viewable from the other rooms.

Client fireplace decorating problem

The client had already worked with some art above the fireplace, and which they wanted to keep. The art at least was massive enough to offset the weight of this large fireplace surround (mantle & pillars), so it was a keeper. But what to do with a larger than normal sized firebox hole?

The first question when decorating a fireplace to ask is does the fireplace get used regularly? If the decoration needs to be moved to light a fire, then that dictates what kind of decoration to use.

The decor can go in front of the fireplace or inside, and something in front (like a screen) may be easier to remove for a fire. Also, something in front would be a good choice to cover a dated metal fire screen in gold or other flashy metal.

Decor inside the fireplace may be a better choice for a fireplace that is rarely or never used. It can be cleaned well, and a permanent installation created.

The subject fireplace was one that the client wanted to use, but it was so large an opening, that fans or screens in front of it were too large.  The irregular spark screen was stored in the garage, as was the log rack. Both of those need to be brought back for a fire, so it’s not as easy as a screen decor in front.

The final answer came with thin logs in a basket. Various baskets were tried, and different color logs too.  The driftwood did pull in the yellow from the tile on the face of the fireplace, around the firehole.

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The silver colored logs coordinated with the frames above the fireplace, so we went with that choice. A simple $13 wire holder from HomeGoods is all the wood needed.

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