You can hide a non-functioning fireplace with a piece of furniture such as your sofa. Put it before your fireplace and watch it vanish. You can put a decorative screen or your favorite painting behind the sofa for even better results.
Not using your fireplace out of the cold season doesn’t make it completely useless. Although you can’t enjoy a sizzling fire, you can use the opportunity to get creative with your non-functional fireplace.
This article includes both hiding and decorating ideas for your empty fireplace. Once you learn about the different ways you can decorate it, I doubt you will ever consider hiding it again, so let’s dive right in.
How to Hide a Fireplace: 15 Beyond Brilliant Ideas
In some households, the fireplace is the symbol of warmth and hospitality even if it’s non-functional, while in others it’s a blemish they would wish it vanished.
No matter if you don’t like your empty fireplace and wish to hide it or look for stylish ways to make it a focal point of your living room, the next ideas can help.
1. Your Sofa to the Rescue!
The easiest and cost-free solution for covering a non-functional fireplace is putting a sofa or armchair before the fireplace. Moreover, add a decorative screen for a lovely background and enjoy your new setup.
2. Use Your Flat Screen TV
If placing the sofa or armchair in front of your fireplace doesn’t work for your room, use your flat screen TV instead.
First, take the stand and place it before the fireplace and wall. Make sure the height of the TV stand matches the height of the fireplace, then place the flat screen TV on the stand and your job here is done.
If you’re planning to use your fireplace in the near future, you can use a coffee table or side table to keep the TV over it.
3. Try a Decorative Bookshelf
If you have a stylish bookshelf that can completely cover the empty fireplace, drag it before it and you’re done.
You can also cover the opening of your empty fireplace with a beautiful wallpaper or screen before placing the bookshelf.
This small addition will not only provide a lovely background but also keep your non-functional fireplace insect-free.
4. Insert a Decorative Screen or Painting
If you don’t like the idea of placing any type of furniture before your empty fireplace, you can hide the opening with a decorative screen or your favorite painting.
You can easily find decorative screens at home goods stores and retailers that sell indoor fire supplies. They’re available in different sizes, colors, and materials.
If you want to conceal your empty fireplace completely, opt for a screen with a solid structure. Otherwise, select a contemporary barrier made of burnished metal.
5. Place a Mirror In Front of Your Fireplace
Placing a mirror in front of your non-functional fireplace will not only hide it but also create the illusion of more floor space.
I would suggest that you find a mirror big enough to cover the whole opening. Make sure the mirror hides the surrounding parts of the fireplace as well.
If you have a large fireplace and you don’t have a big enough mirror to cover it, you can find one at consignment shops, antique stores, and flea markets.
You can also place a coffee table before your mirror and display flameless candles to double the amount of ambient lighting.
6. Insert a Heater
A non-functional or empty fireplace can still be a source of warmth. You can place a modern electric heater, electric fireplace, or a wood-burning stove, and turn your old fireplace into a functional centerpiece of your living area.
7. Add Potted Plants
If you’re looking for easy and cheap ways to decorate your fireplace, potted plants make a great choice.
Pick your favorite plants and make them the centerpiece of your living space along with your fireplace. You can also add multiple plants on top of your mantle for even better results.
If you don’t prefer greenery in your living area, you can use a single statement plant that’s big enough to cover the opening. If you can’t take care of real plants, buy fake ones.
8. Display Seasonal Décor
Another brilliant way to hide or decorate the opening of your fireplace is by showing off your seasonal décor.
You can either place a fresh vase of blooming flowers to mark the passing of spring or stack faux pumpkins for the Halloween season.
If your fireplace is still out of use during the winter period, you can place flameless candles inside, a menorah, or glowy Christmas lights.
If you’re into the coastal style, you can add a large piece of coral inside your empty fireplace
Moreover, a friend of mine has placed a small accent chair in her fireplace. Most of the time, the chair was a décor piece, but she turned it into a seating when she had people over, so feel free to steal her idea if you like it.
9. Storage for Your Baskets
In my opinion, the best use for a non-functional fireplace is stylish storage. You can fill up the opening with multiple wicker baskets or one statement basket that will turn your fireplace into a functional centerpiece.
Inside the baskets, you can store items such as books, blankets, magazines, etc.
10. Timber Storage
Although storing baskets in your empty fireplace is a smart idea, storing timber is a brilliant one that will give your home that log cabin vibe.
Stack your fireplace with logs and enjoy the new vibe of your living room. Typically, people opt for this décor in vacation cabins but who says you can’t stack your empty fireplace with timber and imagine you’re staying at a cabin?
11. Artwork on Display
If you’re a fan of artwork and pottery, you can either fill up your empty fireplace with your own artwork or look for cheap art pieces at flea markets.
Turn your fireplace into a little gallery and enjoy the chic vibe of your home. You can also display weird finds, a vintage typewriter, or anything else that catches your eye. Make sure that whatever you purchase fits in the fireplace opening.
Extra tip: Measure your firebox (inside portion) and bring the dimensions to antique fairs or flea markets, so you can come home with finds that fit.
12. Make it a Small Library
If you’re a book lover and you have more books than shelves, I have good news for you. You can turn your empty fireplace into a small library by adding shelves.
If you don’t like the idea of installing shelves, simply fill your fireplace with stacks of books. Magazine hoarders can also take advantage of a non-functional fireplace by storing hundreds of magazines in their fireplace.
You can also pile up old CDs, vinyl records, etc.
13. Turn Your Empty Fireplace Into a Pet House
If you don’t plan to use your old fireplace in the future you can permanently conceal it by turning it into a chilling spot for your pet.
Make sure to clean it properly before you add a dog or cat bed inside. You can even resurface it before turning it into a condo for your pet.
You can step up your decoration game by installing a curtain rail and small curtains that match the interior of your living space.
Watch This Video: How to Resurface a Fireplace
14. Make it Disappear…
If you’re not in the mood for hiding or decorating your non-functional fireplace in any specific way, you can saturate it with one color.
For instance, if you want to make your living area feel lighter, go white. You will get even better results if your wall behind the fireplace is white. That way, your fireplace will blend into the background and basically disappear.
If you’re not a fan of white like me, you can paint it dark or black and create depth in your living room.
15. Or Embrace it!
You can re-tile your fireplace and place a unique cactus in the middle, large antique vases, or other artwork to liven it up. Instead of hiding your fireplace, embrace it and make it the focal point of your living space.
Watch This Video: How to Tile a Fireplace
FAQs on How to Hide a Fireplace
Is it Safe to Use an Old Fireplace?
The best way to ensure your fireplace is safe is to have a professional inspection at least once a year. Regular and proper care of your fireplace whether it’s gas fired or wood burning can prevent fire, toxic fumes, and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Do You Need to Clean an Unused Fireplace?
Non-working fireplaces need to be cleaned and inspected annually. Note that your chimney and flue help your home “breathe”, so they must be in good condition.
Can I Put a Fake Fire in My Fireplace?
You can install a fake electrical fire into a non-functional wood-burning fireplace as long as there’s electricity in the firebox. Have an electrician conduct the electricity, then install a fake electric fireplace in the opening of the fireplace.