Getting Your Fireplace in Shape

Updated: May 19

It's that time of year again. Turning leaves, chilly mornings, days slowly getting shorter, and just about cold enough to light a fire.

Your fireplace is the heart of your home... what is a rainy day without a fire and a warm blanket? And if, like mine, your fireplace hasn't been used much over the summer months, it might be wise to take a good look at the state of your fireplace before lighting the first fire of the season.

Safety First

With winter almost here, it's a good idea to check your fireplace and make sure it's safe to light a fire.

If you detect any of the following signs, you should contact a professional immediately. Dirty or clogged flues will definitely reduce the performance of fireplaces, and can be potentially dangerous if left untouched. Professionals recommend that you get your chimney swept once a year and if you’re unsure about the condition of your fireplace or chimney, it’s best to consult a professional before a small problem leads to a very expensive one!

Smoke flooding the room

Rust on the firebox or damper

Cracked mortar joints and other damage to your chimney

Any sign of animals

Slow burning fires Rust on the firebox or damper

White-stained bricks

Once you've sorted out the safety issues, it's time to update your fireplace and to give it a new lease of life for the winter, so read on...

Update the surround

Simply updating the surround is an easy way to turn your fireplace into an attractive feature. By simply painting the mantelpiece, you can completely change the look of your fireplace and give it a sophisticated and modern look. It works really well if you have a period home, but you'd like to keep the interior a bit more contemporary.

Surround painted to match the cupboard in this bathroom. Image via Pinterest

Adding Accessories

Add some personality and character with a fireguard. You don't have to stick to the same style, try using a modern fireguard in front of a period fireplace. It will instantly give it a more updated feel. I love this curved glass fireguard from Graham & Graham

This geometric Art Deco fire screen by Dibor boasts a high shine silver finish and will turn your fireplace into an eye-catching focal point.

Fireside Accessories

Dress your Mantel

Treat your mantelpiece like you would a console table. If your fireplace functions as a piece of furniture, it becomes part of the design. Dress your mantel with accessories and change it around every so often to keep the look fresh and updated.

Add a Mirror

Hanging a mirror above your mantelpiece will exaggerate the presence of the fireplace as a focal point in the room. A large mirror will always make your space look bigger and it will let more light in too, making the space seem brighter.