Sprucing up your prefabricated fireplace is a great way to showcase your sense of design; taking an ordinary mass-produced item and making it unique. In just a few steps, you can turn your wood burning, gas or electric prefab fireplace into an attractive feature of your hearth.
Prefab fireplaces, also known as zero clearance fireplaces, come in a large assortment of styles and materials, including cast iron, brass, pewter and nickel. They are the most efficient among fireplaces and wood-stoves, heating the immediate area much more effectively than a traditional masonry fireplace. This is because the prefab firebox inserts directly into your existing fireplace, containing the heat better and projecting it outward rather than up and out your chimney.
Step 1-Start with Your Mantel
You don’t need a fireplace to have a mantel, but since you do have one, framing it with an attractive mantel is a must. If you have an existing mantel, start by giving it a good cleaning. Even the nicest wood, stone, or brick fixture is going to look worn and raggedy without proper upkeep. Another consideration is mantel rebuilding or replacement. A mantel is simply the extension of the fireplace. If it is rather plain, try redesigning your mantel to give it a more elegant look. Frame it out with rough building lumber like plywood and 4 by 4s, adding whatever molding you desire to finish it off. Stain and finish the entire mantel after construction. Brick or stone are two other options for mantel replacement. It really depends on your interior design and what you want.
Step 2-Accentuate the Mantel
A mirror hanging above the mantel or even resting comfortably atop it adds a wonderful element to your hearth and depth to the room. Tastefully place candlesticks or a candelabrum on the mantel shelf. Decorative glass, sea shells, or a stylish display of fresh flowers add a nice touch as well. Try simply painting the mantel. Giving it a fresh coat of paint or varnish will bring out its luster and, if it’s a clear finish, the natural wood grain. The use of tile too will add charm to your mantel. Be creative!
Step 3-Surround the Mantel with Accessories
Being careful not to overdo it, the tasteful placement of fireplace accessories will add a lot to your prefab fireplace. You have the mantel decorated to your satisfaction, now decorate around it. Cast iron fireplace tools, either on a stand or hanging from a rack, an attractive log holder off to one side, a bellows that matches the mantel wood, and a practical and stylish fireplace screen will all not only serve a purpose, but it will add to the décor. If you have hard wood floors, consider a little tile work immediately around the fireplace opening.
Your prefabricated fireplace can be as unique as you want it to be. With a little effort and some planning on your part, sprucing up your fireplace will be fun and offer you room to express your creativity.