The Most Ingenious Things To Do With A Non-Working Fireplace

Hacks, Ideas, Living Room

From a luxury home to a cozy cabin, a fireplace brings warmth and style to a home. That appeal doesn’t have to disappear just because your fireplace is no longer working.

With these ingenious ideas, you can turn a non-working fireplace into the focal point of your room’s design and maybe give it a new function, too.

If you’ve got an idle fireplace just waiting for a makeover, try one of these design hacks:

Completely Coastal

Go Coastal

A fireplace that can’t provide roaring flames can still lend a beach bonfire ambiance to a room.

Any number of nautical or aquatic design accents make a great display inside a fireplace, from big pieces of driftwood to large coral to a ship in a bottle.

To tie the look together in the rest of the room, try vases of dried seagrass on the hearth or framed nautical prints on the wall above.

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How ‘Bout A Bar?

A working fireplace draws guests and family to congregate and relax. Using the non-working version as a bar may very well create the same appeal.

House Beautiful

To create a bar where the fireplace once reigned, nestle a wine rack into the center spot. Then add other cocktail hour accessories, like an ice bucket, cocktail shaker or wine glasses, to the mantel above.

If wine’s not your thing, set a narrow end table inside the fireplace and stock it with a beautiful array of decanters and liquor bottles.


Romantic Flames Without Soot

There are times when your old fireplace won’t work, and times when you don’t want wood or gas fires in the house.

This ingenious idea is handy whether your fireplace still works or not. Use candles to illuminate and flicker while skipping the hassle of chopping wood or fiddling with kindling.

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To get the look, group neutral-shade pillar candles in graduated sizes in the center of the fireplace. Or, consider metallic candle holders and tapers. Just make sure the candles are large enough to fill the space without crowding it.

If you don’t want flames in the house for safety reasons, consider creating the same look with LED or electric candles.


A Whole New Way To Read By The Fire

Give an empty fireplace a practical purpose by using it to store, and maybe display, household books. Take out the grate, scour the fireplace floor and walls and let them dry and then pile the books in stacks inside.

Amazing Interior Design

This is an especially lovely solution for giving coffee table books or other oversized reading material a new home.


Leftover Firewood Lifts Your Fireplace Design

When your wood-burning fireplace unexpectedly changes identities from “roaring flame provider” to “useless box in the wall,” you may be caught off guard.


But instead of fretting, borrow a couple of armfuls of split logs from that stack by the back door and pack them into the fireplace from bottom to top.

To pull the look together in the rest of the room, try a few rustic accents or a natural wood end table or coffee table.

Pet Sanctuary

If you have dogs (or cats,) and hate using a crate but would like to give your furry friend a cozy place to stay that is out of the way, place their bed in a cleaned out fireplace. There is no better way to eliminate clutter, tripping over your bestie or stubbing your toes on a hard crate. Your pets will love it too since they will have their own space.

elledecor photo Coco Kelley

Summer Downtime

Let’s say your fireplace still works but you want to do something nice just for the summer; you can tuck away all of your winter items there and keep them displayed nicely during the warm months. Not only does it look nice but it gives you quick access to throws at night when you are watching a movie in the air conditioning, and you will not have to hunt for them when the fall and winter roll back around.

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