Five Ways To Hide An Ugly Fireplace

2 Materials
10 Minutes

I'm a HUGE fireplace fan. Always have been, always will be. HOWEVER, some fireplaces warm my heart more than others. I'm inclined to swoon over vintage wood fireplace mantels, and the more bricks involved the better (preferably after German schmearing, of course). But we can't always get what we want. So what's a home decor enthusiast to do if they're stuck with an ugly fireplace? I have five potential solutions that might work for your ugly fireplace situation. So let's get started.

First, lets take a look at the fireplace in question. Ignore the unsightly electrical cord. It's an electric fireplace that I mostly love. It's white. It can fit in a corner. It has character (applique and shiplap similarities). You can read all about it in my blog post  8 Reasons To Buy An Electric Fireplace.

As much as I love it, it's not a real fireplace -- so no actual fire. The black firebox is filled with fake logs that "glow" when turned on. Not real at all. It does put out some heat though. But that black firebox -- aargh! It hurts me to look at it, really.

In the winter I deal with it so that we can enjoy the "fires." But for the other three quarters of the year I like to cover that black box up and forget it's even there. Now, on to some of my solutions for camouflaging an ugly fireplace. 

1. Shutters

I picked up two of these vintage white, chippy shutters at a flea market. The only problem was that the top and bottom of the shutters had a scrolly element to them, which kept me from being able to place them flat on the ground in front of the fireplace.

So we sawed off their scrolly ends to make them flat and even. And it worked! They looked and performed spectacularly directly in front of the fireplace, covering up the ugly black fire box. No need to make the arrangement permanent -- I just leaned the shutters against the fireplace. Then I was ready to decorate the shutters in accordance with the seasons!

Be sure to head over to the full blog post at the end of this to get some seasonal decorating ideas!

2. Architectural Salvage: Ceiling Medallion

When I purchased this ceiling medallion at Goodwill for $6.99 I wasn't sure what I'd use it for. I just knew I would find a use for it. It gave me a Frenchy vibe. (I later found it selling online for $169.43!) Obviously, the use I came up with was as fireplace camouflage. The only problem with using this medallion to hide the ugly fireplace box was the pesky hole in the middle.

After a quick trip to Dollar Tree I came up with my solution: a mirror. The hole was 4 inches in diameter, and the mirror was 5 inches wide. I knew it would work. So I hot glued this square mirror onto the back of the medallion, right over the gaping hole. 

While I love the look of vintage shutters in front of the fireplace, I REALLY love the look of this medallion and mirror insert!

3. Artwork

Normally I would not want to hid our master bedroom faux fireplace. But I did accidentally stumble upon a way to do just that while trying to find a place to hang my daughter's HUGE botanical print. I had no available wall space, so the easiest solution seemed to be hanging it in front of the faux fireplace. It fit there perfectly and looked gorgeous.

I hung it from a hidden 3-M hook.

4. Baskets 

While this tobacco basket alone would have provided some nice camouflage for the electric fireplace, I couldn't help but add a fall fern wreath and faux baby boo pumpkins into the mix. Originally, the basket didn't have any handles on it, but I transformed it myself with some simple leather strips. You can read about that transformation in my post  Ballard Designs Tobacco Tray Knock-Off.

5. Wild Card Option

I'm calling this the wild card option -- it all depends on the size and shape of your fireplace, as well as the size and shape of any furniture pieces you might have lying around the house.

In my case I was lucky enough to snag a pigeon hole cubby shelving unit at an estate sale that fit almost perfectly in front of our 1990's family room fireplace. (I was not in love with the brass surround and glass doors.) I had a blast decorating it for Christmas!

But the possibilities here are endless -- you can use any small piece of furniture to "obscure" the fireplace, or draw attention away from the features you don't like. 

Get creative! I've seen benches, footstools, wooden boxes, large baskets filled with pillows and throws, and even window frames (one of my faves) used to create a focal point that covers the fireplace opening and adds some extra visual interest.  

Well, that's it for today, friends! I hope you enjoyed reading about 

Five Ways To Hide An Ugly Fireplace and that I've inspired you in some way.

Again, be sure to drop by the blog, Our Hopeful Home, and read the whole post to get ALL the details!   (Post link below.)

Suggested materials:
  • Square mirror
  • Tobacco basket
Kathleen A. Our Hopeful Home Blog
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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