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8 Decorative Uses for an Unused Fireplace

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While there is an undeniable comfort found in the glow of a burning fireplace, many homeowners simply don't like the mess involved with using one. Ash, smoke, and smoldering embers are just not for everyone, after all. If you have an unused fireplace that has turned into an unwelcome eyesore, use a little imagination and turn it into the focal point of the room. Here are a few decorative uses for an unused fireplace you'll love.

If you loathe the idea of scrubbing the inside of the hearth to make it presentable, simply cover the inside with wood, particle board, or something of that nature. Paint it a solid black color so that it will fall back and be unnoticeable.

Ways to use an unused fireplace:

Shelving- After boarding up the fireplace, you can turn the area into a conversation piece by installing short shelves to hold books, framed photos, knick knacks, and the like. Make this look pop by painting the backing a bold color, or wallpapering it with an interesting pattern.

Book stacks - Stack books inside the hearth of the fireplace. Stack them in different directions to fill up the entire space, or stack them in piles for a casual look. This is a great way to gain storage space from an otherwise unused area of the room.

Television - Have a small flat-screen television with a base? The unused fireplace is the perfect place to put it! It's fun to look at, completely unexpected, and super-easy to slide into position.

Candles - Pillar candles fit perfectly inside and in front of the hearth of an unused fireplace. Whether you prefer flameless or traditional candles, you can't go wrong with this decorative idea. For best results use candles of the same color, but of varying heights.

Live plants - By stacking several potted plants on multi-leveled plant stands, you'll create a beautiful living display. Large, flowing plants should be placed in the back, while smaller ones can be used to accent the area in front.

Hidden storage - If you can't think of anything you'd like to display, why not use an old fireplace as a storage spot instead? Cover the front of the hearth with a wooden fireplace screen, or small room divider, and use the space to store old magazines, pet supplies, sewing materials, and the like.

Framed photos - Display large framed photos of family and friends inside and around your unused fireplace. Place oversized frames or large collages at the back of the collection, while displaying smaller framed photos at the front.

Cozy pet spot - Give your furry friend a place of his own by turning an unused fireplace into a pet zone. Cushion the bottom of the hearth with a super-cozy pet bed or oversized pillow, and store favorite toys and bones right inside. You could even go as far as painting the words 'Pet Cave' above the fireplace, if you were so inclined.

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