Sprucing Up An Unused Fireplace

If you're blessed with a fireplace, it better be it's probably the focal point of your room. And while it's rare to see a neglected mantel, the inside of the fireplace is another story. Whether you're looking to distract from a soot stained interior during these final few warmish months or hoping to find a more permanent use for your non-working fireplace, we've rounded up a few suggestions...

• 1, 2 I love the simple solution of adding large scale vases and urns. Fresh flowers are welcome in any space!
• 3, 4 Personally, I dislike when TVs are the focus of a room, and especially when they're hung above the mantel— neck strain! However, I'm warming up to the semi-disguised version inside the firebox. If you do decide to do this make sure your sofa is ultra low. In case you missed Maxwell's post on it, the second fireplace TV is Kelly Giesen's creative idea.
• 5 This Dave Coote image has been the center of some heated Apartment Therapy discussions, but I'm completely smitten with its visual appeal. However as a book lover, I think that custom fitting a bookshelf to the firebox would be a better solution than simply stacking the books inside.
• 6,7 Mirror the interior.
• 8 The circular convex mirror is an unexpected twist on the mirrored interior that's definitely in keeping with the bold look of the rest of the room.
• 9 Speaking of bold, this no-holds-bar fireplacescape from Domino has become a blogosphere favorite. While overall it's a little too dramatic for my personal preference, I appreciate the punchy vibe, including the vibrantly painted firewood.
• 10 This image is not the best example, but I could imagine the interior of a non-working fireplace being the perfect spot for a prayer shelf, meditation display, or zen garden.
• 11 Of course we had to include the favorite fireplace filler, candles! If you employ this idea, take note of this picture. Substantial pillar candles in varying sizes oozing with wax look infinitely better than unused, pristine candles, which tend to appear overly staged and catalogue-y.
• 12 We know the bugaphobes among you cringe at the idea of the traditional stacked firewood displays, so we've tracked down a close insect-free, albeit more time consuming alternative: stacked scrapwood in varying hues.
• 13 Another dramatic Domino special. Clean, unused fireplaces make the perfect spot for virtually any free-standing collection.
• 14 Have the mantelpiece act as a dramatic frame for a piece of artwork, poster, or print.

What other ideas do you have for putting your unused fireplace to work?

(Images: 1:via Casasugar , 2, 5: Dave Coote, 3, 6, 9, 13: Domino, 4: Apartment Therapy: New York, 7: Eddie Ross, 8: John Jacob Interiors, 10: HGTV, 11: Sunset, 12: West Elm Catalog via Design Mom, 14: Elle Decor)