Decorating a Non-Working Fireplace

Sarah's post on Degerkas' Orange Fireplace from earlier this week got us thinking - we can't ignore the fact that many Chicago homes have fireplaces ...and not all of them are working. We think that ANY fireplace, wood, gas or closed off and merely decorative, are a bonus to the room. A clear focal point to grab onto and decorate around just tends to ground the space and make "decorating" easier...

But how to deal with those that can't have a roaring fire in them when guests are coming over? Candles are a pretty standard option, and can look (and work) great if you want to keep things simple while having a little glow.

We really like the look of the big stack of wood piled into place in the photo above, it is a visually interesting and natural looking solution to the problem, but that take a relatively "open" non-working fireplace.

What if you have a smaller, totally sealed up fireplace (as many apartments do) and want the "feel" of a working fireplace on a budget? Time Out Chicago has a solution in this weeks issue (shown left), a few logs, a sting of golden holiday lights and voila - a funky faux fire!

More ideas and suggestions welcome...let us know your favorites in the comments.

Top Photo: viaAbbey Goes Design Scouting
Smaller Photo: Tvia Time Out Chicago