Mantle Makeover: How To Give Your Hearth a New Look

After all, the hearth is the heart of the home.

So, you just moved into a new place and the reigning best feature is the fireplace. And although you love it (and perhaps even signed a lease because of it), it's not quite the fireplace of your dreams. Fortunately, there are myriad ways to give a mantle a makeover. Here are a few of our favorites: _1
m8 The quickest (and cheapest) way to update your fireplace is to give the surround (usually brick), interior (where the wood goes), or mantle a paint job. If you're feeling bold, paint the whole thing black with heat-resistant paint. Don't worry, we have a whole other guide for how to style a black fireplaceForrest Paint Co. 6320 Copper Gas Fireplace Surround Paint, $31, Walmart
_2
m1 For a wonderfully woodsy look, consider adding a slab of reclaimed wood to make a mantle. The hefty addition can replace an existing mantle or be affixed to a blank wall. Look for actual re-claimed wood, though. Anything imitation will end up looking cheap. Old Barn Beam Mantel, $110, Etsy
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m6 If your fireplace doesn't actually work, or if you want it to always look fire-ready, add a stack of logs. We recommend birch, for the lustrous white bark and slender proportions. Vickerman Birch Log Bundle, $32, X Mas Tree USA
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m4 Disguising a faux flue or adding a major metallic moment can be as easy as incorporating a fireplace screen. Plus, if you can actually light up, you'll never have to worry about stray sparks. Antiqued Brass Fireplace Screen, $199, Crate & Barrel
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m5 If the actual structure of your fireplace is fine, but the mantle is lacking some pizazz, flank fireplace with a pair of sconces. They'll create a dynamic space for hanging your favorite work of art. Branch Sconce, $155, Cedar & Moss
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m2 If you've tried the lot of mantle makeover tricks and still aren't satisfied, then just go ahead and replace the whole thing. Antique mantles are the way to go, but plenty of solid reproductions are out there as well. Rope-Edge Fireplace Mantel, $1995, Horchow
See some of our favorite fireplaces on our Pinterest Living Rooms board. Photography: 1. Bethany Nuart (photographer and source), 2. Clements Design (designer and source), 3. Mark Haddaway photographed by Roger Davies for Architectural Digest, 4. via Tip Toe Butterfly, 5. via decor8, 6. Emily Henderson (designer and source), 7. Rose Uniacke (designer and source), 8. Stephen Shubel (designer and source), 9. Thom Filicia (designer and source), 10. Francesco Colagnese (photographer and source), 11. Studio MRS (designer and source)
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