How to Decorate a Fireplace With a Boarded-Up Front Opening

A non-functional or boarded-up fireplace doesn't have to be a decorating liability. If the mantel and fireplace surround are still in place, you can easily turn the area into a frame for a variety of attractive decorating set-ups. Start by painting the mantel and surround white, and the wall around the fireplace a deep or bright color, and you will have the perfect base for creating a focal point in your home.

Things You'll Need

  • Screen
  • Table
  • Candles, vase and other decorative accessories
  • Desk
  • Chair
  • Office supplies
  • Wallpaper
  • Rug
  • Plants
  • Stands
  • Picture or mirror
  • Paint
  • Mural stencils


    • 1

      Place a decorative, painted screen in front of the fireplace. For a cottage or rustic feel, use a section of old picket fence. For a more modern or traditional look, use a metal screen with simple lines.

    • 2

      Frame a small table by placing it right up against the fireplace, and set candles, a vase or other decorative accessories on top. Use the old mantle to display similar decor for a finished look.

    • 3

      Provide an area to work or write by putting an attractive, small desk and accompanying chair against the fireplace, and setting the top with organized office necessities, such as pens, a letter holder and writing paper.

    • 4

      Wallpaper the boarded surface inside the fireplace surround with a bold pattern, such as a large floral, an abstract design, stripes or plaids, and place a small rug in front that complements the colors or pattern.

    • 5

      Set potted plants within and around the fireplace to create a garden area. Use plant stands in different heights to give a varied, interesting appearance to the fireplace.

    • 6

      Fill the boarded area with a large framed picture. If the room is small, make it appear larger by filling the space with a mirror.

    • 7

      Paint a mural in the fireplace spot. You can paint a garden, a nature scene, a cat or dog sitting and looking out or even a roaring fire for a touch of whimsy.

Tips & Warnings

  • Change your unused fireplace decor seasonally, so that it is always a focal point for your room.
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  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/ Images

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