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

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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.



  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/ Images
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