1. Put a Screen On It
Fireplace screens serve an important purpose if you're actually burning something. But even if you're hearth has never seen a flame, incorporating this purely decorative element into your space is a perfect opportunity to embrace an ornate antique or an artful new creation.
2. Create a Faux Glow
To recreate the atmosphere of a crackling fire, fill your hearth with simple white candles in different heights and widths. The look is almost more dramatic than a traditional log setup. For an even lower commitment, try flameless pillars, that can be flipped on at a moment's notice and won't make a waxy mess.
3. Stick a Plant In It
This one is especially apt for warm climates or summer months, when you wouldn't be building a fire anyway. Filling the cavernous space with something fresh and green breathes new life into an often overlooked architectural element, and makes it an off-season focal point. Here are some of our favorite unkillable house plants.
4. Add Something Pretty or Practical
Stacked logs is the standard fireplace filler, but using books, magazines, or any other item you have a ton of is a clever and impactful way to show off a collection. If you live in a small space, a defunct fireplace can become a completely practical storage solution.We've even seen them kitted out with custom shelves and used as a shoe closet.
5. Make It An Architectural Element
A more subtle treatment like painting the hearth and mantel to match the fireplace wall allows a not-so-useful element to be showcased as part of a home's overall architectural detailing. Try black for an even more dramatic effect.