Wood fireplaces are a traditional way of heating used for millennia worldwide. Long thought of as a poor heating source with most of the heat escaping up the chimney, they are more efficient than ever. And if you have wood to cut on your property, it is a free resource to tap into.

Besides basic functions, your fireplace can be a focal point in the room with the right decor. There are many ways to enhance your wood burner. Instead of a weathered fireplace that rarely gets used, it becomes a beloved part of your room and heating source.

Not sure what to do? Here are the best decorating ideas for wood fireplaces.

Paint the fireplace.

For a quick and easy makeover, you can paint your fireplace. Brick takes paint well, and it can instantly change the tone and style of the room, depending on the colour you choose. Go for white to create the shabby chic look, and colour the walls in an earth tone, so the fireplace draws the eye. You can also change it with white walls and a bold colour on the fireplace.

You can even get creative and paint bricks in different colours or do an original art design yourself. As long as you love it, there is no wrong way.

Cover up the fireplace.

Maybe you don’t like the brick, or the tile is dated and ugly. You could just live with it, but it’s better to go over the top with another medium. You can use the following:

  • Stucco
  • Concrete
  • Stone veneer
  • Tile
  • Wood
  • Marble

This will look great, and if you can DIY it, that will save you money but don’t be afraid to call in the experts to get the job done.

Add a mirror.

A large mirror looks great over a fireplace because this is the room’s focal point that everyone usually faces, making it seem larger. A mirror also reflects light so you can turn the switches off and enjoy the natural illumination of the sun and the wood burning. You can go with just a plain mirror or surround it with rustic wood or an elegant frame of gold.

Install a new mantel.

The mantel adds depth to the fireplace and gives you a shelf to place decorative items on display. Shelf mantels run along the top, over the firebox and can be made from a rustic, rough beam or modern wood finish and even have an industrial look. A surround mantel has a top and sides that frame the fireplace and can be anywhere from minimalistic to ornate with a victorian look. You can also install brick up each side, and it will carry a wood mantle across.

Some mantels are larger and added on in a descending pattern to look more extravagant. You can also paint them in your favourite colour to either blend in with the rest of the room or stand out with a bold hue.

Non-working wood fireplace.

Some older homes have fireplaces that are no longer working. If you can, try to get it fixed to enjoy the wood-burning experience, but if that isn’t possible, the fireplace can still serve as a decorative item.

Even if the fire doesn’t burn, you can still set it up as if it does. This looks ready for ignition and gives the feel of a working fireplace.

Firewood storage.

Another great look is to fill the firebox with split wood. You may have a wood stove in the house, keeping the wood dry and easy to access. It also can be a decorative display that looks rustic and brings a little nature inside.


This is the perfect spot to put a display of large candles for burning when guests are over. You can tier them to have different burning heights and even group a few candles in different spots for an added effect. It’s the safest place to burn candles in the house.


Plants also work well in the fireplace and give you something pleasant to look at. Ensure there is lots of natural light that comes in so the plant can thrive.

Art piece.

A decommissioned fireplace is a great location for displaying a heavy art piece. Use it as a shadow box, and it will draw the eye and spark conversation.

Wood fireplaces are amazing, and they provide warmth and ambience. If you have a tired, old fireplace that needs new life, consider these decorating ideas to make it shine again. It will be a fun home project, and you will get to be the next generation to enjoy all that your wood fireplace is.

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