15 Best Fireplace Ideas

Is it any surprise that one of my favorite features of our 1930's bungalow is the fireplace?

In case you missed the post from earlier in the week: Surprise, we bought a house!

The problem, however, is that the house hasn't been occupied in more than twenty years, so a whole lot of work must be done before my daydream of "sitting by the fire while eating fondue" can come true. 

In the hierarchy of the one billion and one items that will have to be completely renovated in the house, the fireplace occupies the lowest level. With that in mind, I've compiled 15 budget-friendly, DIY fireplace ideas to begin brainstorming solutions to the nightmare below. My hope is that when time finally comes time to make a decision, I'll have an idea of what I actually want – because if the list below is any indication, I am all over the style spectrum.

Won't you please help me pick a favorite?

15 Best Fireplace Ideas

25 Best DIY Fireplace Makeovers | Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse

Add a Few Coats of Paint

Perhaps the easiest and most budget-friendly way to update a fireplace is to simply paint it. To add even more visual interest, paint the wall behind it in the same shade. Check out how Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse completely transformed her living room with a few (okay, fine – slightly more than a few) brush strokes!

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25 Best Fireplace Ideas

Parisian Glamour

This Parisian-esque, sophisticated option was also designed by the previously-mentioned Catherine Kwong. What catches my eye is the juxtaposition between the elaborate mantel and otherwise contemporary decor. 

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25 Best DIY Fireplace Makeovers | Sharon from Lilikoi Joy

Floor-to-Ceiling Update

 

Sharon from Lilikoi Joy  renovated her traditional fireplace into this modern beauty using honed vein cut travertine tile for a warm and airy feel. What a breath of fresh air, especially compared to the heavy look before! She doesn't mention cost, but a quick Google search reveals about $4.00 per square foot.

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25 Best DIY Fireplace Makeovers | Shannon from Shannon Berrey Design

Build a Mosaic of Reclaimed Wood

I fell in love with this reclaimed wood option the minute I laid my eyes on it. I'm usually not a fan of boho chic and personally prefer a more contemporary style, but the gorgeous, rich oak stain and rustic yet modern design has me dreaming of all sorts of spaces I can cover in reclaimed wood... Shannon from Shannon Berrey Design gives step-by-step instructions on achieving this DIY transformation in your own home. The best part? She scored the wood scraps for free!

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25 Best Fireplace Ideas

Fit for a Queen

In theory, the idea of black marble doesn't appeal to me – I personally prefer airy and light spaces. Yet this oh-so-sophisticated combo has me reconsidering that notion. Granted, this elegant fireplace will likely look out of place in our small home, but perhaps a smaller, less elaborate version would infuse the space with just the right dose of glamour. Decisions, decisions!

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25 Best DIY Fireplace Makeovers | Layla from The Lettered Cottage

Faux Stone Mosaic

If placing wood so close to the fire is a concern for you (legitimate concern, I'd say), then you can use faux stone coverings to achieve a similar mosaic look for a grand total of $130. Layla from The Lettered Cottage shows us how it's done.

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25 Best DIY Fireplace Makeovers | Sarah from the Little Red Brick House

Real Stone Veneer

I know a few of you were gasping in surprise at the mention of "faux." If that's the case, here's a more appropriate option: real stone veneer. At $3.98 for a 6x12" tile, the price tag isn't nearly as shocking as I would've imagined for stonework. Sarah from the Little Red Brick House chronicles her fireplace makeover journey with an entire series on her blog, starting with the planning stage all the way to the big reveal.  

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Victorian Elegance

I am loving this painted wood surround and mantel! Granted, it isn't the most budget-friendly option and would likely require custom designed woodwork, but it's a perfect example of a luxe fireplace that won't look out of place in a smaller home.

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25 Best DIY Fireplace Makeovers | Stephanie from Swing 'N Cocoa

Tile It Up

Stephanie from Swing 'N Cocoa brings us this next DIY fireplace makeover. She tackled brick demolition, tiling, rip cutting, bench planing, trim installation, new painting techniques and a whole lot of other terminology whose meaning is completely lost on me. But I'm sure I'll become oh-so-familiar with all of it oh-so-very-soon.

I knew immediately that Stephanie was a girl after my own heart when she mentioned scoring the tiles on Craigslist for a cool $15. The entire project cost less than $200, so if that isn't life-changing, then I don't know what is.

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25 Best Fireplace Ideas

Oh So Cozy

This warm and inviting setup made the list for obvious reasons. From the looks of it, the brick is simply painted, which shouldn't be hard to do. 

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25 Best DIY Fireplace Makeovers | Sally from Love of Homes

Marble Tile Herringbone Style

Sally from Love of Homes has a marble tile option, and this one just may be my favorite. I absolutely love the classy feel of a herringbone pattern – whether it's on a backsplash, hardware floors or, in this case, the fireplace facade. Granted, a classier look comes with a heftier price – $12.98 for a 13 x 13" tile – but what a lovely update to the room!

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25 Best Fireplace Ideas

Luxe and Decadent

This next example is one that I imagine quickly being rejected in our house, due to the fact that such luxury simply wouldn't fit the size and style of our house, but I just had to share this beauty, designed by Catherine Kwong. The regal, layered mantle, gilded mirror paneling, the feminine details and minimal, sophisticated decor all come together to create what quite possibly could be my dream living room.

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25 Best DIY Fireplace Makeovers | Sarah from Thrifty Decor Chick

More Herringbone

Here's another herringbone pattern combined with a gray mantel, courtesy of Sarah from Thrifty Decor Chick. The more DIY tutorials I see, the more I fall in love with the herringbone pattern, and the more I'm convinced that, as much as I like to think otherwise, I may not have enough DIY bones in my body to accomplish this on my own. We shall see.

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25 Best Fireplace Ideas

Pop of Black

For so long white has been the go-to color option for anyone painting their fireplace. This dramatic black version, however, is a great way to draw attention to the main feature of the room.

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Italian Glam

When a complete renovation is out of the budget, simply adding an elaborate fireplace screen gives the place a totally new look. Total gems, like this vintage gold peacock-style screen, are super easy to find – I came across several on Craigslist!

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So what do you think? Which ideas are your favorite, and which do you absolutely hate? I can't wait to hear your feedback!

To see the progress on our fireplace, check out: 

See the newly renovated fireplace here:

Interior Design Photography Tips and Techniques

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11 Comments

  1. Pingback: One Room Challenge, Week 2: Living Room Inspiration + Design Plan

  2. Pingback: Fireplace Makeover: Painting the Brick Fireplace White

  3. These photos are all so stunning! I don’t know what I’d pick if I were you but I can’t wait to see what you choose! XO

  4. These photos are all so stunning! I don’t know what I’d pick if I were you but I can’t wait to see what you choose! XO

    • At the moment it’s a toss-up between leaving the fireplace as is (gasp!) or transforming it into a standalone fireplace by knocking down the wall and raising the roof (sort of like the attached photo, but obviously far less glamorous).

      Both of these alternatives weren’t even an option when I first wrote the article, so that just goes to show how quickly things can change! Needless to say, I’m leaning more towards the open concept area, but as is the case with renovations, the budget dictates all!

      Wish me luck! :)

    • Hi Tamara, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! Painting it white would definitely be the most budget-friendly option (aside from leaving it as is), and that’s a major plus in a house renovation! I guess time will tell! XO

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