Summer-ize Your Fireplace

by Kimba on June 7, 2010

in decorating,Seasonal Projects

What do you do with your fireplace during the summer? Not the mantle…that’s a post for another day…but the actual fireplace. During the fall and winter, it holds the promise of cracking fires and warm evenings. But in the summer, it just looks like a big empty box.

I’ve taken the pretty traditional approach of putting a fern on my hearth for the summer. Because it’s easy and because I’m in love with ferns this summer. I cleared away the fireplace tools and the basket that usually holds wood and stashed them in the basement until fall. It look kind of bare at first, but now I like the uncluttered look.

But I was looking around for some other ideas this weekend and found some great ones!

How about these ideas?

photo: Domino Magazine

A beautiful piece of sculpture in the firebox or on the hearth. I don’t have any spare busts sitting around (I’ll bet I could find one at goodwill) but any large ceramic piece would work. An urn, a rooster, a large pot. And don’t forget that a little white spray paint can make do wonders to an ugly thrift store find!

photo: House to Home

I love this collection of pretty vases and peonies. The whole fireplace display is so pretty. And the wallpaper makes my heart go pitter-patter. Could it be more feminine?

photo: BHG

How about covering up the firebox with something totally different like this wicker screen? If you don’t have a raised hearth, you could put a bench or chair directly in front of the fireplace for extra seating during the summer.

photo: Bazaar Style

A little table tucks right into the firebox and gives you a place to create a summery display. I have an end table in my basement that would work perfectly. Spray paint, anyone?

photo: Country Living

Flowers are such an obvious (and perfect!) choice. They lighten things up and are perfect for the season.

photo: BHG

You could tuck them in a basket inside the fireplace or leave the pretty pots out on the hearth and close up the fireplace behind them. Either way, the pop of color looks beautiful. (How beautiful is the potter on the mantle?)

photo: Sunset Magazine

And I couldn’t write about ideas for your fireplace without mentioning candles. I know people who can’t or don’t like to burn their fireplaces (I know. I don’t understand it either.). But they keep candles in the firebox all year long.

So now I’m feeling like my fern is a little blah and I might have to make a change.

What about you? Do you do anything to your fireplace in the off-season?

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1 Jo @ To a Pretty LIfe June 7, 2010 at 9:57 am

My fireplace is so awkward. Never mind the weird mantle-TV-shelf-thingy. It’s a gas fireplace that is right in the major walkway of the main floor, and its glass doors open. And then because it is not sealed, it gets incredibly dusty and only works for about a month before it needs cleaning. It hasn’t worked since February and I don’t care! If I wasn’t concerned about the resale value of this house, I’d just rip it out and make that space actually useful.

Anyway, since it’s a walkway, I can’t put anything in front of the fireplace to either decorate or keep my kids from playing with it. So I was thinking of getting something pretty (like some painted wood, or some scrolly lattice) and using the 3M picture hanging strips to stick it to the tiles.
.-= Jo @ To a Pretty LIfe´s last blog ..Broken Necklace =-.

2 Tamara June 7, 2010 at 10:14 am

Loving the dried flowers in the grate of the fireplace.

3 Southern Fried Gal June 7, 2010 at 11:18 am

I’m boring. I have a pretty fireplace screen year round. I do switch out the mantle decor on a regular basis. Maybe I should mix it up this year. Nah…I’ll just stick to changing up the mantle. I’m lazy about some stuff.

I really like that Adirondack chair IN the house – cute!
.-= Southern Fried Gal´s last blog ..Let’s Party! Practice Hospitality, Week 1 =-.

4 Tea Rose Home June 7, 2010 at 11:29 am

Wow, they are all soo pretty! Thank you for sharing those wonderful pictures Kimba!
.-= Tea Rose Home´s last blog ..Link Love #10! =-.

5 Beth June 7, 2010 at 11:35 am

Oh love this post…With warm winters we decided not to add the fireplace to our home. Although, I have been looking for one of those fireplace mantles for my house…maybe by next year I will have found the perfect one & now will have some great ideas…I love the candles and the hydrangias…Another option would be to use a big mirror over the hole…I love that out of anything to reflect back on the room. Every since I saw Eddie Ross and he was creating a room with a fake fireplace and I thought well dang who needs a real one you can just add a fake one and use different things to fill it up.

Oh yeah if you get time and have a linky party anytime in the near future… I really would love to see some great containers for flowers and using ideas for shrubs gardens…I still haven’t planted any at our house but we are this year…I saw where someone has a fern garden with all sorts of different ones around a tree in their bacjkyard and thought it was real neat…I might have to post about it cause I thought it was so unusual. Sorry I went off on something else! Have a great week Kimba!
.-= Beth´s last blog ..ASHEVILLE BOUND =-.

6 Paula June 7, 2010 at 1:24 pm

I put a large mirror inside my fireplace and then place the candles in front of it… looks awesome and looks like double the candles..

7 Kelly June 7, 2010 at 2:27 pm

I have a tiered candleholder from Southern Living at Home, and I just put candles of various heights and sizes and burn the candles, even in the summer. I love Paula’s idea of putting a mirror behind them! I bought a mirror at Target that I’m not currently using, and I’m not sure it will fit, but I’ll give it a try!

I would *love* for someone to do a linky party about summer mantles. I decorated mine w/ things I already had, but I really need some more inspiration!

(I would host, but I’ve never even participated in a linky party, so I’m not sure hosting is the best way for me to go right out of the gate!)

8 Amanda @ Serenity Now June 7, 2010 at 2:37 pm

This post made me wish I have a fireplace. 😉

9 our life in a click June 7, 2010 at 2:58 pm

I never do anything but maybe I should! I still have to clean mine out!


10 Becca June 7, 2010 at 3:27 pm

Thanks for the eye candy !! And, I love your classic look of the fern in front of your fireplace. Pretty, pretty !!
.-= Becca´s last blog ..Master Bedroom Gets a New "Do" …. =-.

11 Kelle Dame June 7, 2010 at 4:25 pm

These are gorgeous images! I just wish my fireplace was finished! We had a fake brick 70’s style fireplace and disgusting dark oak built-ins and then we tore all that ugliness out. Now its bare and just waiting for me and my husband to get to work!!

Love your blog!
All the Best
.-= Kelle Dame´s last blog ..PEONIES!! =-.

12 Karen June 7, 2010 at 4:40 pm

I would love to put something seasonal in my firebox during hte spring and summer. I toss burnables in my fireplace year round. Anything with my name and address on it goes in there. It’s great kindling. I do have doors on my fireplace and my hearth is large – th entire wall. We are in the middle of a mantle and hearth redo so when its done I hope to find some pretty things for my hearth and mantle. Loved all your photo ideas!

13 Blarney June 7, 2010 at 7:41 pm

I’ve been thinking it’s time to start doing something in front of ours but the raised hearth makes it a bit more challenging. Hmm …
.-= Blarney´s last blog ..Blank Walls & Jam =-.

14 Emily June 7, 2010 at 10:08 pm

Great ideas! I really wanted a nicely tied-together pile of birch logs, but I have no idea where to get birch logs, so maybe I’ll go with the flowers. I love the idea of the mirror in there for reflection. Love it all!

15 Cat@BudgetBlonde June 7, 2010 at 10:28 pm

I absolutely love this post!! And I agree, a can of white spray paint is a girl’s best friend!!

16 Centsational Girl June 7, 2010 at 11:46 pm

GORGEOUS ! You’ve reminded me I have some more ‘summerizing’ to do – especially the fireplace.


17 Emily@Not So Idle Hands June 8, 2010 at 12:16 am

LOVE it all! Sadly, we are boring and just leave ours the same 🙁

18 Le Chateau des Fleurs June 8, 2010 at 4:00 am

I like the idea! Thank you!

19 Hannah June 8, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Love these ideas! I could really use some more inspiration for a wood-stove display. Fireplaces are lovely even when they’re bare, but a big, ugly wood-stove in the middle of the room is an eyesore, especially during the warmer months. Unfortunately I can’t get rid of it because it’s the only source of heat in my historical house! Maybe someone with loads of creativity could do a linky party?… Thanks for the inspiration!

20 Jeanne June 8, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Hi Kimba, I do love the fern in front of the fireplace. Simple and lovely. Your fireplace pics are fun to see but I still love the fern.
Hugs, Jeanne
.-= Jeanne´s last blog ..2ND TIME AROUND TUESDAY =-.

21 Meg/Brassy Apple June 8, 2010 at 5:31 pm

oh an extra hidden space I hadn’t given much thought to! 🙂 love the pics

22 Little Big Nest June 8, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Yes I sure do here is my Summer fireplace!

23 Mary Lou June 8, 2010 at 10:16 pm

I’m one of the ones that has the permanent glass on the fireplace so no hole. I like the pots in front of it and now am inspired to do something with it.
My neighbor used to line the fireplace with white butcher paper. Then somehow attached a grow light in the top and put plants, usually african violets! Beautiful.
.-= Mary Lou´s last blog ..HATS =-.

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