Make your fireplace the heart of your living room

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Embrace winter and the colder evenings by cosying up by the fireplace.  It’s the time of year when you should really make the most of this often-overlooked feature of your home, and we’ve got a few ideas of how and why you should focus on the fire.

Draw in your social space

Enjoying the warmth of the fire is better if you can be up close – and of course none of the family will want to miss out on the best spot.

Try rearranging your chairs and sofas so that they form a cosy area focused around the fireplace, rather than hugging the edges of the room.  You may even find you prefer this arrangement, and it definitely makes it easier to have a chat over a cup of something warm, rather than watching the box.

Light up the nights

If you have a real fireplace, nothing warms the winter evenings like a roaring log fire.  Sometimes, after a long day it can feel like a lot of effort to get a fire going and it’s easier to turn the heating up instead, but the reward is worthwhile.

Stock up on plenty of coal or logs, kindling, firelighters and a long lighter, so you will have everything on hand when the mood takes you.

If you use your fireplace regularly, why not change things up by using a different type of wood, that will add a seasonal scent to your home.  Special coated fir cones also add an attractive colourful flame.

Use your imagination

Many homes don’t have a real fireplace, but an electric fire can look and feel just as effective – and of course give added safety, especially if you have small children or pets.

If it’s time to upgrade your fire, it’s now possible to buy a range of attractive options relatively inexpensively.

But even if you don’t want or need a fire in your hearth, you can still make the area a warm and inviting focal point.  If it’s Christmas decorations time, make a border around the hearth with tinsel, holly, fir branches or mistletoe, and create a feature in the centre such as a poinsettia, basket of fir cones, or a large festive decoration or toy.  Remember that some plants can be poisonous to humans or animals.

Hanging cards or stockings from your mantel piece also looks great at this time of year.

Fashion-up your fire

Fireplaces love accessorising too!  And there are plenty of on-trend ways you can brighten up your hearth.

Try out some of the following items to bring some life and personality to the area:

  • A vase of fresh flowers
  • A magazine rack
  • A basket of favourite books
  • A bowl of shells or pebbles
  • A statement ornament
  • Coloured glass bottles
  • An attractive coal scuttle or log store

We’d love to see how you make your hearth look festive and homely, so please share your photos with us on our Facebook page.