Living Room  living room

by Dear Lillie
Fireplaces can be very expensive…they run thousands of dollars.  Sometimes, you have one, but you seldom use it becasue it is too much trouble to light, the room gets too hot, or too much heat rises up the chimney once the fire dies down.   There are many reasons why people want them and just as many reasons why they don’t use them. One thing for sure is that we all love to decorate them!  You can have the beauty of a faux fireplace for a fraction of the cost of a real one.   In our third house in Pensacola, I had a beautiful oak surround put against the wall in the living room between two windows.  It cost me a nominal $60 at an antique store.  Then, I had a mirror put into the opening and dressed the mantel for the different seasons.  I hated to leave that mantel with the house but the buyer wanted it, so there it stayed!  The one pictured above has beadboard in the opening.  Notice the lovely mirror above and the topiary balls in pots.
Here is one that is more simple with an urn and branches in the opening and dried hydrangias and a picture on the mantel.  Mantels are skinny and will fit in a bedroom like this one without taking up floor space.  You get a lot of “bang for your buck.
 Painted Room Interiors traditional bedroom

by Jean Molesworth Kee
This white surround and mantel has nothing in the opening except for a green folding cafe chair and some red and white linen. eclectic living room
by Dreamy Whites
This clever decorator had pieces of wood cut very short and then filled the opening with the wood.  It looks like this surround and mantel were built out from the wall to make a deeper faux fire box….this construction makes the fireplace look more realistic.  Also note that you can add tile around the opening.  While it is possible that this is a real fire box filled with wood, it is also possible that it is a fake one and the wood makes it look real.
Noe Valley Living Room modern living room
by Jute Interior Designs
This fireplace has a beautiful fire screen in front.  If the screen were one that was solid instead of the wrought iron, and if the back of the wall were painted black, then no one would really know that it was faux.  Of course, you would need to have a large screen to cover the opening.  This one gives the room lots of style and is a real focal point for the room.
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by Micaela Ruiz de Moelands
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A mantel does not necessarily have to become a fireplace…this one is used as the headboard for a beautiful bed. Charming!
Dreamy Whites eclectic bedroom
by Dreamy Whites
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by The Grower’s Daughter
Here is one that has two pictures stacked withing the opening. You could add family pictures, or baskets or a mirror like I did once in my home.
Gracie Pie
This surround was deep enough that old suitcases could be stacked.  This also makes for attractive storage within the suitcases.  Notice the great curtains….are they burlap?
Lola Bs traditional living room

 by Kasey Buick
And, we know that in the olden days cooking was done in the fireplace.  Well, it still is in this beautiful kitchen.  The mantel was used to frame the range.
Gathering Place traditional kitchen

 by Structure’s
I went to the archives here at my house and found this clipping from Country Living magazine.  Notice that an absolutely beautiful mantel was made from moldings that are stacked on top of each other.  In case you cannot find the mangel of your dreams in an antique store, you could make one..  or, you could add some of these moldings to your real fireplace to make one that is even more beautiful!
Country Living May 2006
Soon, it will be time to decorate for Christmas.  Add a faux mantel to your family room, your sun porch, your kitchen, bedroom or bath.  The beautiful thing is that you can even move it around from room to room!  Screw it to the wall and then use screw hole covers to hide the attachment.  If you want it somewhere else, just reassemble elsewhere.  You could put a mirror, a painting, prints, or even a flat screen above.  Create and be happy!