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I'm getting nuttin' for Christmas
August 18, 2010 7:56 AM   Subscribe

The house I am preparing to move into has a "cosmetic" fireplace. It looks like a fireplace, it's built into the wall, but can't be used as one. What clever decorating ideas do you have for it? I'm game for anything--funny, functional, stylish, classic, clever, funky, hell--even some sort of tasteful heat retrofit--just anything that doesn't involve putting a fire in it (that would probably result in death).
posted by sourwookie to Home & Garden (26 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
How about a real-life version of Magritte's Time Transfixed? With real smoke of course.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 7:59 AM on August 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think fireplace candle holders are very pretty!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:01 AM on August 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


A monitor featuring a log-burning video on endless loop.

A dummy board of logs burning.

At Christmas you can't go wrong with something that looks like Santa died while climbing down the chimney. People love that.
posted by iconomy at 8:01 AM on August 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


You could always stick one of those stage-fire things in it: cut fabric, a fan and a reddish light. Not stylish by far, but it'll amuse guests.
posted by griphus at 8:02 AM on August 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


We use ours for our shell collection. It looks like the ocean threw up in it.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 8:04 AM on August 18, 2010


I saw a fireplace that had a collection of candles in it. IIRC they were all white pillars on different kinds of interesting holders. The candles could be lit to give the impression of a fire without the need to actually vent the smoke. It looked really nice.

I've also seen a stack of logs with holes drilled into them where tea lights could be placed. When the candles are lit it looks like the logs are on fire (sort of)
posted by TooFewShoes at 8:06 AM on August 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ours has round stones collected at the beach along with a couple of candle holders. I use tealights so they are not too tall/heat producing. My funny nod to the non-working fireplace is to play one of those fireplace DVDs on the TV, which is a flat screen on the mantle right above the fireplace.
posted by beyond_pink at 8:07 AM on August 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


How about a fishtank? There are some nifty ones that are round with the filter at the bottom, so it looks sort of sleek and modern. (I got talked out of doing this with our fireplace, so I'm eager for someone else to think that water where fire ought to go is a nifty idea)
posted by lriG rorriM at 8:07 AM on August 18, 2010 [4 favorites]


I would put a big, fake roasted turkey on a spit in there.
posted by Ouisch at 8:08 AM on August 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


We have four non-functioning fireplaces which house: a big 24 x 36 mirror leaning up against it, basically covering up the opening (bedroom), a stereo (living room), a set of andirons (dining room; housewarming gift) and bags of rice, onions, and potatoes (kitchen). Hey, I didn't say they were good ideas. Except for the mirror, which I do like.
posted by CheeseLouise at 8:09 AM on August 18, 2010


We used ours as wine storage. Get a rack or two - it looks lovely filled with wine bottles, and can keep them at a slightly lower temperature than the rest of the room.
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 8:09 AM on August 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


I had (previous apartment) a huge plant in mine-- pothos, maybe? It didn't need a lot of light and looked great.
posted by travertina at 8:33 AM on August 18, 2010


A dummy board of logs burning.
posted by iconomy


I haven't had my coffee yet, so I'm not sure what I'm supposed to expect, but I did enjoy mindlessly looking at that collection of whatever the hell all that stuff is.
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:33 AM on August 18, 2010


A fake nuclear reactor.

I'm serious. This will only work if you're the sort of person who might enjoy building a fake reactor, or who might enjoy the idea of a reactor where their fireplace should be.

If you're not one of those people, it will be stupid. If you are one of those people, it will be no-holds-barred awesome.
posted by aramaic at 8:41 AM on August 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


This pig. (from the dummy board search above.)
posted by zamboni at 8:55 AM on August 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


It would take a bit of work, but I think that dismantling a mini-fridge and making a beer cooler with a tempered glass door in the fireplace would be hilarious, interesting and quite useful.
posted by gravity at 9:19 AM on August 18, 2010


I had this problem once. I went out and got a huge clear glass vase, about a foot tall or more, and stuffed it full with a string or two of white Christmas tree lights.
posted by PSB at 9:20 AM on August 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


A picture of Madame de Pompadour?
posted by The otter lady at 9:23 AM on August 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


I believe the classic approach would be a TV set that plays only Yule log tape/DVDs.
posted by cestmoi15 at 9:54 AM on August 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Diorama, dude. It's a no-brainer.
posted by barrett caulk at 10:01 AM on August 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fish tank, with real or fake fish. Fancy bright (fiery) fish is a bonus.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:27 AM on August 18, 2010


I like this birch tree log design I saw in Real Simple magazine:

http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/decorating/fireplace-decorating-00000000033391/page2.html
posted by tristeza at 11:01 AM on August 18, 2010


I love this fireplace with stuffed felt fake logs.
posted by apricot at 12:43 PM on August 18, 2010


I once saw a fake fireplace with a couple of tiered plant stands inside and in front. The plants were probably fake.
posted by Soliloquy at 1:13 PM on August 18, 2010


Use the mantel! Put a collection of photos, candles, religious icons, etc. Mantels are awesome!
posted by radioamy at 1:22 PM on August 18, 2010


Make a gigantic fairy door?
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:11 PM on August 18, 2010


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