12 Ideas For Decorating A Nonworking Fireplace

4 min read

Fireplaces are often the focal point of a room, providing warmth and adding a touch of coziness to any space. However, not all fireplaces are functional, especially in modern homes where central heating systems have taken over. If you find yourself with a nonworking fireplace, don’t despair! There are plenty of creative ways to decorate and enhance this architectural feature. In this article, we will explore 12 ideas for decorating a nonworking fireplace, from classic to contemporary, to help you transform this unused space into a stunning visual element.

1. Display a Collection

If you have a collection of items that you cherish, why not showcase them in your nonworking fireplace? Whether it’s a collection of vintage books, decorative plates, or antique figurines, arranging them within the fireplace can create an eye-catching display. Consider adding a few lighting elements to highlight your collection, making it a focal point in the room.

2. Install a Mirror

A mirror can instantly add depth and light to any space, making it an excellent choice for a nonworking fireplace. Hang a large mirror above the fireplace opening to create the illusion of a bigger room. The mirror will reflect natural light and other decorative elements in the space, making it feel more vibrant and spacious.

3. Create a Green Oasis

Transform your nonworking fireplace into a mini indoor garden by filling it with plants. Choose a variety of plants with different heights, textures, and colors to create a lush and vibrant display. Hanging plants from the fireplace opening or placing potted plants inside can add a touch of nature to your home and improve air quality.

4. Convert it into a Bookshelf

If you’re a book lover, why not turn your nonworking fireplace into a stylish bookshelf? Install shelves or floating bookshelves inside the fireplace opening to create a unique and functional storage space for your favorite reads. Arrange the books by color or size to create an aesthetically pleasing display.

5. Create a Seasonal Display

Use your nonworking fireplace as a canvas to showcase seasonal decor. For example, during the holiday season, fill the fireplace with festive ornaments, fairy lights, and a garland. In the spring, you can display a collection of flowers or a vase filled with fresh blooms. This ever-changing display will keep your space looking fresh and inviting.

6. Install a Faux Fireplace

If you miss the warmth and ambiance of a real fire, consider installing a faux fireplace. A faux fireplace can be an excellent alternative for those who want the look and feel of a real fireplace without the maintenance and safety concerns. Choose a design that complements your existing decor and add candles or LED lights to mimic the flickering flames.

7. Showcase Artwork

If you have a nonworking fireplace, it can serve as a unique backdrop for displaying artwork. Hang a large painting or a collection of smaller artworks inside the fireplace to create a gallery-like display. This will draw attention to the fireplace and create a focal point in the room.

8. Add Decorative Logs

Even though your fireplace may not be functional, you can still make it look authentic by adding decorative logs. Stack logs of different sizes and shapes inside the fireplace to create a rustic and cozy atmosphere. You can also paint the logs in different colors or patterns to match your decor style.

9. Create a Wine Rack

If you’re a wine enthusiast, repurpose your nonworking fireplace into a wine rack. Install wine racks or shelves inside the fireplace, and organize your favorite bottles of wine. This unique storage solution will not only keep your wine collection organized but also add a touch of sophistication to your living space.

10. Display Candles

Candles are a versatile and inexpensive way to decorate a nonworking fireplace. Choose candles of different heights, colors, and scents to create a visually appealing arrangement. You can also place them on candle holders or trays for added elegance. The soft glow of the candles will create a warm and cozy atmosphere in your room.

11. Use it as a Display Shelf

Turn your nonworking fireplace into a stylish display shelf by adding shelves inside the fireplace opening. Use the shelves to showcase your favorite decorative items, such as vases, sculptures, or framed photographs. This will transform your fireplace into a personalized and visually interesting feature in your home.

12. Install an Electric Fireplace Insert

If you want the look and feel of a real fire without the hassle of wood or gas, consider installing an electric fireplace insert. These inserts are easy to install and provide a realistic flame effect. They also come with adjustable heat settings, allowing you to create a cozy ambiance without the need for a functional chimney.


A nonworking fireplace doesn’t have to be a wasted space in your home. With a little creativity and imagination, you can transform this architectural feature into a stunning visual element. Whether you choose to display a collection, install a mirror, create a green oasis, or any of the other ideas mentioned in this article, the key is to make the most of this unique space and turn it into a focal point in your room. Experiment with different ideas and styles to find the perfect decor that suits your taste and complements your existing interior design.

FAQs After The Conclusion

1. Can I convert my nonworking fireplace into a functional one?

No, it is not recommended to convert a nonworking fireplace into a functional one. This process would require significant modifications to your home’s structure and could result in safety hazards. It is best to consult with a professional before making any changes to your fireplace.

2. How can I make my nonworking fireplace look more modern?

To make your nonworking fireplace look more modern, you can opt for sleek and minimalist decor. Consider using clean lines, metallic accents, and contemporary artwork. Additionally, incorporating technology, such as an electric fireplace insert or a smart lighting system, can give your fireplace a modern touch.

3. What are some budget-friendly ways to decorate a nonworking fireplace?

If you’re on a budget, there are several budget-friendly ways to decorate a nonworking fireplace. You can use items you already have, such as books, candles, or decorative objects, to create an attractive display. Thrift stores and flea markets are also great places to find unique and affordable decor items for your fireplace.

4. Can I use my nonworking fireplace for storage?

Yes, a nonworking fireplace can be an excellent storage solution. You can install shelves, cabinets, or baskets inside the fireplace to store books, magazines, blankets, or other items. This allows you to utilize the space effectively while keeping it organized and visually appealing.

5. What should I do if I want to use my nonworking fireplace as a focal point in the room?

If you want to use your nonworking fireplace as a focal point in the room, consider using bold and eye-catching decor. Hang a large piece of artwork or a mirror above the fireplace to draw attention to it. You can also use colorful accessories, such as vases or cushions, to create a visually striking display.


A nonworking fireplace can be a valuable architectural feature if decorated creatively. From displaying collections to installing mirrors or creating a green oasis, there are numerous ideas to transform your nonworking fireplace into a stunning visual element. Whether you prefer a classic or contemporary style, the key is to make the most of this space and turn it into a focal point in your room. By experimenting with different decor ideas, you can create a unique and personalized space that complements your overall interior design.

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