Caring for and decorating your indoor fireplace during winter

Indoor fireplaces are a must-have, especially during the winter months. They create a beautiful focal point that’s cozy, warm and perfect for decorating. Of course, if you want your fireplace to function properly, you must maintain it with care.

Tips to keep your indoor fireplace burning brightly

  • You may want to run your fireplace for hours on end during the winter, but it shouldn’t be used like a furnace. The maximum you should keep your fire burning is five hours.
  • Keep tools nearby to handle any burning logs and protect your hands.
  • You should plan on having your chimney inspected at least once a year, or after about 80 fires, whichever comes first.
  • Avoid throwing items like treated lumber or color newspaper print in the fire, as they can produce noxious fumes.
  • Clean the glass on your fireplace at least once a month to prevent it from becoming cloudy and hindering the view of the crackling fire.
  • If you have a gas fireplace, always make sure the gas control knob is turned all the way off.

Decorating your fireplace for winter

How you adorn your mantel, however should speak to the time of year. Get your indoor fireplace in the winter spirit with any of these seasonal decorating ideas:

All-white candles

Enhance the glow of your fireplace by adding arrangements of tall and small white candles. Place the candles directly on your mantel, put them in silver holders to add some shimmer to your fireplace mantel or arrange the candles in small glass votives. It’s best to opt for the unscented variety so the collection of candles doesn’t overpower the room.

Stringed lights

Just because the holidays have come to a close doesn’t mean you have to put away all of your stringed lights just yet. Drape white lights around a strand or garland and gently place it across your fireplace mantel. The lights will only help draw more attention to the hearth.

Winter blooms

It doesn’t have to be summer in order for you to put flowers on display on your fireplace mantel. Instead of blooms like daisies and tulips, opt for winter buds such as mahonias, winter jasmine, witchhazel, flowering quince and winterberry. Sparingly place silver brunia, succulents and eucalyptus with your blooms for a change in color and texture.

Branches

If you want a more simple look for your fireplace, fill a few tall vases with flowering winter branches. These delicate centerpieces showcase the beauty of winter, while adding height, depth and texture to your mantel.

Lanterns

Give your fireplace a vintage vibe by putting a collection of rustic lanterns on display. You can fill the lanterns with much more than candles, however. Try adding pinecones, small candles or greenery.

Books

Books are a versatile decorating tool that can be used in all seasons of the year. To add a vintage look to your fireplace, look for publications that appear worn. Place the books across your mantel, using decorative bookends to keep them in place.