When you have a boarded up fireplace, it can be intriguing to imagine what lies behind sometimes unsightly plaster…
Here at Direct Fireplaces, we love to see homes enjoying the benefits of a beautiful fireplace! However, we know that for many people, it’s not so straight forward. If the previous owner of your home boarded up your fireplace, or you want to reverse a cover-up you now regret, it can become a big task to get it back.
Nevertheless, all is not lost! Whether you want to resurrect a lifeless chimney, or make the most of what you have been left with, there are plenty of boarded up fireplace ideas that can help.
Some you could try include:
- Installing an electric fireplace
- Updating your fire surround
- Enjoying an empty fireplace
- Reopening your fireplace entirely
Read on to find out more about our boarded up fireplace ideas and advice…
Install An Electric Fireplace
This is one of the best options for your boarded up fireplace if you want some extra heat without having to carry out expensive or lengthy building work.
There are many benefits to buying an electric fireplace that can make your home just as warm and inviting as a real open fire. You can also fit them anywhere there is a power supply and they don’t need a chimney to work. Take a look at our free standing electric fires, which you can set right up against your boarded up fireplace, for an instantly homely feel.
For more of a country feel, you could even nestle an electric stove into your boarded up fireplace. With ultra-realistic flame effects and authentic looking exteriors, you can get that cosy feeling without having to fully restore your flue.
Update Your Fire Surround
Just because your fireplace is boarded up, it doesn’t mean it should be neglected or removed entirely. In fact, with a little care, many people love the aesthetic of a boarded up fireplace in their room.
If you’ve been left with an unattractive fire surround over your boarded up fireplace, you could simply update it to give your whole room a refresh. Some can be painted over for a new lease of life, though if yours is truly past it, an upgrade might be best.
You can create many different looks by changing up your fire surround. For a vintage or period style, cast iron fire surrounds look fantastic, while marble and agean limestone are timelessly elegant. For something bold, go for black granite, or add some natural warmth with a wooden fire surround.
Paint over your plasterboard in a matching or contrasting colour or see if you can replace it with some exposed brickwork for a more unique look. You could even brighten it up with a square of vibrant wallpaper and you will have created a beautiful boarded up fireplace feature! If you transform the alcoves either side of your chimney breast into shelving spaces, your room could be just as impressive as if you had a real fire.
Take a look at our guide to buying fireplace surrounds for some more information.
Reopen your Fireplace
If you really have your heart set on a traditional fireplace, it’s still an option to reopen it. It is important that you consult a surveyor or professional before attempting any work on restoring your fireplace, as structural changes may have been made.
Here are a couple of ways you could reopen your fireplace…
1. Leave it empty
It may be enough for you to just have the original shape of your fireplace back without it being operational. Empty fireplaces are very much in vogue at the moment and offer plenty of possibilities for non-functioning chimneys.
When you pull back the plaster or boards being used to cover your fireplace, you may find a perfectly good looking firebox, even if the flue is sealed up. For many, this is a great halfway point, allowing you to enjoy the characteristic look of your fireplace without the expense of a working fire and chimney.
The recess of your firebox can be the perfect place to put an electric stove, which can look just as convincing as a real log burner. Alternatively, there are a few popular empty fireplace ideas you could try, such as:
- Filling the space with logs for a rustic feel
- Lighting it up with candles, lanterns or fairy lights to get cosy
- Decorating with plants, books or vases for some added style
- Putting in a fire basket and logs – you won’t be using it, but you can still mimic the real thing!
2. Make Way for a New Fireplace
Finally, if all you want to do is to relight your fire, you could go all the way and completely reinstate your entire fireplace.
To do this, consulting an expert is essential. Depending on the condition of your fireplace and chimney, you should also make sure you are aware of the full cost before you start work, as unexpected issues can cause the cost to rise!
There are a few things you will need to have checked out when reopening your fireplace:
- Building regulations in your area, including whether you live in a smoke control zone.
- Any damage to lintels, arches, the hearth or brickwork that will need repairing.
- The condition of your chimney. Whether it needs rebuilding entirely or just needs a clean, make sure you get an expert chimney sweep to check it.
- Check your your flue liner to see if it needs replacing
- Assess the safety of your chimney with a smoke test
Finally, when you are ready to choose your fireplace, make sure you also know what type of chimney you have. Whether you choose to have an open fire or a gas fire, it will be well worth the extra work when you come home to a warm and cosy room on a winter night!
See our guide to finding a qualified fireplace installer to make sure your fireplace is installed safely.