If you're lucky enough to have a home with a fireplace or hearth, you know that it is naturally the main focal point of a room—especially during the winter months. But, even if your fireplace isn't functional, it still serves a purpose! It's the perfect area to decorate to make a space feel much cozier.
From sparse and simple to curated and arranged, we've rounded up all the inspiration you can imagine for creating a dreamy and inviting hearth, all year long.
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Make It a Communal Space
As Alex McBride, Design Program Manager at Vacasa, tells us, the best way to make your hearth feel cozy and inviting is to turn it into a communal space!
"Creating a cozy and warm environment is all about approachability— inviting your friends and family to gather in the space," McBride says. "My favorite way to do this is with natural elements that don't feel too precious or fussy: a basket stuffed with blankets, stacked wood or a tall vase with branches, and somewhere to sit. Think low profile benches, or a pair of ottomans."Continue to 2 of 20 below.
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Show Off Your Vintage Finds
Use your hearth to frame your favorite vintage finds, like this styled space in the home of Merchant & Found founder, Paul Middlemiss. “Decorate with collections of items— vintage and otherwise,” says Middlemiss. Focus on adding interest with colors, textures, and varying sizes.Continue to 3 of 20 below.
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Dress the Hearth With Wallpaper
For this home office, designer Hayley English of Hayley English Interiors dressed her hearth with the same wallpaper as her walls.
"Blues and greens were my inspiration here, as they are the most prominent colors in nature," English explains. "By also incorporating a bold punch of wallpaper, fresh flowers, and artwork, I was able to achieve my goal of creating a home office that sparks creativity."Continue to 4 of 20 below.
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Make It Pop With Paint
If you want your fireplace to really stand out, use paint! And for maximum coziness, go for a color in a warmer tone.
“A cost-effective idea to update your fireplace is to simply paint it," Sabrina Panizza and Aude Lerin, co-founders of Pl Studio, say. "Consider painting the fireplace mantel in your favorite color to add warmth as well as visual appeal to any area of the home. In our Victorian living room in London, we have opted for a warm and bright pink to create a cozy feel and add a touch of playfulness, which makes the space more inviting.Continue to 5 of 20 below.
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Add Oversized Art
Along with painting their fireplace pink, Panizza and Lerin also used oversized art to decorate the mantle— a decidedly different look than the standard display of small, framed family photos.
"Selecting large pieces of art can help add interest and anchor the space," says the design duo. "Hang or lean oversized artwork against the wall above your mantel for a bold approach that exudes confidence.”Continue to 6 of 20 below.
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Match Your Mantel to Your Walls
Richard Angel, co-founder of Angel O'Donnell, says that when it comes to choosing a color for your fireplace and hearth, you should go bold but timeless. And, as shown in this room, opting to paint your mantelpiece the same color as your walls makes a major statement!
"Color should feel warm and toasty," Angel says. "Pine greens, wine reds, biscuit browns— so long as a color has depth, it will look gorgeous throughout the seasons."Continue to 7 of 20 below.
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Keep It Simple With Plants
In this design by Angel O'Donnell, the team kept it simple and timeless— a round mirror to reflect the room's stunning light fixture and gallery wall, and a few plants. This keeps the focus on the beautiful tile and detailing of the fireplace itself.
Continue to 8 of 20 below.
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Let the Beauty Speak for Itself
"Color, comfort, and charisma," says Angel. "These are the attributes a fireplace needs to feel cozy and inviting all year round."
In this room, the team at Angel O'Donnell highlighted the personality that the fireplace naturally brings to the space. "Charisma is all about the looks. The strength of the mantel, the beauty of the surround, the elegance of the legs, and the generosity of the hearth," says Angel. "These components can make or break a fireplace. When they’re lovely, they’re impossible to resist, even on a hot summer’s day."Continue to 9 of 20 below.
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Add a Glass Firescreen
Julie Kleski, Holiday Expert and Designer for Frontgate, says that adding a firescreen is a great way to create a cozy ambiance— especially one with glass.
"A firescreen with beveled glass causes the fire’s reflection to create a shimmer in your room," Kleski says. "A well-placed log rack and natural elements in vases go a long way to create a cozy rustic feel."Continue to 10 of 20 below.
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Style Out Your Built-Ins
In this room by designer Anne Hepfer, author of MOOD, white looks bold and daring instead of minimal or boring— and that's all thanks to the colors that surround it. Set against the bright blue walls, topped with artwork that reflects the rest of the room, and surrounded by beautifully styled built-in shelving, the white chair looks positively inviting next to the matching white hearth.Continue to 11 of 20 below.
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Arrange Decorative Firewood
Even if you have a non-working fireplace, this room designed by Arbor & Co proves that filling the hearth with firewood gives an organic look. It also has the added benefit of creating the impression that at any moment, you could curl up and get cozy.Continue to 12 of 20 below.
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Decorate the Space in Front
The area in front of or surrounding the fireplace is commonly overlooked, but this is one place that can take your hearth vignette to the next level. Add tall vases, ornate fire tools, woven baskets, and stylishly arranged firewood nearby, as seen in this room by Interior Impressions.Continue to 13 of 20 below.
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If you're looking for a more finished look, a few carefully arranged and perfectly coordinated candlesticks or vases are a stylish and modern solution, as shown in this room by Interior Impressions. Matching the style of your fireplace with the rest of the room keeps a cohesive look if you don't want your fireplace to stand out too much.Continue to 14 of 20 below.
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Fill the Hearth With Art
A non-working hearth is the perfect excuse to get a little creative. We love this look by Black Lacquer Design, filling the hearth with artfully arranged framed photographs.Continue to 15 of 20 below.
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Top With Twinkly Lights
String lights aren't strictly for the holidays! Sara Toufali of Black and Blooms shows how you can drape a delicate strand of small white lights across your mantel for a simple way to amp up the ambiance, all year long.Continue to 16 of 20 below.
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Frame It With Faux Fur
While an empty hearth can feel structural and stiff, surrounding it with softer textiles has an instant calm, cozy effect. Add fluffy rugs, sheepskins, or faux animal hides to the surrounding area, like in this room by Ashley Montgomery Design.Continue to 17 of 20 below.
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Turn It Into Simple Storage
A non-working hearth can be a great storage solution! As seen in this project by Calimia Home, a little woven basket goes a long way— and, to add extra coziness, consider filling it with a few throw blankets.Continue to 18 of 20 below.
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Add a Bunch of Branches
It's a subtle way to fill a non-working hearth, but, as seen in this room by Laura Brophy Interiors, bare branches can add an organic element while also creating interest around your fireplace.Continue to 19 of 20 below.
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Use Something Sculptural
If decorating a hearth is all about creating visual interest, then this design by Laura Brophy Interiors shows how something as simple as decorative spheres can get the job done— especially against the eye-catching pattern of the mantle itself.Continue to 20 of 20 below.
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Top With Candles
Whether your fireplace functions or not, a little bit of candlelight can only help make your room even cozier. In this room by Emily Henderson, a row of candles in varying sizes are both sweet and stylish.