Residential fireplaces are designed to be a major focal point where everyone gathers. After all, there is just something relaxing about spending a chilly night gathered in front of the warm, glowing flames. Unfortunately, fireplaces do require maintenance, and homeowners often stop using them for a variety of reasons. If you are tired of staring at a major part of your home sitting unused, you can use these strategies to make it one of your favorite features.
Convert to a Gas Fireplace
One of the biggest reasons why people stop using their fireplace is the amount of work it takes to keep a wood-burning type going. Cleaning out ashes and hauling wood inside is a lot of work, and you may just not have the time to keep it up. Your family may also be allergic to the smoke that still manages to seep into your home with wood-burning types. Gas inserts solve all of these problems, and they are designed to fit into the space where your wood-burning fireplace currently sits. Once installed, these fireplaces require very little maintenance other than an annual inspection and occasional cleaning.
Create a Cozy Seating Area
Once you've upgraded your fireplace to one that you actually use, your next step is to make it inviting to the your house guests and family. Add a few cozy chairs and a couch to the area that are all arranged to give everyone a view of the fire. As you do, be sure to add a rug and a coffee table so that you can serve snacks or invite your family to play a few board games as you gather around the new fireplace.
Add a Few Decorative Touches
Gas fireplaces are a home decorator's dream since the mantel and hearth are major focal points in any living area that are easy to decorate. Plan a theme for your mantel, and consider changing out the décor with each season. Alternatively, you can use the mantel as a display area for your favorite family photos. Since gas fireplaces keep the flames encased behind glass, you can also add decorative pieces near the hearth such as a basket full of fluffy blankets or a seasonal houseplant.
You should love every part of your home, and a dingy, unused fireplace detracts from your overall goal of creating a beautiful environment. Once you've revived your fireplace, be sure to invite your friends and family over for a get together that takes advantage of your new, cozy living area.