Decorate Your Fireplace for the Holidays

Decorate Your Fireplace
For The Holidays 

If you’re like most people, you don’t think about getting your house ready for the holidays until November at the earliest. But if you want to remodel a living room or den before family and friends come to visit, you might want to get a jump on any big projects before the end-of-year rush.

Christmas and Thanksgiving are all about gathering your family and loved ones together. What better place to gather than around a newly remodeled fireplace? It’s the natural backdrop for family photos, and—of course—a must for hanging stockings.

Consider the following improvements to your fireplace:

•  Replace the mantel. This might sound like a monumental task, but you can get custom-crafted hardwood mantels delivered to your door, ready to install. Choose a factory finish that matches your room, or try your hand at staining an unfinished mantel.

•  Get new accessories. Another option is replacing those old, filthy fireplace screens, doors, and tools with new accessories. Does your fireplace poker look like it came from a thrift store? Does your old screen leave your fingers black every time you touch it? Choose new fireplace accessories to match your décor.

•  Get creative with your Christmas cards. Tired of lining up Christmas cards from friends and family? Why not hang your Christmas cards from garlands or tinsel draped across the mantel.

•  Attach stockings with hangars. Don’t want to hammer nails into your nice hardwood mantel? Thinking twice about drilling holes in the brick? These fireplace brick clips are a useful way to hang stockings from the fireplace without causing any damage.

•  Digital picture frames. A digital photo frame lets you show off your digital pictures from past holidays right on your mantel. Some frames allow you to create a customized slideshow. So get those photos off your computer and on display!

•  Upgrade your gas logs. If you have a gas fireplace, chances are good that you’ve got an old, boring, unconvincing ceramic log to “simulate” firewood. Nowadays you can get designer ceramic and concrete log sets that look very much like the real thing.

•  Don’t be intimidated by ugly brick. Painting old brick fireplaces is increasingly popular as an alternative to expensive renovation and replacement. Best of all, you can do it yourself in just a few hours! If you want to build a cozy fire on Christmas Eve in your working fireplace, be sure to choose a high-temperature paint. For best results, ask your hardware store clerk or choose an all-in-one fireplace paint kit.

If you’ve got an ugly fireplace that you’re tired of seeing year after year in your Christmas photos, why not give yourself (and Santa) an early Christmas present. Start thinking now about updating your fireplace.