Fill the space

Cindy’s and Eric’s right brains are full of ideas to fill an empty space.

It all started with Vern the fern. Faced with a wide-open fireplace during off-season, Cindy placed her large Boston fern inside and began wondering about other ways to fill what Eric calls “another design nook in your home.”

Take some inspiration from this recent segment of Home Wizards and get creative with your unused fireplace during off-seasons or all year-round:

  • If you don’t have a fern, but do have a green thumb, any lush plant will do.
  • Or take a large vase and fill it with seasonal flowers; you can change the arrangement regularly for variety.
  • Stack logs on end so you just see the cut edge and fill the entire fireplace. Mix up the sizes to create texture for a great fall arrangement.
  • Put a collection of vases, all the same color but different styles and heights, inside. Stack them in sections.
  • Make a mini-art gallery. Pasadena designer Paul Devine displayed one at a show that layered a patchwork of frames. The larger one goes in the back, then a slightly smaller one sits two inches in front of it, and so on.
  • Fill the entire empty space with books. Place a few small shelves inside and stack books that match a color or theme in your room. Make it look even better by gluing a piece of printed wallpaper on a piece of plywood cut to fit the back wall of the fireplace for an attractive backdrop.
  • How about a vignette with small suitcases or repurposed crates or wooden boxes to hold collectibles? Include a framed picture for interest.
  • Prop a mirror up inside the space to reflect light from the room.
  • Stand a favorite statuette inside, or place large piece of coral or a collection of shells from a favorite beach trip inside the nook.
  • Place candles of various heights inside, or use battery-operated candles for flicker illumination.
  • Or light up the space with under-counter lights. Mount battery-operated LED strips with tape or Velcro and tuck them up inside.
  • Spend a little money to go big on lighting up your empty fireplace. Buy 10 to 20 strings of white lights and ball them up. Better yet, wrap them around old basketballs or other round objects and stack them like a pyramid or in any design you like.
  • If you don’t plan on using your fireplace over the holidays, use it as the showplace for your holiday nativity scene.

As you can see, the sky’s the limit!