Modernizing a fireplace: 7 tips and tricks

Your old fireplace is very nice, but it no longer really corresponds to your idea of ​​modernity… Whether it still works or is purely decorative, you can modernize it quite easily. Here are some tips to give your fireplace a much more contemporary look and make it the queen of the living room.

1 – Easy and cheap: a new color

Repainting a fireplace is the easiest and least expensive way to bring it into modernity. Take care to choose the type of paint corresponding to the material from your fireplace. Marble cannot be painted like wood or brick; there are specific paints. Before painting, plan for a thorough cleaning and an undercoat.

The choice of color depends on your goal. Do you want to bring some light into a dark room or enlarge a small room? Opt for a light color. Do you want to give the room a new dynamism? Vibrant colors abound.

To give style to your fireplace watch, three possible options:

    • Repaint the coat with a color contrasting with that of the wall. If your fireplace is no longer in operation, you can also repaint the inside of the fireplace with a bright color.


    • Repaint the mantle and all the formwork. This reinforces the contrast with the wall; if it is light, the color of the chimney can be more sustained (or the reverse). You get a really modern vertical effect! Depending on the desired effect, go for monochrome or play with two different colors.


    • Repaint the entire fireplace and adjoining wall. Either you opt for a total monochrome look, which will modernize not only the fireplace but the whole room. Either you create a contrast between the wall and the fireplace, guaranteed effect.


2 – Change style; install new formwork

Your rustic fireplace from the 1970s has definitely gone out of style… Never mind, you can completely transform it with a minimum of work. The trick? A made-to-measure formwork to hide the old cladding at the level of the duct and the support. Your fireplace will be transformed.

Unless you are very handy, because it is a site that requires a certain know-how, you can ask a professional to make a formwork with small onions. The formwork allows you to revamp your fireplace to your liking, while giving it a more functional. This is the time to provide lockers for storing wood or storing maintenance equipment. Side style, the trend is towards simplicity: clean lines, neutral colors (grey, white, etc.), sober material effects (concrete). A modern formwork will be perfectly harmonized with a hearth equipped with an insert.

3 – Replace the fireplace mantle

As the mantle is the centerpiece of a fireplace, the one that gives it its style, it is sometimes enough to replace it. A sculpted mantle, with colonnades and volutes, is very pretty, but… If you want to give it a contemporary look, the resellers specialists have many models to offer you. You will easily find fireplace mantels and frames with a simple and modern design.

But the mantle of your fireplace is finely crafted and you value its classic style… The solution may be to call on a artisan ornamentalist? By working the mantel with staff or stucco, it will give your fireplace a style that is both classic and contemporary with the most beautiful effect. This solution is expensive; but if your fireplace deserves this investment, why not?

4 – Install facing bricks

This is a rather economical way to give a new style to your classic fireplace. The facing strips are very easily placed on the chimney, whether on the original formwork or on a new formwork. They bring both a traditional and modern look to your fireplace; all generations will enjoy.

The brick slips are available in several effects of matter :

    • natural stone gives a mineral and zen atmosphere;


    • the brick is very popular for its industrial style;


    • wood, always warm;


    • concrete, absolutely contemporary;


    • the slate, very design…


Do not hesitate to repaint the mur depending on the facing chosen. A contrasting brick facing with a white wall, or a concrete facing on a colored wall… Harmonizing the facing with the wall will create a modern and warm atmosphere. As a bonus, the brick slips have the advantage of protecting the wall from heat. Sheltered from excessively high temperatures, its paint does not risk flaking.

The icing on the cake: with prices between 15 and 80 € per square meter, the facing strips are not ruinous.

5 – Adopt the art of diversion

Your fireplace is out of order, it clutters you… No need to destroy it; you can turn it into an asset by giving it an unexpected function. A fireplace can be transformed into a modern piece of furniture and give an entire room its unique modern and old style.

For this, invest the interior of the home. Repaint it, install shelves… Make it a bookcase or a storage area for your most unusual objects. Or, turn the fireplace into a mini art gallery. A contemporary work in the foyer, another on the coat; the fireplace seems designed to showcase your treasures!

6 – Bet on decorative accessories

If you don’t have too much time or money right now to modernize your fireplace, give it some style by playing around with accessories. Here are some small tips with big effects:

    • A design pare feu. Nothing better to give a modern look to a small old fireplace, while protecting the youngest child or his cat from the fire.


    • A modern mirror on the mantel (or even in the hearth if the chimney no longer works).


    • large candles in the hearth. It’s not because a fireplace is out of order that you can no longer light a flame in your home… A few candles for a warm and modern atmosphere.


    • Make the edge of the mantel a space for a decoration selected. A drooping green plant, beautiful vases, a collection of statuettes, a light garland… Your imagination will find the style that suits you.


7 – Choose energy performance

As you can imagine, it is no longer a question of revamping your fireplace. If you are keen to modernize it to use it optimally, plan for a larger budget. Renovating your fireplace can be done at different levels: the flue, the hearth and the mantle.

    • a conduit in poor condition is inefficient and dangerous. Have it checked by a specialist. He can repair it, install a casing or redo a new conduit.


    • hearth in open hearth has a lot of charm. But to optimize the performance of your fireplace, why not opt ​​for an insert or a stove? Both modern and efficient, it does not lose its warm appearance.


    • The coat of an old fireplace often needs to be cleaned and repaired. A thorough cleaning of the fireplace surround will likely give it a new look. Then take the time to seal the flaws with mortar, unless you simply replace the mantle with new formwork.


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