Fireplaces and what to do about them

Fireplaces are sometimes the hardest thing to figure out. They shouldn't be, but because they are usually the focal point of a room, you know everyone is going to look there first.

So it's got to look good.

To make things a little easier, I have pulled together ten ideas of what to do above and around a fireplace. Most of these involve art or mirrors because I think that impersonal, boring TV's should go beside a fireplace, not on top. However, it's your house :) That is just your friendly designer's opinion. 

1. Fill up the whole wall with art (and build out the surround below it)

Photo courtesy of House of Jade

Photo courtesy of House of Jade

2. Add art with a pair of sconces on either side

Photo courtesy of Dennis Brackeen Design Group

Photo courtesy of Dennis Brackeen Design Group

3. Add a long shelf under the fireplace and then lean art against the wall

Photo courtesy of Barrie Benson

Photo courtesy of Barrie Benson

4. Put an arrangement of pieces above that spill over to the sides of the fireplace

Photo courtesy of Lauren Liess

Photo courtesy of Lauren Liess

5. Use a mirror the width of the fireplace then install a light fixture on top

Photo courtesy of Barrie Benson

Photo courtesy of Barrie Benson

6. Arrange objects on top of the mantle, utilizing 3D elements (like the candles/antlers)

Photo courtesy of the Decorist

Photo courtesy of the Decorist

7. Install wallpaper, then add art above and a few pieces to the mantle

Photo courtesy of Katie Ridder

Photo courtesy of Katie Ridder

8. Act like they do in Versailles and wrap the whole fireplace wall in mirror

Photo courtesy of Luxe, design by Jules Thomas

Photo courtesy of Luxe, design by Jules Thomas

9. Lean a collection of pieces on the mantle

Photo courtesy of Maiedae

Photo courtesy of Maiedae

10. Paint the whole fireplace + wall above in a bright color

Photo courtesy of the Makerista

Photo courtesy of the Makerista

What is your favorite thing to do above a fireplace? And do you put seasonal decor on the mantle year round or just at certain times of the year?