A false chimney breast has the power to make any room homely and welcoming. It effortlessly creates a cosy aesthetic and there are a huge amount of design options to choose from so you can find one that suits your style.
In this article we explore fake chimney breast ideas to transform your living space.
1. Fit a Wood Burning Stove
A wood burning stove is a classic way to make use of a false chimney. Not only will it make the room look and feel cosy but the stove will also provide warmth and can be enjoyed from anywhere in the room. Most importantly, this is something that people will be drawn to when entering a room and is ideal for use in a living area.
A wood burning stove may be an obvious choice but it brings value to the house and is far safer than an open fire. There are wood burning stoves available in all shapes and sizes so it is easy to find one that will suit the available space and room size.
2. Install A Modern Fireplace
A self-contained contemporary fireplace can provide the look and feeling of a fire without the fuss and maintenance. In addition, there are a huge number of designs to choose from to suit all styles of living areas.
These fireplaces are time and energy-efficient while providing the ambience of a real fire. Contemporary fireplaces often boast elegance with sharp, well-defined lines. They suit chic decor and usually include stone or brick materials to keep the fire looking traditional in a modern way. There are also options that don’t use stone or brick and instead opt for glass or marble to create a futuristic appeal.
A self-contained fire can in itself look like an art piece and is a good way of utilizing a false chimney breast. This fireplace is ideal for heating the room and is more fuel-efficient than a fire.
3. Wood Panelling
A timeless design can be achieved by using wood panneling for the fake chimney beast. This looks sleek and fresh and naturally draws the eye. The wood panelling can be darker or lighter, depending on how you would like it to contrast with the room.
The panelling looks excellent when complemented by the greens of nearby houseplants. Panelling is a natural and rustic approach that gives a clean aesthetic that offers something slightly different to a plain painted wall.
4. Bespoke Alcove Shelving
Bespoke shelves are ones that have been made to perfectly fit the space. By installing these shelves it utilizes the space from the false chimney breast to the side wall. This not only gives you a huge amount of additional storage without looking cluttered but it also adds character and value to the room.
This type of shelving is ideal for books, plants, logs, kindling etc. The shelving can be of various sizes to suit your needs and can also include closed cupboards to help add versatility and keep a clean appearance.
5. Freestanding Furniture
If you like the idea of the bespoke shelving but need a lower cost alternative then freestanding furniture is the way to go. The right cabinet or shelving offers versatility and excellent storage while looking fantastic.
There are shelves and cabinets available in all colours, designs and sizes so you can find furniture that suits your space. As the items are freestanding, you can move them around and rearrange the room whenever and however you like.
This is a great way to utilize the alcove space around the false chimney breast and makes the room feel contemporary. This is a practical choice that allows you to switch things around and adjust the aesthetic of the room when you feel inspired.
6. Exposed Brick
Exposed brickwork is a clever way to make the false chimney breast wall an instant feature. Brickwork brings contrast and character to a living area. This is a popular option as it is rustic and looks great when combined with a wood burner. The brickwork can be fully or partially exposed to suit your preferences.
7. Shelving Inside the Fireplace
A less common option that shouldn’t be overlooked is to install shelving inside the fireplace. This is ideal for smaller rooms where you can’t put shelving in the alcoves. It is also perfect if you want to make use of the space without putting items on the ground or overcrowding the mantle.
Just like the alcove shelves, these shelves offer a great place for photos, books, etc. You can also create a cute display if you don’t need the extra space as storage.
Using the fireplace as its own shelving unit is a fun and different way to make the faux chimney breast a feature in the room.
Stacking logs inside the fake chimney breast opening is a quick, easy, and low cost way of turning it into a feature. Logs have a rustic and warming feel and they work well in most situations. With a couple of accessories on the mantel or in front of the fireplace this look will be instantly eye-catching.
One of the great things about this look is that it works at any time of year and you can dress the mantel up to suit your style or the seasons while leaving the logs untouched to work their rustic charm. Logs are great for adding texture to the room too.
9. Install A TV
Installing a TV on the chimney breast is a good way of making use of the area. You can hide the wires and the TV can be installed either inside the wall so it sits flush or it can be mounted onto the wall for a quicker and easier solution.
This location makes the false chimney breast a hub for entertainment and is great for smaller rooms where space is limited. As you can see on the example picture, the chimney breast holds the TV and the alcove space is utilized with shelving to really make the most of the room without it feeling busy or cluttered.
Wallpapering the fake chimney area is a simple and effective way to transform the look and feel of a room. The print used can be fun, simple, or have a big impact and you can coordinate the colours with your accessories or alcoves to complete the look. Wallpaper can also be used on the alcoves to frame the chimney breast if preferred.
There are endless options when it comes to wallpaper and this is an opportunity to let your creativity flow. As long as the wallpaper style complements the rest of the room, it’ll look fantastic.
11. Paint One Colour
While it is fun to play around with various colours and wallpaper prints, painting the fake chimney breast, walls and shelves one colour can help make the space look larger. A single neutral colour can make the room feel contemporary and fresh without the need for loud colours.
A lighter colour is great for making the space feel bigger and, if you have a detailed mantel, lighter colours help the finer details stand out. This is a great way to incorporate a false chimney breast in the room while still allowing your accessories and furniture make an impact. A rug or cushions are a simple way to add colour.
12. Revamp With A Stylish Mantel
A simple mantel piece styled with a few key items such as a mirror, pictures, flowers and vases is an effortless way to embrace the false chimney breast. With the right mantel you won’t need to do any more than this as it will be eye-catching and stylish in its own right.
When you are dressing the area it’s best not to put too many items on display, instead keep it cosy and effective. There are many mantel designs available with a variety of colour and materials to choose from so have some fun finding one that suits your living area.
13. Back to Basics Wooden Mantel
Sometimes classic simplicity is the way to go. A wooden mantelpiece can provide the perfect frame. It offers a clean and practical style that also gives you a shelf to dress. This brings your eye to the chimney breast and allows you to embrace it.
A wooden chimney breast mantel has a classic style that suits most rooms. Just make sure the mantel is the right size for the room.
14. Seasonal Accessories
A fun way to make use of a fake chimney breast is to style it to suit the season. Logs can be stacked inside in autumn and in spring candles, flowers and foliage can be positioned there instead. In this case, the accessories are what makes the chimney breast a fun and eye-catching part of the room.
15. Add Some Colour
Painting the mantelpiece or the wall in a bright colour that suits the accents of the room can make it pop. It’s common for the mantel to be white in colour so if you have a neutral wall colour and want to bring some new life into the room then painting the mantel a fun colour can transform how the room feels.
The false chimney breast is an opportunity to reinvent the room so don’t be afraid to use bold colours to help achieve this.
16. Reclaimed Wood
Authentic, rustic and a great alternative to a mantelpiece. A large wooden beam adds a classic, slightly aged look to the chimney breast. This is ideal for cottages and older homes that want the false chimney breast to feel authentic.
17. Take Inspiration From Nature
Why not adorn the area with foraged foliage? The greenery looks great and is perfect for rustic cottages. You can change the plants to suit the season and the fake chimney breast will always have a fresh and lively feeling.
18. Store Your Favourite Books
The fake chimney breast can become a place to sit and read by filling it with your favourite books. The look can be rustic and relaxed or it can be calm and cosy. If you plan to use the area as a reading nook then you can complete the look by adding some fairy lights and placing a comfortable chair next to the chimney.
19. Mosaic Tiling
Tiling works well when used to frame a fireplace, most tiles are all one colour but using mosaic tiling can bring a fresh look. Mosaic tiling brings a range of colours to produce a contemporary and sophisticated design. Tiling is not only fun but it also produces unique results.
Tiles can be block colour, a range of similar colours or it can be completely abstract. Select the colours carefully to suit the room and style of your fake chimney breast.
Placing a selection of large, mixed height candles inside the fireplace is a minimalist way of providing warmth and a cosy setting without the need for an actual fireplace. This is simple, low cost but it is very effective.
Candles produce a cosy ambient light that will help to make the living area feel homely. A great idea for your false chimney breast.
While we love the exposed brick look, a stone fireplace is the ultimate for producing a rustic style. The natural stone on a chimney breast can give your living area an immediate cosy cabin feeling. The downside is the cost but if you have the space and the budget then this is a natural look that is worth considering.
If you love reading then the false chimney breast may offer the perfect opportunity to install double bookshelves. A bookshelf on either side of the chimney breast can help you utilise the space and looks charming too. These bookshelves can be full length, reaching the ceiling, or they can be partial, which still leaves you plenty of space for pictures or storing other items.
23. Large Mirror
A large mirror can become a centrepiece of the room and will even help make the space look bigger. If you feel a television on the chimney breast doesn’t suit the room or style you are going for then a mirror can be the focal point the room needs. A mirror also provides practical use too.
An alternative option to a mirror is a large picture that would take the same empty space and draw your eye as you enter the room. If the fake chimney breast is in a small bedroom a mirror can help make the room feel larger.
24. Use Neutral Colours
If you want to update the chimney or mantel, consider using a neutral colour such as grey to produce a contemporary look. Lighter colours are well suited to detailed mantelpieces as you will still be able to see the finer details.
25. Natural Exposed Look
Earlier we mentioned exposing some of the brickwork of the fake chimney breast to give the room a rustic feel. This option takes it a step further by exposing the entire structure to create a completely natural look. In a larger room with a vintage or rustic style, this look works incredibly well.
This fully exposed wall is best when paired with complementing accessories such as wood details or leather furniture.
26. Exposed Brick Alcoves
The exposed brick look can work in many ways, you can also switch things around by having the alcoves as exposed brick and the fake chimney breast plastered and modern.
This looks makes the walls more interesting when there is anything else happening around them. This is why this style is perfect for homes where you don’t plan on using the alcoves for shelving but still want them to be part of the room’s feature.
27. Install an Oven
If the false chimney breast is in the kitchen or large kitchen-diner space then you may find it is perfect for installing an oven. This turns the fake chimney breast into a functional area and has the added benefit of hiding the extractor fan inside the chimney breast. Installing the oven here also allows you to fully utilise the countertop, perfect for a small kitchen.
Installing an oven can highlight the chimney breast while also making it a functional space.
28. Opt For Marble
A marble mantlepiece makes the false chimney breast an instant feature and helps to create a colour scheme in the room. One of the great things about marble is that it doesn’t need anything else to look amazing.
Marble is a popular choice for a modern chimney breast as it is fire and heat resistant. Although expensive, marble looks sleek, is versatile and lasts a long time so you won’t need to revamp the living area again anytime soon.
29. Spruce The Room Up With Colour
The best chimney breast designs really depend on the room and some rooms suit a pop of colour. Choosing a bright colour will make the chimney breast a feature. The wall can be painted in contrast to the fireplace colour and the alcove colour to stand out and make an impact.
When choosing a colour, think about it carefully to ensure it complements the room without being too loud.
30. Colourful Accessories
If the walls and chimney breast are white or neutral then you could add some colourful accessories to brighten the room without needing to repaint walls. A colourful picture, plants, fairy light can all go a long way in brightening up the room and drawing the eye to the fireplace. If your decorating ideas change regularly this is a great way to always have your chimney breast in alignment with your style without spending a lot of redecorating.
31. Go White With The Mantel
A white mantelpiece against a darker wall can look very smart. With the right accessories, this style looks formal, classic and elegant. The simplicity of a plain white mantel works well in most living rooms but really stands out in rooms with dark walls and colourful accessories.
32. Render with Concrete
Rather than a plain false chimney breast, it could be rendered with concrete to make it more interesting to look at. The rendering gives the chimney more texture which means you will see more tonal variation as the light hits the concrete in different ways. This is a cost-effective option that is suitable for DIY applications.
The colour of the end result can be lighter or darker depending on the colour of the concrete used. You can also paint the wall after it has dried if you prefer it to be a different colour.
33. Blend The Colours
If you don’t want the chimney breast to be the centre of attention, paint it the same colour as the other walls so that it will blend in with the style of the room. Although the chimney breast is still a feature it will be more subtle.
This is the way to go if you don’t want the fireplace to be in your face as soon as you walk into the living area.
34. Display Flowers or Houseplants
A creative way to make the fake chimney breast a feature without using it as a fireplace is to display vases and colourful flowers. As shown above, this offers simplicity, functionality and beauty in a way that is clean and complementary to the rest of the room.
Another option is to position a single large house plant in the centre or display multiple smaller plants to add height variation. In addition to the plants, the colour from the pot/vase grabs your attention too.
35. Colour Blocking
If you are looking for a DIY project that can bring your creativity into the living area, consider colour blocking. In general, this means adding a block of bright colour to the neutral backdrop in order to make the chimney breast eye-catching and unique.
Compared to other designs, colour blocking is a really simple way to frame the fake chimney breast and add colour without the need for accessories.
36. Add Wavy Texture
If you want to make the false chimney breast look a bit more interesting, add a wavy texture to the wall. This wave design is reminiscent of the ocean and produces an elegant and calming result.
With this in mind, adding texture in this way makes the wall the centrepiece of the room and means there is no need for any additional accessories to make it work.
37. Put Seating in the Alcove
A small but cosy seating area can become the perfect reading nook. A comfy armchair or a cushioned bench works great in an alcove. Adding cushions and soft lighting helps to create a cosy atmosphere too. This is ideal when you are looking to save space and want to make the most of a smaller area.
Lighter colours help to make the area seem bigger and adding extra comforts such as soft lighting and cushions will make this a popular place to sit.
38. Built-in Storage
Why not include built-in storage in the chimney breast? This will increase the space available for storing items out of the way while still making the chimney breast a feature. This is particularly effective if you plan to display your TV on the chimney breast as the built-in storage can hold all of the electrical equipment.
For larger storage spaces, wooden panels make great doors so any clutter can be hidden away and the chimney breast remains looking sleek and clean. This can work well if the chimney breast is in a bedroom.
39. Pattern Tiles
Tiles add texture to the fake chimney breast. Using patterned tiles brings contrast and depth that you may not get when using a single colour. A tiled chimney breast is a clean and modern alternative to simply painting the chimney breast. Depending on the colour and style of the room, the tiles can be a neutral colour and design or can be bright and abstract.
40. Reclaimed Wood
One piece of wood along the top of the fireplace is a classic choice that is authentic and timeless. A large wooden beam can make a new false chimney breast look older and more classic than it would otherwise.
Overall, this is a rustic alternative to a mantelpiece and it works well in everything from cottages to new builds.
41. White Painted Brick
While exposed brick can add character to a fireplace, a modern room may require something more subtle. Painting the bricks white creates a beautiful focal point that keeps the texture and style of the brick around your fake chimney breast. This produces a contemporary look that you don’t get with the traditional red bricks.
42. Stone-Effect Tiles
Stone-effect tiles can keep the false chimney breast looking authentic but with a modern elegance. These decorative tiles produce a homely look while keeping the fireplace clean, modern and easy to maintain. The stone-effect ones are ideal as they have a range of tones to make the chimney breast more interesting to look at.
43. Colourful Tiles
Using a range of coloured tiles is a simple way to give the fireplace a new lease of life. Choose a colour that will complement the room and don’t be afraid to choose bold colours. If the rest of the faux chimney breast is white then some colour will be welcome. Adding a white mantel to frame it all completes the look.
44. Add A Screen
Finding a stylish screen and placing this in front of the false chimney breast is a fun way to complete the look.
When using a screen in a decorative way it doesn’t matter if there is no fireplace in the chimney breast. This is a simple way to give the impression of a fireplace without there being one.
Wooden panels are an easy way to change the colour and appearance of the fake chimney breast. The panelled chimney breast wall can be created using broad or slim panels depending on the look you are going for.
Although simple, the end result is effective and to make things even better this is a fun DIY job that can be completed in a weekend. In addition, this project doesn’t cost a lot either.
46. Characterful Fireplace
Installing an old, detail-rich fireplace will immediately bring flair and history to a simple living area. The mantel will become the focal point so a simple chimney breast is all that is needed.
Try to find a mantel that has intricate details that catch the light in different ways to draw your eye. For instance, there are lots of older mantel pieces that are full of character and these can easily become centrepieces.
Fake Chimney Breast Idea Considerations
A fake chimney breast can transform a room but there are a few key considerations to think about. These include:
False chimney breasts work great in larger spaces, however, with an altered design they work in smaller spaces too. A good way of doing this is not having the chimney breast protrude out as much.
As long as there is enough space to walk around the room without the chimney breast being in the way then it should work but keep this in mind when adding to a smaller size room.
A false chimney breast can become a large feature wall but it can also be a small mantel that draws the eye. Above all, the size and shape of the new chimney breast can be altered to suit the room, style, and budget you are working with.
The placement is where in the room the chimney breast is going to be. It is going to become the focal point so a central location is ideal. However, you may want to adjust this depending on the room layout and your furniture.
Don’t forget that you have complete creative control when designing a false chimney breast. In other words, you can create something that works with the style and function of the room. For example, a false chimney breast can be designed to incorporate shelving or storage.
A common design choice for false chimneys is to install a log burner. This looks great and is practical as the chimney hides the flue. In addition, there are other practical approaches including utilizing the chimney breast or alcoves for additional storage space or shelving.
In summary, the ideas for your false chimney breast are almost endless, it is an opportunity to be creative and bring new life into a room. Moreover, a well-thought out design can help you make the most of the new chimney breast.