Refreshing your fireplace

The colder season is here, and the Auckland market is humming! Winter has definitely not slowed us down here at Lou Brown Design, we’ve had sold out workshops, TV appearances, and a solid design schedule.

The fireplace is the focal point of a living room. It’s often where the eye is first drawn, where people naturally gravitate, and where the conversation zone is arranged. Let’s take a look at how to show your fireplace the love it deserves and give it impact!


When it comes to artwork above your fireplace, go large! Either have it perched on your mantel and leaning against the wall or hung approximately a hand span above your mantel. The key is not to hang it too high.

If your room lacks light, go for a large mirror that will reflect more light into the space. Isn’t this antiqued mirror gorgeous!



Adding a row of warm down lights (like in the image below) works magic in adding drama to your fireplace. It will highlight any surface texture, such as brick or stone, and illuminate your artwork beautifully.

When it comes to artwork, select a light source with high colour rendering index (CRI 90+) as this will help to depict the true colours in your artwork. Light sources with low CRI tend to depict red as a muddy colour.


Making your TV a little less obtrusive

Having your TV above your fireplace can be awkward. For starters, it’s not good for your TV to be directly over the rising heat. The TV ends up being too high for optimum viewing, and it turns your TV into a focal point. However, this is unavoidable sometimes. If having your TV above your fireplace suits you and your family but you’d like to make it less of a focal point, I recommend painting the wall behind a dark grey or black so your TV blends in.


Old dated bricks

Painting over tired bricks looks fantastic! Whether it’s white, black, or a bold colour – just go for it! I prefer it to plastering over them as you retain the beautiful texture that brick offers. Of course, the feel that aged and unpainted brick gives off can be divine, so if you love your bricks au naturale, leave them be.



I love styling fireplaces in winter, it’s all about turning up the cosy factor to full tit!

– Place one or two baskets of wood or pinecones next to the fire (even if it’s a gas fire) so the smell of wood softly scents the air. You could have one basket with wood and the other with rolled up throws

– Finally, sprinkle around a bit of magic: several votives with tea light candles, some large urns with seed lights, or chunky candles


Do you have a burning question about your fireplace? Simply comment below and I’ll give you the answer! Looking forward to hearing from you.


Interior Designer, BDVA (HONS)

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