What to do with our fireplace

We have a pretty fireplace in our front room (ie: the kitchen, dining and living room); blocked up, of course. At the moment, it has a pictures of the H1B’s mother in it and a few candles left over from Christmas.

It occurred to me the other day that this may look a little like a shrine.

Image

So I googled for inspiration – there must be something we can do to dress it up a little, or even brighten it as it’s quite dark.

I’d also like to find the original of the picture as it’s really quite beautiful. Taken by a local reporter at a fair in Seaham, County Durham, for the Queens Jubliee in 1976. No one knew it existed until her sister-in-law stumbled across it while browsing on the web thirty years later. The boy in the picture is a very blonde, very sweet H1B, aged two. I’d like to have it professionally printed and framed.

So, back to the fireplace.

Here are some ideas that I like:

MSN real estate: Make a bookshelf (I’ve been wanting somewhere to put my coffee table-grade cookbooks). Although I can’t ever imagine it being that neat:

Create a surprising bookshelf (© Nick Cardillicchio )

RealSimple.com: Introduce some greenery (hmm, the H1B and I aren’t exactly the most green fingered):

Fireplace filled with red vases

I love this one from Apartment Therapy – I wonder if I could wallpaper it?:

Casa_sugar_fireplace_rect540

On the same web page, the mirror is a good idea for bringing more of the gorgeous spring light into the house:

Casa_sugar_fireplace_rect540

Any other suggestions?

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