Home & Garden

Cool looks for the summer hearth

In winter, your fireplace is the cheeriest spot in the house. But during the warm summer months, it can seem like dark, dank cave.

So when the weather warms up and fire season is finished, I like to completely remake the look of my fireplace. I go for a minimalist treatment on the mantel, then create a light, layered display for the hearth. Here are three quick and easy looks you can use to dress up your hearth this summer.

Look One: Garden spot

For a simple display, we placed a concrete garden urn in the center of the empty hearth. Then we ringed the top with a daisy wreath. You could use any sort of flowered wreath or even one made of ferns. Next, we placed an assortment of faux potted ferns in small groupings just in front of the fireplace. They barely show but provide spring color and a light, lacy texture. If you have more success than I do with live plants, they would look lovely here, too.

We finished off the look by placing two spunky green garden stools just in front of our display. They are such a fun focal point. And the ferns and daisy wreath in the background give the feeling of actually being in a garden.

Look Two: Fern fresh

We started by finding a cute basket and filling it with an assortment of faux ferns. You could also use a wooden or metal box, or even a wooden dough bowl. We placed the basket at an angle to give the display more movement and make it feel less stiff and formal. Then, we positioned a few more ferns in clusters in front of the basket. Finally, we found two painted side chairs upholstered in cream linen and pulled them in front of the hearth in a nice seating arrangement.

If you have extra chairs around your dining-room table, try using them in front of your hearth this summer. Or, pull in some wicker chairs from your porch to create an even more relaxed feel.

Look Three: Sunny spot

Modern winged-back chairs covered in a spunky gray graphic fabric are a whole new take on the fireside hearth chairs of old. Gray and marigold yellow are a hot color combination right now, so we paired the matching chairs with yellow pillows featuring a traditional toile pattern. The contrast between the modern upholstery fabric on the chairs and the age-old toile is striking.

A sweet little side table looks ideal nestled between the two larger chairs. Three graduated shelves give plenty of room to display doodads, and the shelves are topped by mirrors.

We styled the table with some fabulous accessories that would look great year-round, like a crystal jar, antique books and votive candles. Then we added a faux fern for a hint of summer.