We all think about making drastic changes to our home. One of the most popular home decor projects that people consider is a faux fireplace. It adds an amazing architectural feature to a room, especially in a living room, sitting room, or even a large bedroom.
In most cases, the real issue with adding a new feature to a room is the money it takes to make those changes.
Plus, adding a real fireplace isn’t the most practical thing to do. It’s a huge and expensive project that needs to be done by professionals. If it’s even possible in the first place.
More often than not, it won’t be worth the time, effort, or money.
But what about a DIY faux fireplace?
As much as we all love DIY alternatives, you need time and major planning to pull off any project. There are countless projects I have started and have not finished yet.
Then again, every crafty person out there is probably facing the same issue.
A faux fireplace isn’t a difficult project by any means and it doesn’t require as many materials as you might think. Although you should always keep in mind that it can be difficult to finish any project quickly when there are so many other things happening in our lives.
But, that said…
if you have the time, adding a “fireplace” can completely transform a room. You will also be able to continuously redecorate the mantel and express your love for interior design.
However, before you go shopping for a new mantelpiece, you have a lot to think about.
Do you have space for this project? Can you pull it off yourself? What kind of design do you love?
There are a lot of questions to be answered, but I’m not here to scare you away. There are always answers to the big questions of any home project. It just requires a little digging.
But if you love home decor and you’re always changing things around, a faux fireplace is the perfect temporary fixture you need to play around with a new design.
Why you should consider a faux fireplace
A lot of people are very skeptical of “faux” versions of anything. Even faux Christmas trees or leather jackets can be controversial.
Some people believe that a faux version can be better for a lot of reasons and other people want something genuine. Why would you settle for a fake version of anything when you can have the real thing?
Here’s one major reason:
When it comes to a fireplace, there might not be a way around it.
In many cases, you will have to either take on a huge construction project or move to a home that already has a fireplace.
Building a fireplace in your home is going to be an expensive project because you are going to need to hire some professionals. Even then, it might be challenging because the home wasn’t designed with a fireplace in mind.
So, keep in mind…
it may or may not even be possible and it depends on a lot of different variables.
It is much easier to achieve the look that you’re interested in without taking on a massive project or a huge cost if you make your own.
If the aesthetic is the thing you’re after in the first place, just focus on that!
You don’t need to have a functioning fireplace for bonus points. You can have the look that you’ve always wanted, without putting in copious amounts of time and money into one project.
Buy or DIY: What’s the better option for a faux fireplace?
The first thing you have to do is answer the big question: are you going to buy or DIY?
The truth is, there are plenty of perks to both choices. So the decision is going to depend on time, design, and money.
There are plenty of faux fireplaces available in stores that are very stylish and compact. They fit well in apartments or smaller homes and can be cost-effective in most cases.
And, this is pretty cool:
It ends up being the price of a stylish space heater.
On the flip side, if you are interested in finding a large faux fireplace, the price is going to be a much different story. It will look more like a real fireplace because it will be closer to the real size of one, too…
but it is going to be a more expensive option.
Possibly even quadruple the price of a small unit…or more.
Another thing to take into consideration is the design. Many store-bought faux fireplaces lean towards a simple, modern appearance, or a perfectly distressed rustic look.
They are two of the most popular home decor options, at the moment, and never seem to go completely out of style.
However, many people are more focused on a unique design than a popular style.
They want something that they envisioned themselves, so they opt for a DIY project.
It is also very common to skip any type of functionality.
Oftentimes, people skip out on the heating element and want a fireplace for the sake of style and appearance.
In truth, it is best to purchase a faux fireplace if you intend to use it as a heater. The store-bought options have been professionally designed to work as a heating element.
Safety first, that said:
If you don’t intend to use it as a heater and want a purely faux fireplace for decoration, you should consider making it a DIY project.
Questions to Consider Before Putting in a Faux Fireplace
Honestly, putting in a faux fireplace is a much easier decision than putting in a real fireplace.
It can be taken out or changed at any time. So even if you are living in a rental home as I am, you could still put it in and take it out when you move.
But there are a few questions you should consider before you make the decision to buy or make one.
Is it in the budget?
If you are concerned about spending too much money, you should weigh all the options.
There are plenty of affordable faux fireplaces that can be found online or in-stores. However, you need to remember that they are typically on the small side.
If you’re interested in getting a large faux fireplace, you might need to build it yourself.
Many of the large options still might not be the right size or the style you imagined. There are a lot more variables that you can’t control when you are just picking something up from the store.
Since you deserve the perfect piece at the perfect price, you should put yourself in charge of the entire design!
That way you can always afford it or you can stretch out the cost of materials until you have gathered everything you need.
Do you have enough space?
Space is a big issue when it comes to any furniture or decor.
Obviously, your fireplace needs to be the perfect size to fit in a specific room. Otherwise, it’s going to look small and out of place, or large and bulky.
Now, some things to consider:
If you look at real fireplaces, they look so good because they were planning into the construction of the home. Although, when you are putting something into a room that was never meant to be there, things might not go as smoothly.
It needs to be the ideal size. It also needs to blend into the room like it was always meant to be there.
So finding the right store-bought faux fireplace could be overwhelming. At least, depending on the room and the style you have in mind, because finding the perfect size could be difficult.
But, let me break down an advantage for you:
Making your own DIY faux fireplace gives you a huge advantage because you can plan everything yourself.
Not only will you be able to get the perfect look, but you will also be able to make it fit into your room flawlessly.
Will it fit in with your decor?
If you are looking for a large faux fireplace, you might want to consider making a DIY version for the sake of style.
A fireplace is typically found in the main room, such as the living room. The mantel has always been used as a focal point for decoration.
By making a faux fireplace yourself, you can gear it towards a certain room design, or make it simple and elegant. Then you will be able to use different decor to make it fit the season, holidays, and express how your personal style changes over time.
However, you will be able to find particular styles in stores. It will be a limited variety that will also depend on the manufacturer. If you do some digging and shopping around, you will probably be able to find something that will fit your ideal style.
When dealing with specific styles, you may have to fork over more money. It will all depend on the size, detailing, and functions of the entire unit.
So when it comes to decor, which is a huge part of picking a faux fireplace, you need to determine whether you will need to create the perfect design yourself.
Building a DIY Faux Fireplace: What You Need to Know
Alright, ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to strap in and learn how to pull this project off yourself. It’s a good idea to take a look at the steps that go into building your own faux fireplace.
In fact, you should check out some DIY options before you even decide to buy…
because you might be surprised by what you can pull off at home.
If you are leaning towards the DIY path, you need to understand the full process and whether you have the time and tools it will take to follow through with the whole project.
If you are leaning towards simply buying a unit that will fit your needs, you may find yourself reconsidering. There are a lot of specific details that you may not be able to find in stores. So you might be disappointed with the variety and reconsider.
Nonetheless, it will be much easier to buy a faux fireplace and move it into your home if you are aren’t interested in a project. If you don’t have the time and you can afford it, you should absolutely go for it.
But let’s be honest here:
There’s no reason to take on a project that you don’t have the time for.
Picking the perfect look
When it comes to making or buying a faux fireplace you need to figure out the look you want. There are some wonderful options. Some of the best have wood, brick, or tiled exteriors that look amazing in any room.
No matter what you choose, it’s going to look great.
The ultimate goal is to incorporate the fireplace into the decor of the room. Most commonly, you want to make it look like it was always meant to be there.
But, not always:
Half of the people out there are going to want a modern and simplistic style, or simply something that will blend in like it was built-in. That would include skipping the flourishes and extra details.
The other half is going to want something that is going to stand out more. So you might want a tile look for a beachy design, keep it classic with a brick design, or stain the wood to match the furniture.
You can achieve any of these looks without even learning how to lay brick or stick on individual tiles. There are so many stick-on options out there that are commonly used to create backsplashes.
They are perfect for decorating your faux fireplace without adding the weight of bricks or stones.
So you can retain the ability to remove the fireplace at any time, but it will look realistic!
How to Create Your Own Classy DIY Faux Fireplace
Before you begin:
You are going to need to take some measurements in your home. You to figure out where the fireplace will go, how large you want it to be, and the depth of the unit.
If it comes out too far from the wall it could take up a lot of unnecessary space and crowd the room.
Also, keep in mind that all of these measurements are going to determine the rest of your project. Plus, no matter what design suits your home, these basic instructions can be adjusted.
However, most importantly:
You need to make a plan ahead of time.
Planning as you go is not the best rule of thumb in any construction project and that is where mistakes will be made. So take your measurements, sketch out your own blueprint, and understand the full project before you begin.
For the basic structure of your faux fireplace, you can usually use cheap wood from the hardware store. It doesn’t have to be fancy because it is only there to make the structure and form the base. So it will all be covered up.
Although the finished design might make you reconsider and spend a bit more money on quality materials.
For instance, if you are planning to stain the wood, you might want something a little better looking than plywood. But that is only if you aren’t covering it up with tile, paint, or anything else.
Still, I must say:
there are a lot of beautiful things you can do with plywood, so you might not have to spend more after all.
You will need:
- 2×3 or 2×4’s (for the frames)
- Plywood (for the firebox and walls)
- Nails or screws
- Tile, faux brick, paint, wood stain, etc. (Basically whatever you need to decorate and finish your design.)
- A wall anchor
- Fire insert or heating element (optional)
The amount of material that you buy is going to depend on the project. That is where your precise measurements are going to come into play.
There are a lot of extra things you could use to add a particular style:
Some people use carved moldings for an elegant look.
Others like to stain the wood to match other furniture in the room.
There are also plenty of options for fake brickwork, tile, and more.
Feel free to plan this part of the project out based on your home decor. It can be especially fun if you are already planning to re-design a room.
You could find the style of fireplace you have always wanted and redecorate the whole room with it in mind.
You obviously don’t need to do that, but sometimes you need a change anyway so you can include a faux fireplace in the ultimate room makeover. It all depends on the extent of the project you want to take on.
The best tools for the job
The best part about this project is the fact that there are only a few basic tools that you are going to need for the project. Actually, even fewer than you may think you need!
You can avoid buying a saw by getting your wood cut to size on-site at the hardware store. Otherwise, you could borrow or rent a saw.
Just heed this warning:
Buying, borrowing, or using (especially power tools like saws) is only something you should do if you are comfortable using those tools. I have never used them myself and prefer to seek help from a professional, or at the very least someone with experience.
If you are comfortable with them, or have help that is, there’s no reason you can’t.
But, the fact is:
It’s just something to keep in mind while you are purchasing your materials since you might want to get them cut in the store.
Other than that you will only need:
- a hammer
- a drill
- a speed square
If you have never used a speed square before, it is something you are going to need to pick up for this project. At least, if you want everything to be lined up properly.
Average build time
Building your faux fireplace should only take an afternoon. Maybe a day at most.
Once you have everything you need and the wood has been cut to size, the only thing left is putting it all together like a puzzle.
It will just be a matter of assembling and securing the pieces in place with nails or screws.
it is only a matter of decorating, which will probably take longer than actually assembling the whole structure.
I know that seems too good to be true, but it honestly such a simple project. The most important step is making sure each piece is even and secure.
For the whole project to be perfect, you need to make sure your measurements are precise. Otherwise, nothing will fit together the way you intended.
Thus ruining the entire project. Someasure twice to be precise!
The challenging and most time-consuming part of the project will be giving your blank canvas a makeover. You have to find all the right materials for the job and, hopefully, it will look the way you imagined it would.
Are you a perfectionist?
This is going to be harder for the perfectionists. Those of you who hang up 50 paint swatches, only to paint your home “eggshell” instead of white.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being a perfectionist. It certainly requires a level of persistence that many people are lacking entirely.
But it could also make this decor project a lot more stressful before it is finished.
Guide to Building Your Faux Fireplace
So far, we have covered the basics.
You know what you need.
Hopefully, you have figured out the style that you want.
Now, it’s the moment of truth.
You are going to learn how to put this thing together and you are going to look like a professional when you do. Well…that’s the idea anyway.
Image via HotHomeAir.com
It’s Faux Style but Not Faux Function
In reality, you really don’t need to add a heating feature to a fake fireplace.
Seriously, here’s why:
It’s a nice idea, but it will basically be a space heater. You can’t build a faux fireplace with the intention of heating your home. It won’t be anything like a real fireplace because it is not built for that level of function.
To break that down just a bit:
All the materials are flammable, it isn’t built into the home, and there is no chimney. It will be for looks and nothing else.
The only option you will have is a faux firelog insert. There are actually quite a few options on the market and most of them have heating functions.
Before you purchase a heating element or fake logs for the appearance, remember that you can do whatever you want. You don’t need to make it look realistic. A lot of people who have fireplaces don’t even put them to use. They turn them into a decoration
Decorating a Faux Fireplace: Take Advantage of the Season
The best thing about having a fireplace and mantelpiece is the fact that you can go over the top for the holidays or different seasons.
It can depend on the design you chose. For instance, if you have a faux brick fireplace, rustic or country decor is going to look fantastic. Most people that I know that have mantels or fireplaces with a brick or stone design usually show off keepsakes and never change them.
You can even build them with built-in storage!
It’s a sweet sentiment, but it’s always fun to change things around and take advantage
In contrast, if you went for a simple and modern look, any decor you choose is really going to stand out. So you should take advantage of that and pick pieces that match the seasons and holidays. If your whole house is very modern and you don’t like clutter, you can take advantage of the mantel and a focus point.
Take Your Cozy Decor Over the Top with a Faux Fireplace
Home decor is a passion for many people. I never used to understand the concept when I was younger. Now that I have my own home I understand that it’s such a fun hobby when you have the time and money to pull off an amazing decor.
It’s like combining a passion for art, fashion, and architecture inside your own home.
You can reinvent your home and make it beautiful and people are going to come over and admire the effort you put in. The whole experience is much more rewarding than many people understand.
When it comes to redecorating your living room you might find yourself wishing you had a mantel like your moms. You might even just want a cozier atmosphere.
Having a fireplace would definitely make that possible.
Well, even if moving or adding a real fireplace to your home isn’t in the budget, a faux fireplace could be the answer to your dreams.
You can have the mantel you always wanted and design it yourself. It’s even better than moving into a home that already has a fireplace. You don’t have to worry about cleaning the chimney but you can get your ideal home decor.
It’s a win-win situation if you ask me.