The fireplace and its floor (or “hearth” as it’s commonly called) is the main attraction of any room it inhabits. Just as centrepieces on formal dinner tables across Canada set the theme before the meal is served, the fireplace, mantel and hearth do so on a much grander scale.

Your fireplace serves two main purposes: it warms the room and is the primary focal point. Whether it occupies your living room, family room, basement or bedroom, the overall look of your fireplace can make a lasting impression. By decorating the mantel and hearth, you will add a whole new decorative element to the room.

Most people line the mantel with photos, or display a mirror, pieces of art, ceramics or collectibles. Some even throw down a bear skin rug. But why not be unique and treat it as a blank canvas to showcase your creativity. Make a statement. The fireplace is the one thing you can decorate on a whim, or change with the season, and set the mood for a fraction of the cost of redecorating the entire room.

With fall and winter fast approaching, use the natural beauty of each season to transform your fireplace into a work of art. Get inspired by the themes of Thanksgiving, Halloween and Christmas. There is untapped potential in your fireplace and hearth. Don’t let it be a forgotten fixture that only exists to provide heat and comfort. Decorate the mantel and the hearth. Spice it up. Make it an extension of your personality. But most importantly, have fun doing it. And always remember safety. Keep appropriate clearances in mind and don’t allow combustible materials to come in contact with the fire or glass.