Whether traditional or electric, a fireplace is nothing to scoff at. If you’re fortunate enough to have a fireplace somewhere in your home — whichever room that may be — it deserves to be the focal point of your decor. This applies to both the fireplace itself and the wall surrounding it.
Decorating any fireplace wall starts with the basics. From a fresh coat of paint to a complete overhaul, these decor choices will literally frame your fireplace.
If you’re unsure how to begin updating your fireplace wall, social media is here to help. Check out these awesome fireplace wall ideas for inspiration sure to kick start your own design project.
1. Brick Fireplace Wall Ideas
Despite common assumptions, brickwork can look exceptionally contemporary. For the simplest look, go with uniform brick and flush grout lines. If you want something more textured, arrange natural-cut and colored bricks for an eclectic stacked stone fireplace backdrop.
The red brick fireplace is a classic home decor element, but that doesn’t mean you need to use it in your own design. Muted brown or gray brick will give your fireplace an updated aesthetic. Choose a light shade of mortar to create contrasting grout lines.
If you want to downplay the existing brickwork around your fireplace, a coat of paint will do the trick. Choose a neutral color — matching your fireplace to the wall behind it will really make the brick fade into the background.
2. Decor Fireplace Wall Ideas
Your fireplace wall is not just a backdrop to the main attraction. Whether you’re decorating a wood-burning or electric fireplace, invest in a mantelpiece for smaller items. Hang a large mirror, painting, or TV above your mantel to complete the layout.
Bring your fireplace wall to the forefront of your room’s design with a tile overlay. Stone and cement tiles are an excellent way to add subtle texture to your fireplace surround with a neutral color palette. Use smaller geometric tiles to decorate your fireplace interior or the entire wall.
A simple coat of paint can transform an old fireplace with minimal effort. Match your fireplace to the surrounding walls to give other decorative items a chance to shine. Or choose a contrasting color to help your fireplace wall really stand out.
3. DIY Fireplace Wall Ideas
You don’t need to sacrifice traditional style for modern convenience. Build a faux fireplace surround around an electric unit for the best of both worlds. Include a mantel shelf above to complete the look.
If you like the physical appearance of a fireplace but have no need for the heating element itself, building a mock fireplace is surprisingly easy. Buy or build a freestanding fireplace mantel to mount against a wall. Paint the interior wall a contrasting color (or add tile for an extra pop) and fill it with decorative logs.
For a rustic DIY project, consider creating a wall overlay of reclaimed wood. You can cover the entire wall or just the space directly above your fireplace. Select wood of various colors and keep the rest of your decor fairly simple. Your feature wall will do all of the work itself.
4. Electric Fireplace Wall Ideas
Electric fireplaces lend themselves to a fresh, contemporary aesthetic, largely due to their clean-cut design. Complement the sleekness of your fireplace with a straightforward mantel and no-frills backing wall.
A long, linear fireplace is a great way to warm up a central wall in your home without any physical bulk. Mount your contemporary fireplace directly into the drywall or frame the entire unit with architectural tile. Skip a traditional wooden mantel for a floating entertainment center instead.
Don’t just think about matching decor to your electric fireplace’s exterior finish. Many electric fireplaces feature wood, stone, or another material inside. Your fireplace may also have a built-in light fixture independent of its flame.
5. Faux Fireplace Wall Ideas
If you’ve found yourself with a non-functional or unwanted fireplace, resist the temptation to tear it down. There are ways to incorporate an existing fireplace into your room’s decor without actually using it as a working heat source.
Use your dormant fireplace as storage or to frame some of your favorite decor. Place a large basket inside to hold throw blankets and other room accessories.
Before giving your old fireplace a new life, make sure the interior is completely clean and the flue is closed off. A coat of paint or tiles can give the interior a facelift if needed. Arrange decor just as would on a traditional fireplace mantel.
On the flip side, you can mimic the look of a real wood or gas fireplace by building a faux mantel. If you want your imitation fireplace to still produce light, place battery-powered candles or a lantern inside. Stacking cut wood in your fireplace will preserve the warm aesthetic.
6. Living Room Fireplace Wall Ideas
The living room can be a decor-heavy space as it is, so don’t be afraid to take a subtle approach with your fireplace wall design. Your living room fireplace should be a focal point but shouldn’t overpower the rest of your decor.
Paint your fireplace surround the same color as the backing wall, or cover the surface with slightly contrasting tiles or natural wood paneling.
The mantel is the perfect spot for a wall-mounted or standing flatscreen TV. Supplement your fireplace mantel with additional shelves to either side. You can turn your fireplace and the surrounding wall into a built-in entertainment center.
If you’ve forgone a TV in your living room design (or it’s best placed somewhere else in the room), fill the space above your fireplace with some other piece of standout decor.
This could be a statement mirror, framed poster, or large canvas. Hang your decor on your fireplace wall or lean it up on the mantel for a more relaxed style.
7. Modern Fireplace Wall Ideas
We tend to associate fireplaces with vintage homes. But fireplaces are incredibly commonplace in modern architecture and interior design. Giving your home’s own fireplace a modern twist is all about how you decorate the surrounding wall.
Traditional brick or stone mantels don’t suit the modern aesthetic very well. Instead, add organic texture to your fireplace wall with polished marble tile. You can also use sleek wood paneling to bring some warmth to the space without disrupting your modern decor.
Overall, keep your modern fireplace design simple and chic. Skip ornate woodwork in favor of a sleek floating mantel shelf. Use neutral colors throughout the entire room and don’t forget to invest in some built-in lighting for those times when your fireplace isn’t in use.
8. Rustic Fireplace Wall Ideas
Prioritize organic materials in your fireplace makeover for a rustic design. Mix together natural stone with a reclaimed wood mantel. Try to keep the hearth as the wall’s focal point — display accent decor over your fireplace rather than a TV or statement artwork.
If the drywall around your fireplace feels too flat and boring, create an accent wall with a wood or brick overlay. These solutions are simple to install and much more accessible than most fireplace remodel ideas.
Does your idea of rustic style lean more “Shabby Chic?” Opt for a white brick fireplace. Mounting a light wooden mantel over your hearth will help warm up the design as a whole. Preserved greenery like wreaths or dried flowers makes excellent shelf decor.
9. Shiplap Fireplace Wall Ideas
Shiplap isn’t just safe to use for a fireplace wall (as long as you follow a few basic guidelines). This material is a great option for any farmhouse-inspired home design in need of a bit of texture.
Use shiplap to surround your fireplace or to cover the wall above and around the hearth. While whitewashed shiplap is most popular today, you can just as easily paint the wood any color you choose. Or leave it bare for a weathered appearance.
Many contemporary and rustic fireplace ideas feature shiplap mantels. You can pair this trend with a shiplap wall overlay for an all-around homey aesthetic. If you go this route, though, try using contrasting finishes for your fireplace wall and mantelpiece.
10. Small Fireplace Wall Ideas
A fireplace doesn’t always need to be the central feature of a room. Installing a small dining room or bedroom fireplace is a great way to add a touch of comfort and luxury to a space without completely overhauling its design.
If your desire for a small fireplace is more about saving space rather than purely a design choice, look into installing a corner fireplace.
If your focus is on subtle fireplace ideas, you should observe the same philosophy when decorating the wall around it. Stick with neutrals that match the rest of the room. If you’re not set on any specific color palette, a black or white fireplace will suit nearly anything. For a bit of texture, marble tile is worth considering.
Avoid an over-the-top mantelpiece loaded with decor. If building a recessed mantel into the wall is an option, go that route. Otherwise, choose a mantel shelf that matches the backing wall and adorn it with just a few standout items. Keep fireplace accessories — pokers, extra wood, etc. — out of sight in a nearby cupboard to limit clutter.
11. Stone Fireplace Wall Ideas
When decorating a stone fireplace wall, you need to decide if its stone veneer is a neutral or an accent. This is less about the stone itself and more about the decor throughout the rest of the room. For example, most marble fireplace tile ideas would be an accent in a minimalist, all-white room. This same stone would be a neutral in a room full of vibrant design elements.
Turn to your fireplace wall’s coloring when selecting decor. Most natural stone has quite a bit of variation, and you can use these different shades to your advantage when narrowing down a color palette.
Overall, simple is best. An ornate mantel full of decor will just weigh down your stone wall and all of its innate beauty. Stick with the essentials, like a wall-mounted TV or mirror, and leave plenty of room for the stone to breathe.