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When fire isn't needed in the fireplace

I have a wonderful fireplace that I love. In the winter it is always in use. What do I do with it the rest of the year so that I enjoy it as much?

The fireplace should be considered a seasonal decorating project. In the late winter and early spring, place a large piece of artwork on the appropriate height easel in front of the firebox. Flank each side with large bouquets of tulips and daffodils. You might need to elevate the bouquets on boxes draped with colorful cloth to create a lovely and interesting arrangement. For the summer months, make an oversize arrangement with cuttings from your garden. To bring the summer feeling indoors, try using a container that would also be appropriate for a deck or patio.

And in the fall, use some sort of sculpture or accessory in front of the firebox. This may or may not be seasonally related. But surround the piece with colorful mums and arrangements made from autumn clippings and foliage from your yard. Add a small stool or chair with simple floor lamp for a harvest reading area.

Published in Design NJ - Winter 2002

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