A chimney breast refers to a chimney section that protrudes outwards from the wall to create a fireplace.
This structure is typically near the ground level, but masons can extend it upwards to your preferred level.
The chimney breast’s masonry design extends upwards and connects to a chimney stack that carries smoke outside.
Chimney jambs protrude both sides of the chimney breast and help to provide structural support.
How are Chimney Breasts Built?
When it comes to interior design, this masonry structure typically contains concrete or cemented bricks.. The process of constructing and designing a chimney breast varies depending on the intended function and preferred style.
British and American masons consider chimney breasts as separate architectural structures and build them separately from the rest of the house.
Some homeowners also like adding false chimney breasts connected to a wall with a flue. Such architectural systems are purely for cosmetic purposes and typically consist of plasterboard and timber materials.
Benefits of Having Chimney Breast
Although some people advocate for removing chimney breasts, having one in your home can offer you several benefits. First of all, a chimney breast helps to add character is a room.
An average square room can appear dull, but having this lower chimney portion can give the room a classy architectural design.
Secondly, maintaining and using decorating ideas for chimney breast can help preserve a House’s historical background and help drive up a house’s value.
Some home buyers want a home with a chimney breast; So they can fire up it during cold winters and reminisce the olden days.
21 Chimney Breast Décor Ideas to Try Out Today
Chimney breast ideas decorating can help spice up your fireplace and chimney breasts. Surprisingly you can quickly improve a chimney breast by making a few decorative changes. Here are 21 fantastic ways of how to decorate a chimney breast and convert it into a beautiful indoor structure.
1. Mount a plasma TV on your lower chimney wall
Most chimney breasts are sturdy and well secured to the main wall meaning you can safely mount your TV on them.
This type of decoration is excellent for stack stone fireplaces as it creates a fusion of a retro and modern environment.
The stack stone chimney breast will provide a classy house look, while the mounted TV offers a technological allure for the fireplace.
As you try out this idea, kindly remember that you shouldn’t set up a TV on your chimney breast if its heating temperature is above 90oF. However, if your fireplace is purely ornamental, you can go right ahead and mount the TV.
Are you looking for Best Wall Mount for TV, we recommend this:
Mounting Dream UL Listed TV Mount for Most 37-70 Inches TVs
2. Use Thin Natural Stone
Natural thin stone is a decorative product created by cutting genuine stones into thin slices that you can stick on chimney breasts, stone sidings, and foundations.
These products are excellent for beautifying your chimney breast as they provide a natural yet appealing stone pattern. Real thin stone is available in different sizes, colors, and markings.
Some popular authentic thin stone patterns you can procure within the market include Alaska gray, Arctic golden Splitface, Aspen Ridge stacked Stone, Boston Blend Ledge, and Colonial Tan Ashlar. You can accessorize this decoration with glass candle holders to increase attention to detail.
Are you looking for Decorative Stone, we recommend this:
Adorn Mortarless Concrete Stone Veneer Siding
3. Get An Inset Electric Fireplace and Wood Finishing
If you don’t want to light a flame every time you need to use your fireplace, you can install an electric fireplace and cover the chimney breast with wooden finishing. Electric fireplaces provide you with fascinating flames and can also provide heat, depending on your preference.
An electric fireplace is among the most eco-friendly decorating ideas for chimney breast walls you can try out. It won’t generate any combustion gases that are detrimental to the environment. Also, you won’t have to stockpile wood or clean up soot.
Adding a wood finishing provides a modern house theme that blends well with the electric fireplace. You can go further and add a fire simulation sound system that simulates flame sounds and provides an ambiance similar to a traditional fireplace.
Are you looking for Electric Fireplace, we recommend this:
Giantex Electric Fireplace Insert Recessed Mounted
4. Create a Halloween Chimney Breast Mantel
This Halloween-themed decoration involves adding a fireplace mantel with sisal, pumpkin, and lantern props. When you do it right, your chimney breast will have a Halloween-themed mantel and a spooky yet elegant appearance.
The lantern props should ideally be candle lanterns, and you can use up to six of them. One excellent way of displaying these lanterns is by arranging them at the top of the mantel and the hearth extension. Adding hooks and running a chain through them can help you hang lanterns and provide an authentic Halloween experience.
Are you looking for Fireplace Mantels, we recommend this:
Pearl Mantels The Shenandoah Rustic Distressed Finish
5. Mount potted plants
If you don’t utilize your fireplace for heating the house, you can safely mount potted plants on your chimney breast’s mantel or at the fireplace’s base. Ideally, you should for tall-growing tropical plants such as bird of paradise, dragon tree, and European olive tree.
Tall growing plant decorations help decorate a significant section of the fireplace and are among the most natural chimney breast beautifications.
However, after mounting these potted plants, you need to ensure they get adequate water, nutritious soils, and sunlight; otherwise, they might wither away. Beautifully displayed plants can serve as a conversation starter when friends or guests visit your home.
Are you looking for Potted Plants, we recommend this:
Costa Farms Clean Air 3-Pack O2, White Décor Planter
6. Display Pretty Plates
Displaying your household’s best pieces of china is an age-old tradition that is still popular. Since you have plenty of space above your fireplace, you can display antique plates and mount them in a distinctive or random pattern. Once mounted, the dishes will shine and brighten your fireplace for many years.
However, you shouldn’t go overboard and cram the chimney breast with plates. A few unique pieces should suffice.
Nowadays, you can buy plate hangers online and use them to hang your china securely. Such hangers come with clear vinyl-coated hooks that secure the display without leaving scratches.
Are you looking for Decorative Plates, we recommend this:
Primitive Antique Pumpkin Painted Wood Decorative Plate
7. Group Cohesively Colored Accessories
Depending on your chimney breast’s base color, you can place several assorted art pieces and objects on its mantel and get stunning results. For instance, you can group a bust sculpture with similarly colored framed art.
Additionally, you can decide to hang the art pieces on the chimney breast and place the bust sculpture on the mantel. You can also set up a multi-mantel fireplace that allows you to display accessories in each compartment. However, the grouping design will ultimately depend on your preference.
Some of the color shades you can use when attempting such chimney breast ideas decorating include white, black, and beige.
Are you looking for Sculpture, we recommend this:
Design Toscano Roman Forum Columns Set in Antique Stone
8. Attach A Mirror To The Chimney Breast
Attaching a mirror to a chimney breast helps to reflect the positive aspects of a room. According to Feng Shui, a traditional Chinese practice, placing a mirror over your fireplace provides a water element that cools the fire element and balances the room’s cosmic energy.
Apart from attaching a mirror above the fireplace, you can also place it on the mantel if your chimney breast has one. However, hanging a mirror above the mantel is better because it helps to reflect the objects on the mantel resulting in a better visual appeal.
One excellent example of a mirror you can attach above the fireplace is a Stone & Beam Vintage Octagonal Mirror.
Are you looking for Octagonal Hanging Mirror, we recommend this:
Stone & Beam Vintage-Look Octagonal Hanging Wall Mirror
9. Hang One Huge Portrait
Since your chimney breast is an old architectural structure, decorating it with an antique oil painting is a worthwhile idea. If your fireplace is already the room’s centerpiece, adding a vintage portrait solidifies it as a focal point.
Nowadays, you can find high-quality antique portraits for a few hundred dollars. Considering that you will own the art for many years to come, purchasing one is a worthy investment. When looking for such portraits, always look for paintings you love and those that speak to your inner being.
The art should also blend in nicely with the rest of the room, and it should also be unique and have a background story. This way, you can enjoy its presence every time you see it hanging on your chimney breast.
Are you looking for Antique Oil Painting, we recommend this:
River Landscape 1903, by Peder Mork Monsted Oil Painting
10. Get a Stylish Paint Job
One of the simplest examples of how to decorate a chimney breast is by stylishly painting it. Some of the best colors you can paint on your chimney breast include pure white, ruby, black yellow, and Mediterranean blue color.
Regardless of the season, a well-painted fireplace will provide all-year-round joy to you and your visitors. Painting a chimney breast is an easy and cheap decorative option that modernizes your fireplace without forsaking the nostalgia of ancient times.
When painting your chimney breast, you can use several different colors for various parts of the fireplace. For instance, you can use pure white in the mantel and black for the chimney breast.
Are you looking for Paint, we recommend this:
Rust-Oleum 329598 Ultra Matte Interior Chalked Paint
11. Add Bookshelves on Both Sides.
A Chimney breast protrudes outwards into the room, meaning there is under-utilization of space on either side of this structure that you can convert into bookshelves. Buying a self-standing book cabinet will only occupy more space and be costly.
By hiring a competent carpenter, you can set up bookshelves to hold all your books and magazines in one focal position.
This way, you can bring more order and enhance the room’s general appearance. You can also develop a good reading habit since your books will be in a central area where you can effortlessly access and read them.
Are you looking for Self-standing Book Shelf, we recommend this:
Standing Wooden Display Bookcase with Double Doors
12. Light it Up with LED Light
Adding surface-mounted light-emitting diodes to your chimney breast can give a room a warm, brightening glow. You can find various LED light strips that have varying brightness (measured in lumens per meter).
The LED strips are widely popular among the young generation as they add drama and flair while also saving on energy consumption.
Also, the LED lights help draw attention to your mantel and chimney breast and make them your home’s centerpiece. Apart from LED strips, you can also opt for ball fairy string lights that you can dangle and light up the room.
Are you looking for LED Light Strips, we recommend this:
Tenmiro Color Changing Led Strip Lights
13. Expose the Chimney Bricks to Give off a Rustic Home Look
Stripping off the plaster covering your fireplace’s wall can expose the beautiful brickwork underneath. Most old chimney breaks contain brick sand stacked stone components covered with plaster, and depending on your home’s age, you may get varying results once you remove this layer and slightly polish the chimney breast.
You can also take an opposite approach by revealing the bricks around the fireplace’s wall and leaving the chimney neck plastered.
This procedure creates an ultramodern fireplace design and allows the bricks to dominate the modernly plastered chimney breast. However, it would be best to consult local municipal by-laws to know if you can strip plaster from your residence.
Are you looking for Plaster Scraper, we recommend this:
DEKEones Plaster Scraper Tool
14. Inset a Cooker and Set Up an Open Plan Family Kitchen
By knocking down the lower section of your chimney breast, you can comfortably add an oven into the fireplace, set up cabinets, and have an open-plan family kitchen.
Once the cooker is in place, you can add kitchen cabinets on either side of the chimney breast and set up a dining area a few feet away from the cooking station.
This design is among the top decorating ideas for chimney breast structures, and many modern contemporary families prefer having such an open plan kitchen as it economizes on space. On top of setting up a dining table, you can also add a breakfast bar near the cooking area.
Are you looking for Kitchen Cabinets, we recommend this:
HOMCOM Traditional Freestanding Kitchen Pantry Cabinet
15. Convert it into a Private Office/ Area
You can quickly change a breast chimney into a work desk or private area such as a dressing table if it is located in a secluded place or upstairs.
With a few carpentry and masonry adjustments, you can have a fully functioning wardrobe, dressing table, or private office.
The hearth will provide enough space to fit a stool or small chair and allow you to work without disturbance or beautify yourself privately.
Are you looking for Office Chair, we recommend this:
Home Office Chair Ergonomic Desk Chair
16. Use Ceramics to Create a Uniform Wall Over the Chimney Breast
You can leave the fireplace open and cover up the front of the chimney breast entirely along with the space gaps on the sides to have one uniform wall using ceramics and plaster.
This procedure results in a stunning wall that appears to have a square hole in it.
You can also furnish the empty fireplace with woven rattan baskets and gourds and use paint to sketch a solid icon of the chimney’s breast location.
Are you looking for Rattan Basket, we recommend this:
Vosarea Rattan Storage Basket
17. Procure a Mounted Animal Head
If you are a game hunter or hunting enthusiast, adding a mounted animal head to your fireplace’s wall can improve its appeal and antique authenticity.
Many classic movies containing chimney breast depictions have mounted animal heads above the mantelpiece. You can emulate such an indoor decorative by purchasing a mounted animal head from a local taxidermist.
If you don’t want a stuffed animal head on your wall, you can always procure faux-mounted animal heads that serve the same purpose.
Are you looking for Animal Head, we recommend this:
DWK “The Duke” Wall Mounted Faux Dear Head
18. Add More Detail to the Mantel
Making color and design changes to a mantel can significantly help to decorate a fireplace’s walls. Here is how to decorate a chimney breast’s mantel.
Begin by applying a bright definitive color on the mantelpiece using a different color of a darker shade on the chimney breast.
This procedure will make the mantel stand out and bring attention to the chimney breast. After painting the mantelpiece, allow it to dry and use sandpaper to create an aged appearance.
Are you looking for Bright Color, we recommend this:
Retique It Chalk Furniture Paint
19. Apply a Chimney Breast Wallpaper
Applying wallpaper is one of the most straightforward decorating ideas for chimney breast walls. It involves purchasing the wallpaper and sticking it throughout the fireplace’s walls. Wallpapers differ widely in colors and design.
Therefore you should slowly analyze the available options and pick a wallpaper that best suits your personality.
If you aren’t sure that you can correctly stick wallpaper on your chimney breast, kindly consider hiring home décor professionals to do it.
Are you looking for Wallpaper, We recommend this:
Coavas Brick Wallpaper Peel and Stick
20. Add a Marble Finishing
Adding a marble finishing to your chimney breast helps to provide a fancy scratch-proof finishing. Marble is a durable and affordable decorative product that will leave your chimney breast with a stunning appeal.
This material is also heat-resistant, meaning it is ideal for actively used fireplaces. You can even touch the marble-covered chimney breast while using the fireplace, and you won’t suffer any burns.
Marble also maintains its shine and hue for more extended periods compared to other decorative items. When you install, seal, and maintain marble well, it can last for a lifetime.
Are you looking for Marble, we recommend this:
Carrara (Carrera) Bianco Honed 6×12 Subway Marble Tile
21. Use it to Store Logs
If you don’t want to incur expensive chimney breast renovation costs, you can use the chimney breast as a storage unit for logs, and it will look surprisingly good.
Positioning logs at the chimney breast’s opening has a rustic allure and makes the room feel homey. This form of decoration works well in the dining area, living room, and bedrooms.
Are you looking for Log Bundle, we recommend this:
Wilson Enterprises White Birch Log Bundle
Chimney breast ideas decorating can help you find innovative and creative ways of beautifying your fireplace’s walls. By following the ’21 Chimney Breast Decorating Ideas’ mentioned above, you can turn your dull chimney breast into a stunning centerpiece.