Even though it literally snowed in New England last week (yes, in May), woodstoves and electric fireplaces are easily a thing of the past, not to be used again till October. But if you have a built-in fireplace, summer is upon us and now is the time to think outside the design box! So please tell me you don’t leave the wood logs and andirons out all summer long, an unused fireplace is a waste of creative space!

Filling a fireplace with candles during the winter months is always nice and much easier than a real fire if you don’t need the warmth, but fresh-scented candles in summer can always be fun too, and they don’t put out heat. Alternately, a birch barrel or galvanized bucket of branches is always a good idea (but be safe!). My favorite is an overflow of fresh greens, it really makes a fireplace pop with color. Anyway, here are a few of my favorite design ideas to spark your creativity, we’re all inside a lot now so don’t just let your fireplace sit, unused and unloved, during these warm months, you can’t lose it, so use it!

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