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That Empty Fireplace

Natalie Daise shares her creative ideas for outfitting a fireplace for when it's not in use.

On a cold winter's day, there's nothing better than cozying up to a warm fire. But what do you do with a cold fireplace on a warm summer's day? Design expert Natalie Daise says, "freshen it up."

  • Create a serenity center using sand, rocks, shells, bamboo and candles.

  • Fill a baking tray with soil and grass and accent with a basket.

  • Paint patterns onto terra-cotta flower pots and plant with bright flowers. Turn some upside-down and stack others on top for a variety of heights.

  • Create your own folk art for the fireplace using flat wooden cutouts of animals or people. Draw a pattern onto paper and trace onto a piece of plywood. Cut out the design with a jigsaw, then prime and paint in bright colors. For the stand, glue a dowel onto the back and drill a hole into a piece of driftwood to hold the dowel.

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