10 creative ideas for decorating a chimney breast

Explore our 10 creative chimney breast ideas to transform this once redundant space into a chic feature piece in any room

Finding creative chimney breast ideas can feel challenging, with the typical recommendations being incorporating a dark wall or simply removing it. But this personally doesn’t excite our design taste buds.

When planning room decor, Chimney breasts are often perceived to be an awkward nuisance that can stop your interior design plan in its tracks. And while it may feel like a hurdle, 2024 is the year of embracing and repurposing the beautiful period pieces in our homes; the chimney breast being no exception.

With this in mind, we’ve curated a collection of creative chimney breast ideas to take this once-bothersome feature from design hurdle to elevated focal piece.

Transformative chimney breast ideas

Incorporate wall paneling

In the true spirit of embracing the beauty of chimney breasts, wall paneling is a natural first choice of design element to explore. Wainscoting paneling is a minimalistic panel design, making it an ideal choice for a simple chimney breast redesign project.

Whether you’re looking to create a bold feature wall or a neutral understated design, this option is a brilliant way to incorporate budget-friendly decor that will transform your space. Adding this feature to surrounding cabinetry will help to create a cohesive flow between the chimney breast and surrounding alcoves.

Create a media wall

Looking to gain functionality from your chimney breast? Go for a media wall. This design feature has skyrocketed in popularity by taking a once redundant wall to a multi-functioning space. Removing the need for cluttered cables gives a calming and clean look to the room.

Pairing media walls with alcove shelving and cabinetry enables the chimney breast to become part of the room as opposed to an awkward feature.

Make it personal

Embrace the quirky nature of your chimney breast with a personalized gallery wall that reflects your style and character in your home. This unique chimney breast idea takes advantage of the blank canvas that this area provides.

Whether this be a functioning dressing table, or a gallery wall with personal art, memories, and items; the options are limitless.

Contrasting color schemes

When planning the fate of this clunky interior wall, cost is a factor that plays a key role in finding the perfect chimney breast idea. Sometimes a simple color revolution is all that’s required to transform the feel of this wall.

Pair a dark statement wall with a contrasting fireplace to shift the focus of the room away from your chimney breast and towards the playful fireplace design. With a handful of tools and minimal budget required this simple option provides a quick, hassle-free solution.

Repurpose the fireplace

Fireplace repurposing often creates a blank canvas for decor such as plants, books, or decorative ornaments. But hareonthehillinteriors unique design exhibits how truly creative you can be when redesigning this once-plain space.

With countless options from chic wine racks to DIY dog houses, there’s an abundance of functions to choose from when repurposing a fireplace. This savvy design allows you to add heaps of character while providing a unique feature to the existing chimney breast.

Opt for a large mirror

Similar to contrasting colors, this chimney breast idea is ideal for those of us looking for a quick and efficient solution to the overbearing presence of the wall. It’s no secret that utilizing natural daylight and mirrors to control this is a simple way to give the illusion of space and brightness within a room.

Combining neutral wall paint and a large wall-mounted mirror allows you to soften the depth of the chimney breast without the need for any major renovations.

Revamp the brickwork

White chimney breast with two black storage cabinets either side
credit: cadencehomes

The shade of brickwork or wallpaper plays a key role in the impact of the interior walls in your home. While the current brickwork or shade of your chimney breast may not feel right for your room, there are plenty of alternative colors and designs to choose from.

Painting the existing brickwork retains the authentic feel of your chimney breast while adding a modern twist. Cadence homes has achieved a timeless monochrome design, making use of a modern black fireplace and white stone brickwork, complemented with freestanding cabinetry.

Add ambient spotlighting

Installing warm spotlights is a surefire way to create a cozy and welcoming ambiance in your home. Opting for additional lighting in your alcove creates a seamless feel to the wall’s design, preventing the chimney breast from feeling out of place or standalone.

Keith’s timeless design choice of deep stone shelving and warm spotlights allows for each alcove’s decor to be showcased beautifully; while also retaining the chimney breasts’ natural beauty.

Enhance your chimney breast

We know that when it comes to chimney breast design, creating a statement piece isn’t to everyone’s taste. For those of us looking for chimney breast ideas to help this area blend in, enhancing the surrounding areas will work wonders.

Simply using your chimney breast as a blank canvas for ornaments and furnishings will enable you to create a welcoming and neutral design. Decorative items such as baskets, logs, and pampas add warmth to the room while enabling the chimney wall to blend seamlessly with it.

Play with pattern

Dark green living room alcoves and chimney breast with floral wallpaper
credit: thegarthhome

For decades, feature walls have dominated the interior design world. Its ability to transform a space from lackluster to charming has earned the decor trend a long-standing appreciation.

Choosing a bold and intricate wallpaper design enables your chimney breast to truly take center stage within the room. This chimney breast idea brings a ton of versatility, allowing you to push your creative boundaries to create a design that reflects your personal style.


Can I update my chimney breast on a budget?

Absolutely. Chimney breast renovations don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. With budget-friendly options like a paint refresh and wall-paneling, our chimney breast ideas cater to all budgets.

How big should a mirror be on a chimney breast?

When selecting your mirror, opt for larger mirrors that measure at least equal distance of your fireplace opening. This will prevent the mirror from looking out of place and brings a balanced feel to the room

Should I wallpaper my chimney breast?

The short answer is yes. Opting to wallpaper your chimney breast is a great option for creating a statement in your home. However, we would recommend going with an alternative option if you’re looking to help the chimney breast blend in with surrounding alcoves.

For more living room ideas and tips, check out our related posts.

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