Dressing your fireplace is a quick and easy way to refresh the decor in your room. It can turn a tired living space into something fresh, vibrant and aspirational with relatively little hard work. Use a little imagination and you can create a feature fireplace out of a fire you thought you needed to try and hide. Here are some popular ideas for giving your fireplace that cosy and rejuvenated look.

Whether you have a free-standing fireplace or one that has a characterful surround, there will always be steps you can take to make your fire feel more attractive. You might want to create a homelier effect that feels like a hub for cosy family evenings. Or it might be a more formal fireplace in keeping with a dining room. Whichever you go for, there are plenty of ways you can spruce up a fireplace and make it your own.

First, consider the finish of the surround. If that’s obviously in need of some TLC, why not try sanding it down to remove the old paint job and brighten the feel of the wood. A whitewashed finish is a contemporary way to update the look without too much expense. It might be all that's needed.

How about looking around a few antique shops and finding some interesting ornaments. Go for ones that are attractive for their shape and colour, rather than because they have financial value, and you’ll be surprised what an attractive feature your fireplace will become. You could also find some containers made from natural materials to create a more rustic look.

You could add a few plants. But if you’re not all that green-fingered and you’re concerned that living things would be an extra responsibility you could do without, how about getting a bunch of long dry ornamental twigs and placing them in a tall vase. That way they’ll last the season without needing to be watered and you’ll still be enhancing your home with nature’s colours and textures. Simple.

Have you tried your hand at any art projects lately? Print out some of your favourite family photos and invest in some frames that will set them off nicely. It’s a great way to instantly create some domesticity and life in a bare room.  Alternatively, if you’re a fan of mosaics or maybe you're a bit of a watercolour artist, the fireplace is a perfect gallery space for showing off your handiwork at home.

Candles and mirrors are tried and tested additions to any fireplace. Make sure yours fits with the existing style in the room, so, if you’re going for wood, frames and holders should pick this out. If you want a more metallic look, make sure it fits with a more minimalist setting.

An imposing ironwork fireguard could be a way to add some safeguarding to your fireplace as well as creating a striking and formidable look that makes your room feel more of a statement. But at the end of the day, your fireplace is uniquely yours, so you are completely free to make it your own without having to follow any particular rules. Well, except one. Don't add flammable materials near the flames. Apart from that, get creative!