Check that the damper is open. The damper is a device that controls the amount of air flowing through the flue. The flue is the passage or duct for smoke in a chimney. Feel inside the chimney or pop your head inside to look at the damper with a flashlight. There should be a lever which you can try moving one way or the other. One direction will close the damper, the other will open it — check to see that the damper is open, or else smoke will pour back into the room. This is much easier to do before lighting a fire in there. Once you have determined that the damper is open, you are ready to get started.

Slab. A slab of marble, granite or another solid surface creates a dramatic and minimalist aesthetic. Make sure to hand select your slab and discuss the best area to cut with your installer. Try to take advantage of veining that creates a focal point.

Painted brick. An option I have used often, painted brick works every time. If you are longing to update your old red brick but are short on budget, paint your brick. Any color can work, but white works with so many different styles. Modern, rustic and coastal all work with a painted google .

Last year I added granite around my fireplace quite by circumstantial happenstance. I was remodeling the kitchen and need two slabs of granite to do the job. I had some extra granite so I started looking around for places to use it. The fireplace design leant itself to granite accent panels. So, it was one of the two recipients of my excess granite. The second place I used it was in the guest bath.fireplace tools

There is no mention of creating different layers by building boxes and covering them with sheet rock with round or square edges like the one shown. The fireplace shown has only decorative tile added but could also have a wood mantle. Very inexpensive but still a great look.