There are a lot of very good reasons to not use a wood-burning fireplace, and every person with a retired one in their home typically has their own one. Some are trying to reduce their carbon footprint, and do not want to release all those toxins into the environment while others are pretty concerned over deforestation. Some hate maintaining a dirty wood pile and scooping soot and others know that the smoke can cause health problems. Regardless your reason is for not using that fireplace, now you have an excuse to put it to better use.

If you are one of the many who love the look and feel of a warm dancing flame, but do not want to burn wood, you will want to shop for fireplace inserts. These allow you to still have a fire only it is a clean, odor and smoke-free, environmentally friendly one that burns bio ethanol.

Library

Why not place all of your books in there that you have scattered around the house? You can even create a few piles of them outside the fireplace in an artistic way. Position your favorite reading chair near it, toss a soft throw blanket on the arm and you will find yourself making time to squeeze in “one more chapter.”

Wine Rack

Could this be the perfect place to put that wine rack or small wine fridge you really do not have any room for? Why not? As long as the bottles in the rack do not receive direct sunlight this may be the perfect use of this space. Guests will certainly find it interesting.

Seasonal Items

This is the perfect place to showcase whatever holiday or season it happens to be. In the fall fill it with pumpkins and gourds and place large clear vases on either side filled with leaves. In December, change it to a Christmas or snowman display, and then put your champagne buckets in there for New Year’s. This will allow it to remain the centerpiece of your home year-round.

 Pet Station

Put a bed in there for Fido or Miss Whiskers. Alternately, this might be a good place for a small fountain that they can drink out of or a basket of toys. If you are in a small apartment and have a cat this could be an ideal place to hide the litter box, and just put a decorative screen in front.