Do you use your fireplace for any type of storage when you're not burning a fire, like in the summer? It seems to me the space sure could be put to good use, but I haven't been able to think of anything I like. I did a Google search and got a few ideas, but I think my ThriftyFun friends would have some good ideas.
Get or make a nice fireplace screen and put the cat box in it. The odor goes up and no one can see it or the cat. Store those winter throws for the couch and chairs in a plastic bag and put behind the screen.
I would just store some of the first few days of next winters fresh cut wood in it along with the fireplace wood bin. That way you'll save yourself a trip or two outside at the beginning of winter and not have to find a new place to store the non fireplace items you were storing in it. ;-)
Living here in Florida, we don't need the fireplace as much as some other parts of the country. I've seen people put pillar candles and the 3-wick candles in their fireplaces in the spring, summer, and fall. It has a very nice effect!
I store all the fireplace tolls in mine. They are out of the way during summer and right where you need them next winter.
I've seen a lot of the decorative candles in fireplaces. On the cat box suggestion, I doubt we could get our cats to go in there, but it's worth a try!
I would set a small storage shelf for some good spring and summer reading, along with a nice plant or two. This way you don't have too much worry when you want to go back to using as a fire place. I wouldn't want my pets getting into the habit of going in there, either.
I would not store firewood in my fireplace over the summer. Who knows what type of vermin is living there. Why introduce this to your living space? Candles look nice, or perhaps a basket of green plants for a focal point.
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