One of the most used features in any home is the fireplace, which creates a cozy ambiance and works well as a supplemental heating source to keep the chill away in the colder seasons. Although traditional wood fireplaces are common to find, more people are opting for electric fireplaces because of their energy efficiency to keep your electric bill low each month. If you want to know how to make an electric fireplace appear real, there are a few DIY projects to attempt and styling ideas to consider to transform the look and enhance your setting.
Create a Fireplace Mantel
The fireplace mantel is the main focal point of a traditional large electric fireplace, making it necessary to add the feature above an electric fireplace to personalize the fixture and add extra character. When people see a mantel in your home, they automatically assume that the fireplace is real and will spend more time viewing the items on display rather than the actual fireplace.
For the project, you’ll need to purchase three boards with an ebony stain, which must be applied early on before moving on to the other steps. You’ll also need Bombay Mahogany stain for applying on top of the ebony stain. Liquid nails are also needed for securing and attaching the materials. Most mantels are an average of 60 inches long. The mantel needs to sit flush on the wall and firmly secured.
Distressing the wood will add extra character to the mantel and allow it to look natural while also creating a rustic effect that works well in homes with a farmhouse style. Next, frame the wall and get a visual of what it will look like by applying tape. Start building the frame and secure the frames to the studs before securing both frames together.
You can even consider purchasing a pre-made fireplace mantel if you want something ready to install for added convenience. You won’t have to worry about measuring the materials or buying the proper hardware to complete the project.
A fireplace with mantel is also convenient if you have a freestanding stove in the home, which can look small and outdated. The mantel can enhance the visual appeal of the feature and complement its vintage style when you want to makeover your bedroom or living room.
The mantel will draw more attention to the feature to prevent it from blending in with the setting. It can also provide you with a place to hang stockings when decorating for Christmas. Consider adding framed photos and a vase full of flowers to create an attractive setting that draws attention away from any of the faux features of the fireplace. You can also add a large mirror or a high piece of art while keeping it in scale. The items you mount or hang shouldn’t be wider than the actual fireplace, which can cause it to look awkward and too small. You can even add some fresh flowers to create the illusion that the entire fireplace is real.
Another option for creating a DIY mantel is to mount a long shelf directly over the fireplace. It’s a modern and minimal twist that doesn’t require much work or materials and still creates the same effect. It can also accommodate different sizes of electric fireplaces and doesn’t require performing a lot of labor or purchasing too many materials.
An additional feature that will create the illusion of a genuine fireplace in your bedroom or living room is adding a fireplace screen. When seeing a fireplace screen, your guests will immediately assume that the feature is real because most people don’t invest in the product unless they want to prevent embers from flying out of the firebox. Not only will a fireplace screen work well as a prop, but you can also add a set of tools with a fireplace rake and a poker to set the stage.
If you want to take it a step further, you can even add a stack of wood to the living area to make it look like you’re ready for your next fire. Most people won’t question the props and will assume that the fireplace is real if you took the time to add the different accessories.
You can also select a few premade fireplace mantels to ensure you can quickly install them without performing any work. Standard wall mantels are easy to install because they sit flat against the wall to create a traditional look with a faux fireplace. The design is convenient because it doesn’t require any demolition or configurations to your home.
Corner mantels, such as MagikFlame Churchill electric fireplace, are also an option if you live in an apartment and have limited floor space. They’re made for corner electric fireplaces and smaller family rooms. Rolling mantels are also convenient if you plan to move the feature to another room of the home. Media console mantels are another consideration that combines two pieces of furniture and can even accommodate a television. They also hide cables and offer added storage space for your personal belongings.
Another consideration is to build a fireplace surround, which surrounds the fire and is a decorative feature that will make an insert look real. They’re available in various styles, materials, and sizes to complement the insert. Consider the style of your home and the architecture in your building when purchasing the right product to ensure it complements the room and the fake fireplace. If you choose a surround with a wood finish, look for something with the same stain color as other materials in the home to ensure it blends in well. You can also search for a fireplace surround with limestone with Portuguese and again limestone varieties available. This will look classy and contemporary if you have an upscale and luxe style in the home.
Use the Right Materials
When you want to learn how to make an electric fireplace look real, consider installing features that surround the product and prevent it from becoming too much of the focal point in the space. Custom cabinetry and wall coverings are some of the best materials to make an electric fireplace appear authentic.
You can also consider installing shiplap, which creates a rustic or farmhouse effect that is a popular choice among homeowners. Adding shiplap boards above the energy-efficient electric fireplace will draw the eye upward and create more drama.
Some people even choose to install a stone hearth with faux brick, complete with a fireplace screen. This can make it look like a real wood-burning fireplace with a classic and traditional style. The stone materials will make the fireplace look built-in for added coziness in the room. This makes for an easy weekend project with enough planning and accuracy that doesn’t require hiring a professional contractor to assist.
If you want something more elegant for a dining room, opt for a neo-classical fender, which is more upscale with intricate design and details.
Keep in mind that building a larger hearth will make the fireplace appear more realistic. Most real fireplaces are large and take up a significant amount of space in the room. Bigger is always better if you have enough space for the feature. Fake fireplaces are known to be small and portable, which is why you’ll want to increase the dimensions. Avoid installing any molding behind the fireplace, and it should stop right at the edge like it would with a real fireplace. The hearth should also extend a foot in front of the mantel to make it look more realistic.
When you install stone materials on a wall, lay a rock on the tarp, and decide what type of pattern you want to create to make it look high-end and authentic. Mix different types of colors for a more professional design. Allow it to dry for 24-hours before securing the fireplace.
One of the benefits of an electric fireplace is that you have more clearance around the fireplace, which allows you to have more flexibility with how you choose to style it. The lack of residual heat and combustion can offer more freedom to use different materials or add various elements to create a realistic fireplace.
If you want to know how to make an electric fireplace look real, consider installing built-ins to enhance the visual appeal of the fireplace. Start with a firebox made out of MDF with intricate and detailed molding. Move on to build bookshelves where you can add framed photos, artwork, family heirlooms, and your favorite novels—group decor pieces to prevent the items from looking too cluttered. You can also add symmetrical cabinets on each side, which can be used for extra storage. If the cabinets have clear doors, add decorative items inside, which will draw the eyes away from the fireplace.
Purchase an Electric Fireplace Insert
A fireplace insert can fit inside different fireboxes, whether you already have one in your home or plan to build a firebox. Choose a fireplace insert at least 40 inches high to ensure it can emit enough heat and doesn’t appear fake. It’s easy to install and is ready to use in minutes by plugging the cord into an electrical outlet.
A fireplace insert will look more realistic than a faux fireplace in a TV console because of the materials and features you use around it. If you want to learn how to make an electric fireplace look real, search for an insert that appears like a real fire. You should be capable of adjusting the flame effects to create a custom look specific to the room’s look and your personal preference.
Many consumers enjoy the technology and effects of the Dimplex Opti Myst fireplace. The Dimplex Opti Myst fireplace has a smoke effect with a flick of a switch, and the flames look like they’re directly on the wood log set instead of sitting behind them. You can also control the intensity of the effect.
Fireplace inserts offer a lot more flexibility regarding how you can customize them when creating a real fireplace in your home or office. You can build up and around it instead of working with a freestanding electric fireplace that doesn’t offer as much freedom with how it can be customized.
Mount a TV Above the Fireplace
Consider hanging a flatscreen TV over your fireplace to draw the eye upward and make the fireplace look more authentic. When you plan to hang a television, the size of the feature should be determined by the viewing distance. The distance should be 1.5x the size of the screen from your face to the screen.
You should also mount it at eye level to avoid straining your neck and prevent it from being too high above the fireplace. Most people mount the TV 60 to 68 inches above the ground. If your fireplace has brick or stone, it can be challenging to hide the electrical wires and keep them discrete to ensure the fireplace looks more natural. Consider buying a television with a connect box, which features power and video signal. You can also add a niche to the wall or add cabinets to the side of your fireplace for the different equipment you need to store.
The television’s width shouldn’t be wider than the fireplace to prevent it from overpowering the fireplace. If the fireplace appears too small, it can draw too much attention to it and also cause it to look fake.
There are even television screens that look like artwork when they’re not in use and have an elegant frame. You can enhance the design and style of your faux fireplace with a TV that showcases a contemporary or classic picture to ensure it becomes the focal point and draws attention away from any of the features that cause your fireplace to look fake.
Install it Correctly
If you want to know how to make an electric fireplace look real, it’s essential to install it correctly to ensure it has a seamless design. There shouldn’t be any cords visible or wires hanging out after you plug it into the electrical outlet. The electrical connection needs to be close enough for hard-wiring.
If you currently have a real wood fireplace that you’re converting into an electric fireplace, the fireplace insert should be the correct size for the opening of your existing fireplace. Measure the dimensions in advance before ordering the product to ensure it blends in well. If gaps are present, add custom trim to create a more seamless look. You can even add tiles to the gaps to create a more realistic effect that causes the electric fireplace to look like a built-in. Adding a thin strip of lattice on the edges of the tile will hide any gaps that are still present.
Some people also consider adding an electric fireplace insert into a cabinet, which requires placing stones around the firebox, similar to installing a gas unit. This will create the illusion of an authentic fireplace.
Following the installation instructions that come with the fireplace will also allow you to enhance the fixture’s look in the room. You also won’t have to worry about installing vents or even gas lines than adding a gas fireplace.
Place it in the Right Location
The placement of your electric fireplace is one of the main factors that determine if it looks real when using it in your home. The fireplace can look fake if you place it too close to a window or door, making it necessary to find a spot where a real fireplace would likely be installed. When putting it in a living room, add it to the longest or largest wall to prevent the space from appearing too cluttered. You can also make it look like the real thing by placing it across from the room’s entryway, which will make it the first feature your guests see when walking into the space.
First, measure the dimensions of your fireplace to determine what spots it can fit in, whether you plan to place it in a living room or master bedroom. Use painter’s tape to sketch out where the fireplace can be added to get an idea of where it’ll look most appealing.
Choose a MagikFlame Model
Although there are many different ways to make your fireplace appear real, the best solution is to select a Magikflame electric fireplace if you want an authentic look. Even with the right decor used, you only have so much control over the look of the feature and how realistic it appears as it’s in use. If you’re looking for the best electric fireplace, Magikflame is known to be innovative with the technology offered and trumps other brands when it comes to the realistic flame effect of each fireplace. They sell the most realistic electric fireplaces with 30 authentic flame visuals and sounds. Watching a tutorial can allow you to learn about the technology and its effects.
A MagikFlame electric fireplace comes with many different features that contribute to the realistic design of the product. Your guests will assume you have a real wood fireplace because of the other elements that contribute to the realistic design of the MagikFlame product.
Many models include a realistic crackling sound to make it appear that wood logs are burning with the advanced flame effects. The technology also includes LED lights to create a real flame effect. You can choose from many styles and colors to ensure it complements the season, time of day, and the style of the room.
The MagikFlame models available even include log sets that look like they’re actually burning. Some of the products even have a realistic crackling fireplace sound, which will enhance the experience of sitting by the fire. The realistic flames look more authentic than Dimplex models. They are easy to alter with the different settings available, depending on the color you prefer when you want to use an electric fireplace that looks like the real thing.
A Magikflame electric fireplace even emits a significant amount of heat to ensure you stay warm and can supplement your central heating system. Check the BTU of each product to find something that delivers enough heat for the size of the room where you plan to use it. Measure the square feet of the room in advance to ensure everyone in the space can stay warm and cozy. Multiply the square footage by 20 BTUs per square foot. You’ll need an electric fireplace with 20,000 BTU for rooms with 1,000 square feet.
There are many places to find the best electric fireplace sold by MagikFlame, including Amazon. You can watch a tutorial explaining the operation and different features available to narrow down your top choices. You can also contact the manufacturer or browse their website to search for local stores that may sell the products and get a first-hand look at the item before selecting. Some models come with a remote control to avoid any hassle with the operation, while others have a built-in timer.
It’s essential to invest in a quality brand with fireplaces made in the U.S. because the parts will last longer without wearing down. If any materials need to be replaced, they are easier to find because they don’t have to be imported from another country. Magikflame fireplaces are made in the U.S., but brands like Dimplex manufacture their products in China.
Knowing the best materials and products to use to enhance the look of your fireplace can allow you to make it stand out and appear authentic. You can transform the electric fireplace you purchase to ensure it contributes to the appeal of your interior setting and offers a cozy touch.