After the cold and darker days of Winter....after the last blazing fire of the year....after the embers have cooled and the ashes have been cleaned out during Spring Cleaning, it's time to figure out what to do with that empty space where the firewood used to be. So....do you just put some new wood in and call it a day? Or do you get more creative? It seems that many are "scaping" their fireplaces these days.

House Beautiful, July 2004, Photo by Charles Maraia, Home of Chris Madden

It used to be that a fern in the fireplace was the expected solution during the warmer seasons. But you would be hard pressed to see a fern in a fireplace these days. The options are only limited by one's imagination. I have collected a few photos that caught my attention.

Domino, December/January 2008, Photo by Annie Schlechter

The style team at Domino got creative using wallpaper to line a non-working fireplace, then added some fuchsia painted logs. The wallpaper is "Summer Palace" by Osborne & Little. Andirons by Lyle and Umbach, who are kinda known for cool andirons btw.

House Beautiful, June 2008, Photo by Eric Piasecki

Christopher Maya used art to enhance this fireplace. The vibrant colors of the Picasso above the mantle are balanced beautifully by the metal shield sculptures in the fireplace.

Elle Decor, May 2008, Photo by William Abranowicz

Art collector Beth Rudin DeWoody collaborated with her designer friends Randall Beale and Carl Lana of Beale-Lana Interior Design to create this fantastically artful display with the tortoise shell front and center.

Elle Decor, March 2007, Photo by Simon Upton

I love this stark white castle against the black interior of this fireplace. Simple and very striking. It is small wonder I discovered that this house was also put together by Beth Rudin DeWoody (socialite, philanthropist, and real estate executive). A woman after my own heart. A collector of art and and anything else that suits her fancy. This house is her Southampton retreat, and this single photo is far from doing the whole article justice. So please do check out both stories (this in the Elle Decor March 2007 issue) to get a picture of this very interesting woman.

House & Garden, May 2007, Photo by Pascal Chevallier

Perhaps a set of extremely cool andirons is all you really need. Children's wear designer Cordelia De Castellane put this pair to great use in the fireplace of her Paris apartment. Sorry, no source information on these, but do check out Lyle and Umbach.

House and Garden April 2007, Photo by Jeff Riedel

This one I love because it so perfectly captures the personality of it's owner, Douglas Little. Mr. Little has a fascinating past, and his present is no less so. In 2003 he launched D.L. & Co.: Modern Alchemists and Purveyors of Curious Goods. To find out more about this eccentric and his candles scented with poisonous plants, check out his website here. But back to this fireplace: the red coral hints at flames licking the backs of these black owl andirons. Wicked fabulous!

AD, April 2008, Photo by Tim Street-Porter

Jewelry designer John Hardy simply places a huge piece of rock crystal in front of a beautiful metal fireplace screen. It also is reminiscent of flames as it catches the flickering light. Very effective in it's simplicity.

Domino, June/July, 2008, Photo by Paul Costello

And, yes, there has been much buzz about Katie Lee Joel's apartment in the June/July issue of Domino. But what hasn't really been discussed much is that Nate Berkus is behind the design here. From the article, I am not sure how much is Nate and how much is Katie, but for the sake of argument, let's assume this fireplace "scape" is Nate's brainchild. It does have his look about it with the tailored crisp black and concrete color palette. Again, I love the simplicity here. Each element is the stronger for it. The concrete garden urns, though perhaps not inspired on their own, are certainly beautiful in combination with the glass domes and olive branches creating a very pleasing whole.

So, you might be wondering where the photo at the beginning of this post came from? Well....maybe not, but in case you were, it is my own living room where I got really creative with a can of white spray paint and some fake concrete logs that I got for free at a garage sale. Although perhaps not as wildly creative as some of the photos above, I like 'em. They are sort of my own DIY version of the KleinReid Porcelain firewood, which you can read more about here on Apartment Therapy.