Nicole Alexander
Photograph: Marisa Klug-Morataya

Maybe your chimney needs repair. Maybe you just don’t want to light your fireplace. You can still use it to create a mood. We asked Nicole Alexander, founder of Siren Betty Design in West Town, how to turn the void into a vibrant centerpiece, no matchsticks required.

1 Use Flower Power

Above: “Fireplaces are great spots for floral arrangements,” says Alexander. “Try orchids, big ferns, or dried flowers hung at varying levels and depths from above.”


Candle Illustration by Jason Schneider
Illustrations: Jason Schneider

2 Go for Goth

“Place vintage candelabras, candlesticks, or used pillar candles of varying heights on the ground. You’ll get this drippy emo look.”


Shelves illustration by Jason Schneider

3 Display Your Faves

“Build shelves into your fireplace and line them with LED lights. You can put any objects you like there — succulents, books, records, you name it.”


LED light illustration by Jason Schneider

4 Cast a Glow

“Hide LED lights in the back, then stack surprising objects in front. It could be antlers, disco balls, even fun vintage finds like eight-track tapes.”