It’s important to keep the home fires burning, especially in Canada when it can even get chilly on summer evenings in some places.

For those lucky enough to have a fireplace, perhaps it might be time to see it in a new light. The following are six ways to restyle an outdated fireplace to make it the focal point of a room. Sprucing it up a little may even add value to your home.

Give it a good cleaning. If you have a wood burning fireplace, not only will cleaning it out well on a regular basis cut down on accidents, but it will also make it gleam again. A little elbow grease goes a long way.

New paint. Giving your fireplace surround a new paint job could modernize an outdated look. Some vintage surrounds look beautiful with fresh paint. If there is tiling, those could also be refreshed with a coat or two.

Be creative. Use your imagination. For instance, think about adding a wood panel above a wood mantel to make the whole wall the centre of attention. Find a vintage mirror to hang and you’ve instantly made the room look bigger.

Whitewash. Tired of the brick? A fresh coat of whitewash will create the feeling of a more open space. This is a really inexpensive fix. Just mix equal parts of water and white latex paint together and give it a good stir. Give the bricks a dusting off with a damp rag, then apply the paint mixture with a lint-free cloth. Using a dry brush after applying with a cloth will get any places you missed. Give it a second coat if you want a deeper white.

Trend-setting tile. Tiles come in all materials these days. If you want to add tile to your fireplace area, take the cues from the style in your room. A modern look might do well with sleek, subway tiles or geometric patterns, while a shabby chic look would sizzle with pastel-coloured tiles.

A whole new mantel. The mantelpiece can make or break the look of your fireplace. It’s the anchor that brings everything together. When choosing a new one, you might want to give thought to its function. Do you want a mantel with an attached shelf or a floating shelf? Or perhaps no shelf at all. Do you want clean, unfettered lines or more of an ornate look? It all depends on what you’re going for in your main look overall.