Fireplace transformations

4 ways to turn your fireplace into a showstopper

Wood paneling
Photo by Marion Brenner

Wood paneling

San Francisco architect Seth Boor ( reused wood from this home's old roof structure and "tiled" it onto plywood backing for the look of solid core. This option is only for contained fireplaces (with a steel insert or doors).

Get the look: Seth says to shoot for wood-slat dimensions of ½ inch thick or so by 1½ to 3 inches wide. If you don't have reclaimed wood nearby, Viridian Wood Products will ship it (

DIY level: Not suitable unless you are handy with a saw. Hire a pro; serious tools are needed for cutting and installation.

Cost: Moderate (low materials cost, but labor can be $30/square foot).

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