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Restoring a fireplace

Emily Brooks explains how to breathe new life into an old hearth
Restorers can usually replace missing iron parts, but if your fireplace is very dilapidated you might be better off starting again with a reproduction; this Shillington model from Capital Fireplaces (£1,329) has art nouveau inspired tulip details

Gone are the days when homeowners would routinely plasterboard over or brick up a fireplace in order to give a more modern, streamlined look to a period property. Some old houses once had a fireplace in every room, a setup that’s admittedly not always desirable these days in bedrooms and bathrooms, even as ornamental objects. However, in our principal living spaces we are now much more likely to regard a fireplace as a prized original feature. The rise of clean, highly efficient solid-fuel stoves and gas fires (as opposed to inefficient, smoky open fires) is a further argument for creating a beautiful focal point in the room – one that can also keep you cosy and warm.

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About Build It

Make 2018 your year to self-build with Build It's latest advice and inspiration-packed edition! This month's issue includes: - 32 must-read tips for your project - Expert guide to planning success - The secret to a characterful renovation - How to buy the right bricks - Design ideas: windows & glazing - Reinstating an old fireplace ...and more!