Cover story: Buyers warm up to homes with fireplaces

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“You want that to be the center of attention,” she said. “For the mantle, you want symmetry with a little group of three things of varying heights — like vases or candles — on either side.”

Don’t block the fireplace with couches or chairs, Ms. Tantawy said. “You want to be able to walk up to the fireplace.”

For the hearth, she said, it’s a nice touch to have elegant fire tools and perhaps a basket with wood or blankets. “It’s a very cozy look, and people really respond to it.”

If it’s a cold day, it makes sense to light a fire for a showing or open house, Ms. Tantawy said.

“Obviously, it would be ridiculous in the summer, but it might be nice to put candles or a candelabra in the fireplace so you’re not left with a big black hole,” she said.

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