Summer fireplace treatment, Manship House Museum.

Ladies’ magazines often contained suggestions for adorning homes during the summer months.  The Ladies’ Floral Cabinet, June, 1886, provided the following ideas for decorating the empty fireplace:

Summer Decorations for Fireplaces.

Many fireplaces are not sufficiently pretty to be visible when the time for open fires is past, and yet it is a puzzle to know just how they can be made more pleasing to the eye.

If it is an open fireplace the prettiest manner of decorating is to fill it with growing ferns, concealing the pots in which they are planted with moss; and if the ferns die replace them from time to time, as may be necessary, with fresh ones from the woods.  Lace above the ferns, slanting from side of the fireplace, a branch covered with gray lichen, and if possible a stuffed squirrel, as if it were running, or a gay-plumaged stuffed bird.  The effect is more pleasing than can be imagined.  Should the fresh ferns be considered too troublesome, as they will of course require care, a moss-covered log can be laid across the andirons, and the squirrel or bird placed on this.