First of all, this is FC, so uh, please don’t be offended…
I like the brick model and the texture for the bricks.
Beyond that, to be honest, everything else should probably be reworked.
Try making the mortar a different color that the bricks, preferrably darker. Make the bricks different hues of red. Even with the light from the fire, the bricks should be more red or at least earth tones of some sort. Unless you are going for a chimney made of gold bricks.
The light from the fire should not be coming from that angle. The fire would have to be in front of the mantle to be falling across bricks and the wreath like that.
I recommend setting up your lamps behind the plane of the bricks and use radiosity (in a “room”, i.e. a cube) to get the kind of glow you are looking for.
Your wreath looks like it was made out of a branch from a fake tree. Here is a good example of what a traditional wreath should look like. Do a google on “wreath” and you’ll find other great references. That said, I’m not knowledgeable on the particle system…
The lights on the wreath, from what I can see of them, look like they are the right shape but the material looks off. They look like they are a solid object set to emit, not a glass bulb illuminating. Are the bulbs transparent? If not, maybe setting them to be transparent with ref and hard turned more.
I do like the light from bulbs cast on to the bricks.
- The scene is pretty bland. There is really nothing artistically or aesthetically interesting about this scene, imo.
All of the above mentioned and better lighting might change that some, but won’t solve the problem.
Have you thought about doing something as simple as adding a nice mantle? Maybe offset the wreath slightly.
I hope this doesn’t squelch your enthusiasm because your idea is a good one. The execution of the idea is what needs some work.
Keep at it and happy Blending!