Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fireplace Facelift

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With the first day of school tomorrow and the leaves here in New England starting to turn, I'm thinking about how much I'm looking forward to sitting by the fire with my family.

Our fireplace, it turned out, was unlined, making it possible for carbon monoxide to seep into the house, rendering it unusable for almost four years.

After much deliberation we decided to purchase a pellet stove to add supplemental, lower cost heat.
(Big old houses have big oil bills!) I have hay fever so burning trees and the mold that comes with them wasn't an option for me. With no gas in the house and a centrally located chimney, propane was ruled out as well. 

I have been asked often for suggestions on what to do to revamp an ugly old fireplace. Outdated brick, brass doors, you know the ones. 

In my case, I wanted a more contemporary look so I scrapped the mantle all together and added floor to ceiling tile glass tiles, covering the brick. I like the clean look and since this is our tv room having the big box on the wall as a focal point is fine with me.

I came across some great photos on Pinterest tonight that I want to share...

Think floor to ceiling red brick fireplace, resplendent with brass screen... rough wood mantle. You remember that fireplace we grew up with in the seventies?  What if you gave it a few quick coats of white paint? Paint the inside of your firebox a matte black and maybe made a box cover for that old mantle to slip over the top?

Source: thelennoxx.com via Dani on Pinterest

Or for a sophisticated country look, clad that same brick surround in mdf and trim it out with some beautiful, tall crown molding. Don't feel constrained by the size of your existing surround. Go big, bright and clean with horizontal wide planks. Small glass tile is such a breeze to work with using Simple Mat that anyone can do it.

Basic white is always gorgeous. This monochromatic color scheme makes the room look large, bright, airy but still inviting. 

I love the black as well. How gorgeous would this satin black painted brick look at the holidays with black and white decor or red, green and black plaid? 

If you've been thinking about your old fireplace but have been afraid to make a change, take the leap, try something new. Hold your judgement until you're finished. The first step is always unnerving, but once it's complete I'll bet you'll love the change. (send me photos!!)


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