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Need help updating central structure fireplace
catehazell
December 14, 2012 in Design Dilemma
The fireplace is central structural support and contains 2 chimneys. We are looking for a design approach that will help us to affordably update the structure.

We are planning to leave it as a wood-burning fireplace and want to install the TV above.
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charleee
December 14, 2012 at 10:11AM     
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alibi2011
If you like the brick but don't like the color you can always paint the brick or use a dry brush method to give a more rustic look ... some of the original brick color will show through ... I ususally do this using white as my color for the dry brush. You could also add a wood mantal over the brick one that is there now. As well as removing the firescreen and using a heat resitant paint ... change the brass to black or even silver ... that will go a long way to a DIY update to this great fireplace ...
December 14, 2012 at 10:18AM     
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mmilos
If planning on putting the TV above, I would drywall over most of the brick. That way you can hide cables, etc. Do you have an electrical outlet on the existing mantle?
December 14, 2012 at 10:23AM     
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PRO
the essentials inside
Hi

Since you are updating & want the tv over the fireplace, you might want to try something like this --


This is one of my favorites. It would be great if you have a big tv.

Paint is always a great idea but I do love the venetian plaster that olldbobbi suggested.

Looks like a great house. Are you changing anything else?

Lyvonne
www.essentialsinside.com
December 14, 2012 at 10:31AM     
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catehazell
Thanks everyone for your comments. Very helpful. Also another "wall of brick" in the basement so can use more than one suggestion.

We just bought the house so will also be updating bathrooms, kitchen and walk-in pantry.
December 14, 2012 at 10:34AM     
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charleee
Oh my, that is no small amount of wallpaper! I'm guessing you'll be removing it?

Take pics of each room separately that you need/want help with, and we'll do our best :))
December 14, 2012 at 10:36AM     
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catehazell
even better....we're removing the whole kitchen and starting fresh. Thanks for your suggestions. Much appreciated.
December 14, 2012 at 10:44AM     
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charleee
No problem, and I can't help but post the pic of my favorite kitchen on Houzz: [houzz=
]
December 14, 2012 at 10:47AM   
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Alice Crawford
To Oldbobbi: Just wondering....why did you leave space above the cabinets? If it's a money issue then I get it but that space is a real dust catcher!! Maybe a small cabinet all around with lights inside would have been a nice look (glass doors, of course, so the light would show). Just my uninvited thoughts.
December 14, 2012 at 11:40AM     
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creeser
Alice, that's not olldbobbi's house, that's a kitchen design photo from houzz that olldbobbi found to show catehazell.
December 14, 2012 at 11:44AM   
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charleee
Alice, no that's not my house. I wish! I wish space above my cabinets was the only design flaw! And your thoughts are always welcome :))
December 14, 2012 at 11:50AM   
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PRO
Design Mode
First, think of what you would do if budget was no concern....fieldstone, riverstone, stacked stone, plaster, marble slab? Natural materials are the ultimate luxury. Then, think of how you can get that look on your budget. You can look through products in building supply stores, to see what you like. Or google>images> contemporary central fireplace. Rock face rather than solid granite, for example.
So far the Houzz survey of the "cosiest bedroom" has the river stone boulder fireplace. There is something about a natural looking hearth that speaks to our sense of warmth and home. And mother nature never goes out of style! You will always find a colour in natural products that goes with current trends.
Your fireplace is large, so small stacked stones in multi-colours could be overwhelming. Larger stacked stone could be found in man-made panels, with neutral shades.
Also check out Frank Lloyd Wright central fireplaces - still cool.
December 14, 2012 at 12:05PM     
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PRO
DirectBuy of Fort Worth
Manufactured stone is an inexpensive way to reface that fireplace.
December 14, 2012 at 12:17PM     
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nasmijati
I would consider putting the television in front of the niche in the fireplace wall. This will allow you to hide the cords and accessories behind the television. It will also protect the television from fireplace heat (heat rises). In addition, it will more comfortable for viewing, as you will not have to tilt your head back to look up at the television screen.
I have attached two photos showing fireplaces And televisions in the same horizontal plane in a room. It seems to me to make it easier to look from one to the other (like reading). The space above the fireplace is where the eyes can go to "rest."
December 14, 2012 at 1:51PM     
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charleee
Great idea by eztia! I just wish her pics enlarged :))
December 14, 2012 at 1:59PM   
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PRO
Corbel Construction, LLC
If you want to modernize without rough texture try the porcelain tile in large rectangular shapes (12"x24" or larger) Comes in lots of textures and colors and will give you nice movement without overwhelming the room. Try using a running bond or staggered pattern. You can paint interior of wood box and fireplace flat stove black.
December 14, 2012 at 2:28PM     
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nasmijati
I wish the photos I attached would enlarge here, too. Can't get them formatted with my device.
Both photos are from Houzz.
The one with the black and white television is : 2012 Fall Parade Home BohLand Homes tv.

The photo with green color is: Photos 10-21/ B.W. Interiors Chicago tv.
December 14, 2012 at 2:43PM     
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pjtime
I love the brick and it looks like such an excellent job it would be a shame to change it. I would replace the fireplace doors with a black modern looking set or paint the brass. alibi2011 & eztia's suggestions are great. I have had a TV placed higher than eye level in the past and even in a recliner it was tough on my neck. I'll never mount one high again after a year of that misery. I love the stacked stone and river rock fireplaces too; I just think your brick fireplace is fine and well done, so why go through the expensive renovations when minor changes could bring a modern flair in.
December 14, 2012 at 10:37PM     
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PRO
the essentials inside
eztia - when you share Houzz pictures in the comments are you attaching them or pasting the link to them in the comment?

Looks like the images above are just attached b/c if I click on them it doesn't take me anywhere. If you paste the Houzz link to the pictures in the comment then the pic will automatically be pulled in and will enlarge.

Here is the first pic pasted in --



I can't find the second, though I found B.W. Interiors page.

Forgive me, you probably know all this already but just in case...

Lyvonne
www.essentialsinside.com
December 15, 2012 at 6:16AM     
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nasmijati
@the essentials inside. I have an iPad. The usual directions for pasting a link do not work with this device.
December 15, 2012 at 8:32AM   
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PRO
the essentials inside
Oh, I never tried it on my ipad. Too bad. Wonder why.

Lyvonne
www.essentialsinside.com
December 15, 2012 at 8:45AM   
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pollyannagal
As there is so much of the fireplace and the brickwork is good I see this as a perfect candidate for painted bricks. This way it becomes another wall with an interesting texture rather than an enormous structure that dominates the room. Use a paint with a matt finish either in a soft white or in a deeper shade of your wall colour. A simple timber mantle would complete a stylish look and connect it to the timber floor. There are some great examples on houzz if you search for 'painted brick fireplace'.
December 15, 2012 at 9:06AM     
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nasmijati
Another person with a design dilemma recently whitewashed a brick fireplace. Here is a photo of halfway through the project, and two when the project was finished.
December 15, 2012 at 5:53PM     
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Mary_Zieher_Kostyn Zelich
I would embrace the fireplace but update it with a wood mantle to add another element of contrast . If a flat screen TV above is your desire I would build a wood box and frame it like a picture and mount it above. Art work and mirrors on the reverse side would look awesome. Changing out the gold hardware is a must to update. If color of brick is an issue it can be painted in many ways. Look at different painted bricks and pick your favorite that appeals to you!!! It is a piece of history to that home!
December 16, 2012 at 6:12AM   
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kmcarcamo
I had an existing outdoor fireplace converted to a Pizza oven so I am familiar with what a good stone mason can do. I think that the opening for the fireplace is too small and that removing the door and increasing the size of the opening would be good. I had an indoor fireplace with a red brick wall all the way to the ceiling that took over the living room. We had plaster put over it and had a wood mantel made to frame it. If you have a fireplace and a chimney that works then do not be afraid to have it modified to fit your house and decor. If you live in Texas then Texas oven company is fantastic. Otherwise call a place that specializes in fireplaces or pizza ovens. Good luck.
December 16, 2012 at 6:23AM     
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PRO
Pickard Construction
Solutions depend on your budget and preference. Here is a low budget makeover, yours would be a feature wall. Kendall Charcoal.
December 16, 2012 at 7:46AM     
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PRO
the essentials inside
kmcarcamo - any chance you can upload a picture of your fireplace?

Lyvonne
www.essentialsinside.com
December 16, 2012 at 8:13AM   
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auroracanby
This is a little out-there, but it immediately reminded me of the wonderful old brick early 1900s industrial buildings I've been admiring lately. Pardon my thinking out loud: Most are red brick (stain possible? Or not -- yellow brick could be fine). Where there's an area that's set back, it's often painted black (a service alley -- might be applied to the wood bin? the fireplace?; there are wonderful old wood doors; sometimes a small design detail -- a sporadic line of diamond-shaped turquoise tiles, or black-and-white alternating. Many of those touches would be dandy with yellow brick. -- just something to give it life and make it interesting and alive. A small double-hung window?
December 16, 2012 at 10:32AM   
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llswink
Eztia, that whitewash on the brick was an amazing facelift! Simply beautiful!
December 16, 2012 at 12:49PM     
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gailberndt
I'm curious about YOUR design taste and preferences. Rustic, contemporary, traditional? Can you include photos of the furnishings and rugs in this room or in your favorite room, yours or another's? I also have a giant brick structural fireplace like this and they can be a real challenge. Minimize it or feature it??
December 16, 2012 at 3:06PM   
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auroracanby
Had to add -- If it's a flat screen tv on the upper bricks, put a pair of shutters on either side. But I do like gailbemdt's question -- since it looks as though the home has just been acquired or has been cleared for renovation, there aren't any clues about what Catehazell might like. I also realize this time that the step(s?) and posts around the open area indicate an unusual room that's something like a courtyard. If we knew the plans for that, we might have more context for the fireplace. It's a
really interesting spot.
December 16, 2012 at 6:31PM   
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bethdeg
Televisions over fireplaces are not attractive. I hope that trend ends soon. I vote no TV over your fireplace.
December 16, 2012 at 6:59PM     
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pjtime
I agree with bethdeg about the TV's on the fireplace. I've seen them in niches built into fireplaces and they look great, but over the mantle??? Ick.
December 17, 2012 at 12:17AM     
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auroracanby
Wellll, I didn't want to get into this one, but I too think over the mantle isn't a great place for a TV (which was one reason I suggested shutters, so you could cover it up when not in use). It's a two-worlds-collide thing to me: fire and electronics compete rather than go together.
December 17, 2012 at 12:44AM     
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bethdeg
I love the whitewash picture. Why not whitewash the brick, spray the brass doors with a matte black ,heat resistant paint. Call it a day. Put a gigantic focal piece on the mantel.A picture, mirror, whatever, just make it big to match the scale. And find a new home for your TV.Trust me! I hear it's hard on the neck to watch TV at the height it will be over a fireplace mantel.
December 17, 2012 at 9:03AM   
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auroracanby
Okay, I second bethdeg.
December 17, 2012 at 10:47AM   
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PRO
Amy Cuker, MBA, LEED AP
Hi, I'm currently working on a project where I suggested the client have her brick fireplace faux painted and it came out awesome - it gives the brick an aged look and simultaneously moderninzes the room a bit. Project is not complete yet, but you can see images of the fireplace below. Good luck! Amy Cuker, down2earthdesign.com
December 18, 2012 at 7:14PM     
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PRO
Travis Robert Renovations
A quick update would be to paint your fireplace or a faux finish as discussed by fellow houzzers... If you completely want to change the look, I would recommend facing your fireplace with a cultured stone veneer.
December 18, 2012 at 7:22PM   
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PRO
the essentials inside
Great ideas everyone! Amy - thanks so much for visiting this thread!

Typically, I agree w/the no fireplace over the tv but I do like the one in the pic I posted at the top - it just looks cool. Plus the room is not otherwise focused on it.

One thing I find people struggle w/ is where else do you put the tv and not have it ruin the look of the room. I'm trying to find a corner tv cabinet for another Houzzer and having a hard time finding (thinking I might have to start my own line). Anyone have suggestions for corner tv cabinets already made?

Sorry to go on a little tangent catehazell!

Happy Holidays everyone!

Lyvonne
www.essentialsinside.com
December 18, 2012 at 7:55PM   
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bethdeg
I love Amy Cuker's whitewash fireplace project. Amy can you tell us what products you used to achieve the look? Catehazell have you decided how to proceed yet?
December 19, 2012 at 6:22AM     
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catehazell
Yes. And thank you all for your suggestions and advice. For the upstairs fireplace, we're going to frame and drywall the back side and upper. We'll install a floating mantel and reface with brick veneer a la Frank Lloyd Wright. For the basement fireplace, we're going to frame and drywall and install a mantel. We'll try the dry bush technique on the remaining exposed brick. I'll post pictures of the results. Thanks again, everyone
December 19, 2012 at 6:51AM     
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auroracanby
Would love to see it. Thanks for followup!
December 19, 2012 at 9:41AM   
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42312
Paint the brick.
December 19, 2012 at 10:22AM   
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PRO
the essentials inside
catehazell - Can't wait to see!

Lyvonne
www.essentialsinside.com
December 19, 2012 at 8:18PM   
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PRO
Los Angeles Remodeling and Construction
Drywall is a good choice to conceal electric and wires only if you plan on painting the wall such as for a clean and contemporary look. But if you want to add glass tiles, for a modern look, or stone for a Mediterranean look, etc then cement board is the board of choice. It just depends on the look you want to achieve.
December 19, 2012 at 10:07PM   
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Ramona
Someone needs to invent an inexpensive way to cover a tv when not in use over a fireplace. It may not look good, but too many people have no other choice for their rooms. I've seen ways to do this in the thousands of dollars, which is ridiculous. I should take this on as a retirement project.
December 19, 2012 at 10:15PM     
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pjtime
Seems to me that slider brackets for drawers or closets could be mounted on wood or spot welded to steel for mounting to fireplace walls and then a painting could be slid back and forth in front of the screen when it's not in use. Like you said Ramona, I've seen applications like that, but they are way too expensive for the average homeowner.
December 19, 2012 at 10:59PM     
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auroracanby
Looking forward to the results also -- would love to catch a bit more of the room too. Ramona,
that's exactly what I was thinking. Lifts don't do it --TVs just stay up after a while. A sustained image on the screen? A flap? An electric curtain that kick in when the TV's turned off? And if it's over the fireplace, what's the image on it? Bricks? A painting? Candles? Family photos?
December 20, 2012 at 10:09AM     
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nevadan
It's fine as it is. Just get rid of the brass fireplace fitting, which does not go with the fireplace. Buy fireplace accessories that harmonize. Build you room around colors that will go with your fireplace.
December 20, 2012 at 10:11AM     
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jannyjg
Also have fireplace blues. This red brick is in my living room. I want to change the look --with paint, whitewash, or cover it with faux stone. Your ideas, please.
December 22, 2012 at 7:06PM   
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pollyannagal
@jannyjg - what looks wrong to me about your fireplace is the mantlepiece. It looks rather home-made and stuck on, the colour is wrong and the shelf appears to be leaning (or is that just a trick of the photo). I would replace it with one of a more box shape rather than a backboard with ledge as you have, in black or a very dark stain. It needs to be a little lower and wider to cover the edges of the panelling above the brick so you could achieve this quite easily by encasing the existing mantle with boards to box it in. I like the dark bricks (don't understand why you call them red?) and black firebox and they seem to go well with what else can be seen of your room, but if you don't like the brick I suggest painting it. If you still don't like it, they you can move on to try covering it with tiles to achieve the faux stone idea you suggested.
December 23, 2012 at 12:52AM     
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pjtime
I agree about the mantel. I would start with least expensive change, which is whitewashing, and changing the mantel. See if that does the trick. If it doesn't at least the whitewash may give you an idea of whether painting would satisfy you or if you should go with the faux stone. You appear to have a more refined home rather than rustic, so I think a stacked stone might be more appropriate than flagstone or river rock, etc. As someone mentioned earlier in this post, if you decide to actually paint you'll need to treat the brick in order for the adhesives to stick for the faux stone. I don't think a whitewash would be as problematic for the stone adhesive because it's so thin.
December 23, 2012 at 10:56PM   
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Yvonne Johnson
Update mantel- paint brick- instant WOW factor!
December 24, 2012 at 12:30AM   
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diane8
Hi

Your fireplace is great! We put our big screen over our fireplace and now wish we hadnt gone to all the trouble of having our av system routed that way. In order to watch tv, we have to look up and it is not the most comfortable way to watch!! You are lucky you have a wide area to work with.
Good Luck, Diane
December 24, 2012 at 4:20AM     
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windingcreek_creations
I have always thought that a tv detracts from the beauty of a fireplace. I love the ideas posted above. I think my favorite was the whitewash photos.

I've always loved having space above my cupboards. I like to display some of my collectibles there. As long as that space isn't visible from a stairway or great room landing above, I will line the top of the cupboards with newspaper. Simply remove it periodically and you won't have to worry about trying to dust in such a awkward place.
[houzz=Hoffmanresidence_kitchen]
[houzz=River House]
[houzz=Reed's Kitchen]
December 24, 2012 at 5:06AM     
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jannyjg
Thanks much to all who commented on the fireplace dilemma. Yes, my furnishings are not rustic and that is a big reason for change. I like the ideas of whitewash or paint. The wood,cedar, that is above the mantle goes to the high ceiling which matches. I am thinking of removing the wall wood and just having dry wall. More ideas? Thanks again Houzz friends.
December 27, 2012 at 10:39AM   
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