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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

What do I do with this football field of brick?

Emily OpperJanuary 7, 2013
Not interested in painting the brick. Color suggestions for other walls in this room and accessorizing the fireplace. Notice ceiling is painted down wall to trim. Whats the design intent of that? Can't afford to replace carpet.
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How large is the room and how much light does it get? As for the ceiling /wall painted the same, you cn correct that when you repaint. Do you have furnishings, art, or drapes with colors you might be interested in using to nail down a paint scheme?
    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 6:48PM
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Is this a family room? Do you collect anything? I could see some beautiful large baskets hung on the brick. Bookshelves on either side is a possibility. A tv mounted above the mantle, large gallery wrapped canvases with artwork. I would paint the walls either the cream if the fireplace or the darkest color of brick depending on light and furnishings.
    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 6:49PM
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Emily Opper
Sorry no dimensions but large!! Window faces south. Second photo shows dining room to north. This is my 1st house, been renting & not collecting but I am game to start! Thanks for the starting ideas!
    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 6:58PM
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ModaScapes Interior Design
There are too many strong horizontal lines on the fireplace wall, so you need some vertical thrust to make it feel less "squat". Add two 5-6'h trees next to the hearth with some footlights that will shine up into the trees. Positioned correctly, they should wash the wall, showing off the texture of the brick face and also cast some lovely shadows from the trees onto walls and ceilings, giving you instant height. And after typing all of that, I don't see any outlets on the adjacent wall... :-(

If you aren't going to watch TV on that wall, a mirror standing on the mantle would cover up a great deal of the brick and also provide some extra light. Go with a metal or iron frame so as not to compete with the fireplace. You can repeat the metal and do a scrolly fireplace screen. www.uttermost.com has great choices for both. They're to the trade only, but you can find them on-line by part number.

You can mount small shelves with tall vases in a staggered layout between the trees and the mirror to complete the wall. Or put some other tall accessories on the mantle next to the mirror. Keep in mind, whenever you are accessorizing, to "stair-step" your items and that layering in front of objects is okay.

And that wall color is making the brick far uglier than it really is, even if you happen to like the color okay... It's like when I wear yellow or orange, I look jaundiced and not glowing. It's just a bad color dress for it's complexion. Too bad it's everywhere!
5 Likes    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 7:25PM
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Sue Ann Stevens
I can understand the hesitation to paint brick but you may want to revisit that.

In the meantime I would deal with the two tone fireplace mantle and surround. Maybe make it more of a statement so the brick fades away. Depending on your tastes I would opt for black, or ivory (if you like airy, french country) or if you want rustic, a distressed dark wood tone.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 8:02PM
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FSI Design
Ask a contractor of you drywall right over the brick? I did it in my own home instead of demo-ing all do that brick.
3 Likes    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 8:10PM
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Sue Ann Stevens
In looking closer, it appears that the surround is a stone (marble? Ceramic?) so leave it for a creamy color and change it of you want a darker contemporary look. With the wood/white juxtaposed, it just looks choppy and a little busy.
    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 8:12PM
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Paint the walls a medium gray, then the ceiling a tad bit lighter. It will go with everything and feel fresh.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 8:15PM
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Sue Ann Stevens
The drywall idea is great! I also would consider large shelving units, built-ins or built-in
look-alike furniture pieces for both sides to camouflage the brick.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 8:20PM
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Sue Ann Stevens
Oh, but the hearth! Go with the drywall coverup. :-)
    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 8:21PM
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Interiors International, Inc.
Don't paint the brick stick to your original thought on that. I do think it needs some vertical architectural details. Bookcases at both ends of the wall ending at the hearth. These can be stained or painted. They will cover some of that brick and tone down the wall a bit. This still gives you room on either side of the fireplace as well as above it. If your going to watch TV in this room you could mount it over the fireplace or do an asymmetrical look. I will attach a pic to give you a visual of what I mean. Sorry the only one I found is contemporary but you could do a traditional version.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 8:23PM
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Put some LARGE art (similar but different) flanking the fireplace walls. Or, matching mirrors. Or flank LARGE pottery on either side. Something in pairs would look nice. Put two swivel chairs in front of the FP.

Benvenuti and Stein · More Info
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 8:29PM
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HI -- I don't mind the brick - it's not ugly BUT the hearth base has to have something done to it .It should either be all removed or shortened or built over to bring the length out to the full size of the wall . I would shorten it and then cover it and match it to builtins on each side . You could white wash the brick and paint the mantel surround to reduce the contrast and if the built ins are also painted the same white color that would up date and make the room look bigger . Then paint a nice soft color on the walls and ceiling . The gold wall has to go .
    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 8:50PM
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Emily Opper
Thank you!!!
    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 4:57PM
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Tammy Sprinkle
Hi there Emily,

The yellow walls are and brown wood trim date the space. Khaki might be a nice color choice for your walls and the baseboard heater. I would paint the molding white or cream whichever would work with your fireplace surround. It looks like a white marble or alabaster. The fireplace mantle and the trim on the hearth stand out against the brick. If you like the wood mantle, keep it but paining the trim on the hearth might help it blend in with the surround so that it disappears. If you don't like the wood, then maybe choose a paint that coordinates with the brick and your new wall color.

You can make it more modern simply by using paint and accessories. Good Luck!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 5:16PM
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Paint it
    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 12:14AM
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Sarah K
Tile over the brick with 12 x 24 tiles. Look at basement rents by Candace Olsen on her web for ideas. She has applied this trick several time successfully. It'll result in a more modern look if you chose something like travertine with the horizontal grain showing. I personally like the horizontal lines of your fireplace.
    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 7:06AM
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Sarah K
Pacific Heights Mediterranean · More Info
1 Like    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 7:08AM
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TJP Designs and Construction LLC
I like Interiors International's idea to have built-in bookshelves on each side!!!!
    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 7:12AM
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Nancy Hehmann
I would go to a fireplace store and get a fireplace glass doors and other accessories. That will improve the look of the fireplace immensely. The wood of the fireplace is just beautiful!

I like antique white walls because they allow all the home furnishings you choose to be the star. Be sure to choose a couch in a neutral fabric and then add pops of color to create the wow factor.

You might want to start with artwork for one of your walls so you can choose something you fall in love with!. High def photography or a painting is always a great idea! Then pull one of the colors from it to use for other accessories. Etsy.com is a website with a collection of craftsman and artisans from all over the US, Canada and other places in the world. And, you can contact them with questions or if you want a custom item. Just use the search engine to input what you are interested in such as photography coastal or Paris, Venice, horses etc. I have photography shop, nancyhehmann on Etsy. Etsy also has throw cushions and other items.

I know with a whole new house you have lots of expenditures. If you want moderately priced window treatments look on JCPenney.com. There are a lot of home decor items and you can return them to the store if you dont like them. Or go to a store to see if they have them is stock. But, it is so much easier to get the size you want online. Window treatments are available, area rugs.

I love sectionals for large rooms because you can have part of it facing the fireplace and part facing a TV. They also are usually comfortable and great for cuddling. Most of us like to recline and relax after a long day. Drexel has really well made furniture. They have a website with a list of their stores. And a lot of their furniture is still made in the US.

If you need accent vases that could become an heirloom, check on Blenko website. It is one of the few glass factories (handblown glass) still located in the US and the glass from there could become an heirloom. You could probably call them if they dont have the color on their website. They are located in a small town in WV and I actually watched them blow glass when I was a little girl with my Girl Scout Troop. I have a blue floor sized vase which is many years old now. It is timeless and one like it would look great on your hearth.

I hope I have been of help to you. You have a lovely new home.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 7:43AM
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The gold walls are and easy fix! The pinkish/black of the brick just clashes with the brown mantel and the gold walls. So paint the mantel and the walls. Place some tall bookcases on either side of the fireplace. OR place nice chests on either side of the fireplace with vertical art or mirrors. Like the above picture from Darzy. This is a way to keep the brick and do it on a budget. You can make the mirrors and find chests at a thrift store.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 7:55AM
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LM Designers
Drywall over it. I did over mine and have no regrets.
    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 8:03AM
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Carol Carr Interiors+Design
Hi Emily
You have a project on your hands! The brick and fireplace are not as much of an issue as is the hearth running along the bottom. The fact that it dips in the middle and that it does not go all the way across is a challenge.
One of my favorite and most common projects are fireplace remodels!
I would begin by having the mantle removed. I agree with anyone who suggested drywall over the brick. Painting is a second option but the drywall will give you a clean slate. Drywall over the base brick as well. Then paint over all drywall. Now you can choose any color to paint the room and you are not having to deal with the color of the brick. I would paint the mantel and any other wood trim in the room a beautiful warm white whiteand then replace the mantle over the new drywall.
Build in bookcases on either side of the fireplace for sure, if that is not an option, maybe you can find ready made bookshelves that would fit into each space, mounted onto the wall with the bottom on the hearth. Find 2 large baskets for wood to slide into the empty spaces below. The bookshelves would be better if they were wide and 2/3rds up the wall since i think finding tall and wide enough ones would be difficult.
Mount a TV above the fireplace and use the top of the bookshelves to fill with a couple of large urns, pictures leaning or other interesting items to take your eye up towards the ceiling. Add large crown molding around the entire room, painted white to bring in the same feeling off the mantel.
A club chair on either side of the fireplace, couch facing fireplace with maybe a table behind and 2 lamps. Paint the room a warm taupe, go one shade lighter or darker in the dining room.
Add a handsome round linen shade light fixture in the dining room. Remove the red panels and replace with meutral panels and a sisal rug.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 8:27AM
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Stone & Land, LLC
I'm not an interior designer Emily, but i like your idea of keeping it a smaller project than some people are making it. I don't have a great image but I think a mirror and tall accessories will definately help, just a little blank right now. Good Luck.

Family room · More Info
    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 10:33PM
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Sue Ann Stevens
Emily-what are your tastes? Do you lean to traditional? Contemporary or ultra modern? Do you have any inspiration pictures? What is your favorite aspect about the fireplace and wall?
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 6:34AM
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Emily Opper
Style- I'm a traditional/eclectic sort. Believe in bringing the outdoors indoors... Want to feel homey, comfy, relaxed
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 6:30PM
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The brick is great. Retro. I would try to replace the dark wood with a simple mantel in a fresher lighter wood just across the top if that is possible. Or paint the wood cream or white to match the stone. And paint the walls a light color too. The issue for me is - does a TV need to go in this room? I don't see a wall for one.
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 8:49PM
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Susan Shaffer
I like modern lines. So I would remove the mantle which has carved work and make it a clean look with more modern shelving/mantle. is the hearth tiled? if so what sort?
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 9:03PM
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