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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Thoughts on Fireplace Rock

AtiaJanuary 8, 2013
Hi All,
This is my townhouse. This is the downstairs. I plan on replacing the gray slate around the fireplace with the rock (or something similar) that is placed above the mantel. Should I just replace the slate or should I take the rock above the mantel up the steps of the fireplace? My worry: too busy next to the Sid Dickens Block in the stairway and too busy next to the way too busy kitchen granite and backsplash. I've been agonizing over the granite and backsplash for the past 6 years and think about replacing the the backsplash on a weekly basis. But, I guess that is another post.

Anyway, fire away! All comments, criticisms, and ideas are welcome and very much appreciated.
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A few more pictures...
    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 10:35AM
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I would limit the new tile to just the slate area you have now.
    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 10:38AM
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E Jackson Design
Right now your eyes are drawn to the drywall steps over the fireplace. If you can't reframe that, which would be my first chose, please remove the plants on top. It is not a pretty feature so do not draw your eyes to it. Swap the mirror for the picture. Place candle sticks in front. If you still want a painting on the other wall where the mirror is now it should be quite large. Do not put smaller tiles on your fireplace, they will compete with the small scale Sids. Do not tile above.
I know you didn't ask, but you need an area rug.
And yes the tiles in the kithen are very busy, perhaps a travertine 3" x6".
Good luck, Stefanie.
    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 11:04AM
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agree with mmilos on the tile. to unbusy the fireplace area, try removing the framed picture as well as the framed mirror, so these don't compete with the fireplace tile and the memory tile in the stairway.the framed picture could be hung lower on the wall where the mirror is now and place the small ottomon under it on that part wall. float the two large upholstered chairs in the middle of the room facing the sofa and their backs to the dining area. i would alsos remove the potted plants from above the fireplace, perhaps using one of them on the mantel with the candlesticks. Pretty place and the new tile will certainly add a bit of class!
    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 11:09AM
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I think that FP and stairs combo is the weirdest installation I've seen. I'm afraid my first instinct is to tear the FP and faux block stairs out, but apparently they must have some kind of cache.. WIth your chair backed up to it, I assume it is non-working to boot! Guess I'm ignorant about who Sid Dickens is, but I don't care for his style. Def tone down the busy kitchen tiles, and find a way to take the emphasis off the FP.
    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 11:15AM
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Thanks everyone!
mmilos: Good advice!

E. Jackson Design: I'm up for reframing if it is possible. I'm not sure what's under the steps, but will look into it. Any suggestion on the shape of the reframing? Guess what? I'm going to re-tile the backsplash. It bothers me everyday! Whew! I appreciate the rug advise. Thank you! This is what I know now: I am going to hire a designer for my next place!

Patriciarhall: Got it! I'm going to move things around to see how it looks. Thanks!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 11:25AM
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way to go Atia. please post pictures as you go, we would love to see your progress!
    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 11:27AM
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I like the stepped up fireplace wall. Unique! I would not use the small rock you have in mind though. I would use very large clean lined tile. And do it all the way up. Either a solid gray or tan color! I'll try and find a pic of what I'm talking about.
    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 11:30AM
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For your backsplash, a plain creamy white subway tile would look great with the cabinets and granite.
    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 11:30AM
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Classic Designs by Brook
Take a plain cream travertine and set it butt-joint (without grout lines). Tile the entire fireplace. But first frame the step ups to the height of the top one. That way fireplace blends with walls and the firebox will stand out and the sid dicken will stand out. You could always paint the wall that sid dickens is on a fun red or a deep charcoal. The kitchen backsplash - find a skilled tile guy to cut out the top part of the splash leaving about 5" of harlequin from granite top , then add a cream travertine trim piece on top and fill in above that to bottom of upper cabinets with the same cream travertine from fireplace in full pieces.
    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 11:31AM
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I disagree with others suggesting a large tile on the fireplace. I think the stones atia has chosen look neutral, contemporary and in scale with the small fireplace surround. It'll just read as a texture around the fireplace.

I also wouldn't add another stone for the backsplash. Let the busy granite stand on its own.
    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 11:35AM
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Couldn't find exactly what I wanted to show you, but you'll get the idea maybe...something like this, but more solid in color. You have so many other things going on around that area, I feel like it needs to be more streamlined and clean. Then your art on your wall WILL be the centerpiece, which it should be. I would also completely remove the mantel and just do the tile straight up. Then maybe adding a beautiful piece of artwork on the wall to the left! :)

While at CHil Design Group · More Info
    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 11:41AM
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Great and appreciated comments - thanks!

Here is what happened today: The plants are gone! I took down the mirror and picture above the fireplace. I temporarily placed a frameless mirror where the picture was and placed the candles in front of it on the mantle. Very nice! I moved the large chairs opposite the couch and the are too big for that location too, so they went back to their original location.

My plan on Saturday: Tile store! I'll be looking for a creamy white subway tile for the backsplash...thanks mmilos. I am leaning toward keeping something similar to the rock shown in the photos for the fireplace. However, mpoulsom, I like the idea of stream lining and mantel removal too. Classic Designs by Brook: I'm not sure how realistic it will be for me to have the fireplace reframed, but It's in the back of my mind now! All these great ideas will be with me on Saturday.

I will be posting more pictures as the project moves along. Thank everyone!
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 9:10PM
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Demolition has begun. Standby!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 10:03PM
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