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Ugly brick fireplace
jagwyre
January 28, 2013 in Design Dilemma
What would you do with this ugly brick fireplace? I'm not opposed to brick, but the color is terrible!

Also, if you have suggestions of what to replace the couch with that would go with our two leather chairs, that would be great! ;)
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kathystrouse
I have an ugly brick wall which has two fireplaces, one on each side. I had the entire wall plastered, installed stacked stone panels on one side with new simple mantel above fireplace. The other side is all plastered and painted. Had more formal mantel made with travertine surround and hearth. Painted the mantel Dove White and walls Shaker Beige to lighten up the room.
January 28, 2013 at 3:19PM     
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kathystrouse
This is before
January 28, 2013 at 3:24PM   
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mmilos
I like your fireplace. Looks warm. Remove the dated brass glass enclosure and replace with a free-standing bronze screen.

Perhaps move away the reddish leather chair since it'll make the brick look more orangy. Hang a vertical mirror in the alcove to minimize the brick.

I think a Hancock & Moore September or Kodiak sofa would go well with your chairs. http://www.hancockandmoore.com/product.asp?productid=1008 http://www.hancockandmoore.com/product.asp?productid=982
January 28, 2013 at 3:38PM     
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Hope
I think the shelves on either side are detracting from the fireplace as a focal point and the mishmash of goods (no offensive, I hope) make the fireplace seem much more massive. I think the fireplace is actually quite nice.
January 28, 2013 at 4:08PM     
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jagwyre
Ok, so it doesn't show in the picture, but the brick is VERY yellow. Everyone hates it... Most people comment on it right away. I did buy a mirror but haven't had a chance to hang it yet.
January 28, 2013 at 4:12PM     
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jagwyre
Oh, and if it makes a difference, I think that the reason it is so very yellow is from an old glaze. We tried to remove it but it didn't work.
January 28, 2013 at 4:16PM   
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sewmarti
I would probably paint it. We have a stone fireplace from 1953 and we plan on painting it.
January 28, 2013 at 4:35PM     
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Cindy Quinton
I don't know how handy you are but here are a couple of ideas. You could do a stacked stone type of veneer over the center portion that is recessed over the fireplace, then veneer the hearth portion using the same gray stone in a flat version, paint every four or five bricks black and then then use a gray/black wash over the rest of the brick. Replace the door with a heavy looking wrought iron face, the larger the better (you can get one at Lowes for about $500). I think any DIYer with moderate skills could do it. You could also consider putting a veneer of 12 x 12 marble, slate, granite, or about anything else you like tiles.
January 28, 2013 at 4:36PM     
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sewmarti
If your carpet is white then you would want to paint it a different color, not necessarily white on white. Also, put something in the recessed area - picture, quilt, etc.
January 28, 2013 at 4:39PM     
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anthip
I'm sorry but I think that fireplace is beautiful and looks incredible in that room. I certainly wouldn't paint it as I don't think that would work with all the wood. The colour doesn't look bad on my screen. I'm not sure about the tone of the lights on it though - what bulbs have you got in there?
January 28, 2013 at 4:39PM     
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hepperle
How about adding a wood raised panel that matches the wood millwork in the rest of the room in the center recessed portion. I am guessing the chevron pattern is what is bothering you? This would be an easy way to clean up the look. Finish with vertical artwork of sort
January 28, 2013 at 4:44PM     
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Cindy Quinton
Probably the easiest, cheapest most WOW thing you could do is cover the brick in stucco, and the color choices would be endless.
January 28, 2013 at 4:48PM     
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jagwyre
I actually like the impressiveness of the brick, I just hate the color. Maybe someone has a good method for removing an old glaze?
January 28, 2013 at 5:01PM     
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hockey29
A huge, artsy mantle, and some kind of long, abstract paintings along the sides with spotlights shining up and down on it. Put a piece of art in the above the mantle. With spotlights on the ceiling that face it.
January 28, 2013 at 5:07PM   
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Susanna
looks beautiful in the photo but you are right, I don't see the yellow. If you think it was caused by a brick glaze why not have a professional put another glaze on top of it to achieve the color you want? Instead of trying to remove the first one maybe a second could tone it down and change the color. I would at least have that conversation ( if you haven't yet).
January 28, 2013 at 5:07PM     
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PRO
STUDIO MB
You need a wow piece of art that fits in niche. like this one...colorful and takes your eye away from so much brick... actually hiding close to 30% of it.
January 28, 2013 at 5:07PM     
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jagwyre
What kind of a professional could change the glaze? Someone who stains concrete? I'm not sure who to call.
January 28, 2013 at 5:32PM   
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Cindy Quinton
I'm betting you have a hard time finding a pro willing to take the risk of trying to strip it off. It always seems like it is hard to find people to do stuff like this where results may vary at best. I would think a number of products might work. I found this product that seems like it may work: http://www.aldonchem.com/pr-premium-stripper.htm I've heard that putting stripper on a surface, then covering it with big pieces of cut up plastic grocery store bags, and then after a few minutes pull it all off in one piece....less mess, and penetrates rough surfaces better.

I also think a satin sheen of one of the minnwax stain and polycrylics mixes right over the top of it might work without stripping,
January 28, 2013 at 7:18PM     
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onthefence
jagwyre, call a company who builds fireplaces. They may charge you a service call to evaluate your bricks - but I'm betting they'll know the best product/method to change the shade.
January 28, 2013 at 7:22PM     
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bethanne1
where do you live? For instance, the first thing northerners think when they come to Florida is that they need a fireplace. I lived with and loved fireplaces in Chicago, Boston, Oklahoma City, upstate NY, & Cincinnati for more than 40 years. Yet, in Florida the one I insisted we have hasn't been used -- ever!! So maybe the ideal is to take it out or cover it over and utilize the resulting wall in another way. Think hard about your lifestyle etc before thinking you must have a fireplace.
January 28, 2013 at 7:29PM   
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Susanna
Search Brick refinishers. Don't know where you live so I can't give you a name but you can see pictures of transformations on brickrenew. Com. Not recommending them I'm just saying amazing changes to see there. I don't know them.
January 28, 2013 at 7:55PM   
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PRO
Twisted Minds Custom Designs
You can try to strip the glaze, but looking at the brick it was quarried with a heavy yellow and red clay base that will be hard to hide. Once stripped, a tinted sealer may help tone down, but you really need to get a local pro to come out and diagnose. Also you could try to change the light bulbs out from a regular to a soft light or natural light or a tinted bulb. Hope this helps.
January 28, 2013 at 8:22PM     
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mmilos
Also check out this website... More of a DIY option and preserves the brick look more than flat paint. http://www.brick-anew.com

Good luck!
January 28, 2013 at 8:26PM   
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Susanna
If none of that works for some reason and you want to give up on the brick, I had a fireplace refaced with stone veneer. It's like a thin slice of stone that covers the brick. Eldorado Stone online (many others if you search). I was surprised that it didn't cost as much as I thought. Don't know your budget. It only took an afternoon and no mess.
Not an expert. Just a homeowner. I would investigate brick options first as I think your fireplace can be stunningly beautiful.
January 28, 2013 at 8:42PM     
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CindyLou Romberg
hey everyone, the spray stone cans they have at Walmart are amazing. WE did our fireplace in beautiful speckle soft green with gray speckles in it, turned amazing. That stone spray is wonderful.
January 28, 2013 at 10:41PM   
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Tracy Taylor
I totally thing you should white wash the brick and paint out the bookcases! Maybe add a fun punch of an accent color in the back of the book cases and hang a great painting in the same tones in the inset above the fireplace. Also invest in some newspaper, painters tape, a little sandpaper, and a can or two of HIgh Heat Ultra from Rustoleum (if you use the black and the copper and mist the two you get a great bronze color). The white wash is easy here is a tutorial http://www.theyellowcapecod.com/2012/03/white-washed-brick-fireplacetutorial.html I love love love the leather chairs and the heavy beams- I am thinking a slip covered sofa to balance the hardness.
January 28, 2013 at 10:56PM     
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kitasei
I like the browns and yellows in the brick color on my screen - very arts and crafts, and perfect with the timber beams. I would love to see the effect of changing the white carpet and walls to something that would support the brick and wood colors rather than fight them - a mustard or rust perhaps. Anyone have that ability?
January 29, 2013 at 3:05AM     
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angiefrost
Hi, i actually like the fire place, i think the walls are to dark.. if the they were lightened up (paint them poss?) the brickwork would look wonderful, it would save a huge expense of ripping the fire place out too :)
Good look
January 29, 2013 at 3:09AM     
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angiefrost
ohh.. perhaps sandblasting might remove the old glaze??
January 29, 2013 at 3:13AM     
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sewmarti
Sandblasting, that's what my husband said you would have to do.
January 29, 2013 at 3:23AM     
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marykennedy28
I don't mind the brick but there is a lot of it. What could you do to remove piece in front of the fireplace. Or could you cover it with something. If budget is an issue (prob. would be $$$ to remove entirely and you really hate the brick you could paint, put nice mantel and get rid of brass screen. Maybe tile around hearth if possible...or box it out like a slipcover for your fireplace!
January 29, 2013 at 4:16AM   
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jagwyre
Wow! So many replies! Thanks everyone. I'll try to answer some questions...
Yes, we do plan on changing out the ugly brass front. The carpet is not white, it is a variegated beige/brown (remember how I said the color in the pic was off?) the lights in that room are all can lights and I honestly didn't know there were different colored bulbs for them. I'll check into that. I live in Texas and while we don't use fireplaces a lot, removing it would really hurt the value of my house. And finally, if I paint the wood paneling on the walls I would have to paint all of the paneling in the two story entry and also the dining because they are all connected.
I hope I got everyone!
January 29, 2013 at 6:09AM   
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judith1922
I LOVE YOUR FIREPLACE!! please don't change it. if you don't like the colour of the bricks you can change it either by removing the colour with acid...if it's painted, or if that's the natural colour of the brick, paint it...maybe a soft dove grey, but finally CHANGE NOTHING on the fireplace. however,...

i would loose the wall to wall carpet and install hardwood. wide (8") pine planks. i would loose the vase and the candles. install ART. a painting of people or of one person, not abstract.

judith in ottawa, canada
January 29, 2013 at 6:56AM     
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carrietobin
Personally, I think the problem of the "yellow" has to do with the colors in the room. The mahogany toned leather chair definitely clashes with the color of the FP and the panel walls all of which have yellow tones...a brown or saddle tone would have been more complimentary. The brass firebox does the same thing. I would keep the brick and replace the firebox with an updated oil-rubbed bronze since it looks like there is some brown to pull from the brick. I would also consider putting a stone hearth cap and a nice chunky mantle that goes with existing wood. Then put a large beautiful picture in the recess to hide the odd brick and draw the eye. It will be an impressive sight then.
January 29, 2013 at 7:23AM     
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Steve Miller
I would consider painting the brick white and placing wood veneer over the recessed are above the mantel -
January 29, 2013 at 7:30AM     
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jagwyre
Unfortunately we had the chairs before we had the house... And they are one of our favorite things. We are really considering painting the paneling because the color is so light. All of our furniture is dark and more red toned.
January 29, 2013 at 7:59AM     
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PRO
Budget My Build
I think painting it a bark brown and getting a more dim light for over the fire place would be just what it needs. Always think about your budget and the cost of everything, here is a good place to help get you a handle on that. http://budgetmybuild.co/
January 29, 2013 at 9:28AM     
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PRO
Arlene Warda, Architecture+Interior Design
There are several nice things you could do, ones that would fit the size and shape of your fireplace. Here are inspirations of 'coverings' for a new look on your fireplace. Note if you go with drywall or wood covering you will need a 12" surround clearance on hearth elevation and hearth ground, ledge of stone other non-combustible, permit approved materials.

1. Stone covering on fireplace.

Living Room

2. Drywall on fireplace

Pacific Heights Residence

3. Paneling: wood strips and drywall on fireplace.

1865 Hoyne

4. Concrete or other finish on fireplace

kris

In any case you can have a new 'look' while keeping your old fireplace.
January 29, 2013 at 9:38AM     
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iknownot
We faced similar problem in our home. Since we like all our stained woodwork, we left it and had the brick resurfaced in stacked stone. Easy project the stone company did in about 3 hours. No demolition involved. Brought stone sample boards home and chose stones that actually lighten up the room and now we have a nice color palatte in the stone complimenting the wood. Everyone loves our fireplace.
January 29, 2013 at 1:35PM     
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iknownot
I want to add we did not have to remove any woodwork either. Not even crown. The stone veneer is thin and goes right up to it. I do recommend however that you remover the brass cover with doors. ( we had the exact same thing) stone will go right to the opening of fire area. We only use a decorative black screen that is removable. My fp is wood burning and is the main attraction in the room now.
January 29, 2013 at 1:47PM     
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A. Dymally
I love your fire place. Maybe change the brass doors, de-clutter the book cases and perhaps add some colorful accessories. Again, the fireplace is fabulous try some other options first before painting or changing the fire place.
January 29, 2013 at 2:36PM     
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jessgerling
Please feel free and look into brick staining (not a paint). Visit nawkaw.com.
January 29, 2013 at 3:52PM     
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srmhart
Was this house built in late 70's? If so it looks like they may have put polyurethane on the brick or some kind of varnish. You can go online to see how to test to see what it is on a small spot. I have forgotten but it is acetone and lacquer remover or something and you test to see what solvent works and that will tell you what is on there. Get those spot lights off the brick and that will help with the color also. Some Lenin drapes and sofa would look good. Even burlap on the windows would be a cheep alternative. You need some softness. Something big and impressive hung in the recess will soften the fireplace and some cushions on the hearth. You have a big room to work with and when you get some competing things in there it will draw the eye away from the fireplace brick. Work with the brick not against it. Check out Ralph Lauren and bob timber lake rooms.
January 29, 2013 at 5:07PM     
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Linda
I had a similar massive red brick fireplace. I drywalled over the brick about 3/4 down from the ceiling. Then picked out a neutral slab of granite to cover the remaining brick and had a mantle made out of maple built flush on each side and across the front. I'm not sure what style you are going for, but mine turned out great for the contempo cottage look I was trying to achieve.
January 30, 2013 at 1:18AM     
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PRO
Eagledzines
Hi jagwire,

I think you should try one thing at a time to make sure you're comfortable each step of the way.
The sandblasting idea is great. We redid a lobby for some doctors and sandblasted a terrible brick wall and it came out beautiful. Since you like the fireplace and don't mind the brick, I would try this first. If that still doesn't do the trick, then you will be able to assess what about the fireplace bothers you then--whether it's the size, the shape, or the color. There have been quite a few suggestions to address those next concerns.

Beyond that, you asked about the couch. Here are some pictures that I think would compliment the look you have going on here. You would have to search for something similar that compliments the beautiful red leather you already have and whatever changes you make to the room. Using a couch that has combination of leather and cloth would soften the masculine look of the room and make it cozy. Alternatively, using an all leather couch with exposed wooden features and draping a soft knitted couch blanket and/or cloth pillows would make it look warm. Below are a few ideas.

Additionally you might think of an ottoman. Perhaps a tufted one with wooden legs that matched the rest of the furniture.

I'd like to comment on the placement of the furniture also. It would look cozier if the furniture were brought in closer to the fireplace. You could put a couch table behind the couch that would tie in the dining area behind it.

The bookcases on either side of the fireplaces make the fireplace look even larger than it is. If you like the larger look that's fine. If you'd like to minimize the size, then you could put long drapes on the windows on either side of the fireplace and paint the bookcases the same color as the drapes. Declutter the bookcases and stack some books flat, some book straight and add some decorative elements like pictures, knick knacks that add some interesting color that tie in the drapes. Things in the bookcase shouldn't look cramped but have space around it.

If you live in a cold climate, the flat screen will provide more heat. The open screens allow warm air in the room to draft up the chimney, making it warm around the fire itself but the rest of the room cooler.

Best wishes on your project.
January 30, 2013 at 3:08AM     
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michikeb
I agree that the present brick is beautiful! Getting a professional to assess what cld be done about a glaze that is more pleasing in color too, great idea, as well as the bulbs/lighting perhaps being updated. Artwork in the centre - yes! I wld recommend a beautiful piece, such as by one of my favorite nature artists: http://www.robertflorian.com/robert_florian/Landscapes.html And, I wld recommend getting the shelving on either side enclosed with a wood panelled door over each, which matches the beautiful beams already in the room. This wld take away from focusing on the 'stuff' on the shelves & rather make the fireplace & your artwork the focal point.
January 30, 2013 at 3:22AM     
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judybergman
I would give it a grey wash to tone down the color. You must get rid of the overhead lights which make the bricks the focal point. Keep the furniture large in scale, the couch and big square coffee table. I would take out the fire screen entirely and just have a nice rustic open look, perhaps with logs or metal sculpture. The candles don't look right somehow, I'd go with a large abstract painting with colors similar to the greyed down brickwork, nothing too bright, perhaps just a dot of deep red in it. The bookshelves take away from the grandeur of the fireplace - perhaps fill it with books, not too many small things, make it blend in with the pattern of the bricks. I agree with others it's an unusual and lovely fireplace.
January 30, 2013 at 4:37AM     
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chatfield
I am in the process of painting my ugly red brick fireplace. I have it primed and it already looks better! I'm painting it Cottage White (Behr Paint) and am thinking of accenting the brick mantel and bottom step in a medium brown. I am also thinking of painting a couple of walls the same medium brown color to tie it all in.
January 30, 2013 at 4:38AM   
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PRO
3dhomeconstruction.com
Paint all of the trim WHITE except for the beams; help the brick stand out... OR Paint the brick white to help the stained woodwork stand out. The two need to contrast for the a more seamless look.
January 30, 2013 at 4:45AM     
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tsudhonimh
COUCH:
How about replacing it with two more chairs and a coffee table or some small side tables and do a 4-chair conversation area? Bring in some color and pattern in the other two chairs and side tables. Your place has good "bones" but it's relentlessly brown/beige.

For a quick cheap trick, drape a strongly colored and patterned throw over the back of the couch.

FIREPLACE: That's definitely a focal point! It's massive and needs appropriately sized and colored accessories. Big, bold shapes, bold colors.

One reason it looks yellowish is that nothing in the room has a stronger yellow tone than the bricks - everything is a pinkish beige or reddish brown. A deep gold or strong ochre in upholstery or area rug near the brick would make the fireplace look less yellow by comparison.

Have you tried changing the lighting to a cooler (higher temperature) bulbs?

"SOY Gel™ Paint and Urethane Remover" from http://www.franmar.com removes concrete sealants. It's worth trying on the brick, and reportedly easy to use. Having a clean red/yellow brick instead of a sallow overall tinge would look better. Seal it with a slightly (barely detectible on white paper) tinted with lavender clear sealant to correct the sallow tones of the brock.

The bookcases are not contributing much except a dark blotch - cover the inside backs with a solid color that contrasts with the wood (tape colored paper in there to try it out) and carefully acccessorize them. Try removing (if possible) a shelf on each side to make a taller display area for something large.
January 30, 2013 at 5:00AM     
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jlchu
What a lovely area! I agree with the many others that say that they like the fireplace as is. I might consider picking up on an accent colour and highlighting that with a piece of artwork or something. Maybe start by changing out the fireplace cover to a darker colour (and bigger frame), and then paint the bookcases to match? Caution against painting a fireplace as we have a brick fireplace that was painted all-white decades ago by previous owners. Much to our dismay, we have been told that removing this paint will be extremely costly and may not work.
January 30, 2013 at 5:30AM     
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PRO
gary hartsfield
The brick is interesting, BUT what makes it hard to look at is the design of the brick in the center, to much going on there..Either have a soft piece of art fill that space to soften and minimise the brick pattern OR have that niche covered / Mirror plaster or what ever your taste woud be, other wise maybe cover with a venner stacked stone...DONT paint it.. would not be a wise resale choice.. looks cheap and very few people would like it?
January 30, 2013 at 5:38AM     
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Bev L
We've used a primer and painted out 2 fireplaces in different houses in off-white trim colour. Cheap and very effective. It would show off the texture of the centre part as well, although i agree with other posters about a mirror or piece of art there. With the fireplace painted, your beams would pop! I would also paint the shelves the same colour to unify the focal point.
Maybe place your 2 chairs on one side, a new large sectional on the other, flanking the fireplace, or the chairs facing the sectional in the current couch position with backs more in front of the shelves, making a conversational area - and a large ottoman in the centre.
January 30, 2013 at 5:56AM     
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jagwyre
Oh my goodness! You guys are awesome! So much to think about... And wow, I never thought people would have such strong feelings about it! I'm going to try to post some pictures once the light gets brighter to show the area better.
January 30, 2013 at 6:26AM   
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jackiehj
I would paint it ASAP! Maybe a warm taupe color that would compliment the wood in the room. You could also paint the bookshelves the same color or possibly go a shade lighter of the same color for them. Then organize the shelves with a little more formality. Some nice books and display pieces. I like the idea of a mirror in the inset area.....a large one!
January 30, 2013 at 7:18AM   
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cggaither
This morning I opened your site and I saw a brick place with 4 blowers. It was renovated with yellow paint and the blowers were sealed. I want to show my husband but couldn't locate it now. Please help.
January 30, 2013 at 7:21AM   
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judip223
First let me say, I am not a professional, and this is just my thought. I agree with others that I really believe the lights are casting a very yellow light onto the bricks making them even more "yellow" they they would be with a natural bulb. I am not a fan of yellow, and I know some are, but it would bother me also. I also think the person above who suggested the bricks may have been sealed with polyurethane might be spot on! It yellows more and more over time and from the close up picture you posted it certainly appears it could be. The brass doors need to be removed, as they will also pull the yellow tones out. I think this could be a beautiful room, it just needs some tweeking. I personally would start with the simple suggestions and see if you can't solve the yellow tone problem before I did anything drastic that could hurt your resale value. So, change the light bulbs (think about a color wheel and what colors cancel out yellow), remove the brass and put something large in the alcove and I think you will be on the right path. Good luck!!
January 30, 2013 at 7:50AM     
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greggorman
A couple of sugestions that can be considered for the existing brick FP to transform into a new look.

1. -paint the brick (BUT I really dont like painted brick and difficult to strip off, may effect resale)

2.-cover the FP which includes the base area, with large pieces of stone (marble, granite, etc..), not square tile pieces but rectangular going up, vertically, not across horizontally. Obviously covering the base area, you have to use the new material horizontally.

3.-add a mantle in wood or even stone that is matched with a second piece of material on the base, keeping the brick, and consider adding the same wood or stone in the center recessed area

4.-stacked stone is also an option, in rough cut, or finished and can be completed in many different design options and patterns

5.-replace the FP glass enclosure with black finish model regardless

6.-just add a new surface material in the recessed area, and can be a removable panel with fabric, plus a mantle in stone, complimenetd with new seat surface in stone, black metal screen cover. Can update the fabric panel seasonally, cover the side bookcases with doors so less distraction on center panel and whatever you place on the mantle. I like this idea best of all my options......

Regardless, I would use a lighter color, not white, def not dark stone if you cover the entire FP area, but black stone as just a mantle or an inset and the base would be okay! Can go either way?

Evaluate the lighting sources after you do anything to make sure you keep the new finishes and materials color correct. Use color correct lamps, def not warm, and spots not floods.

I like the side book cases but an option is to cover with doors.

Suggest developing options in a computer first before starting on the actual FP. Easily achieved even by a novice!

Suggest visiting local FP retailers that have good quality showrooms. Even visiting very expensive new homes with FP's to see options.

There ya go. all my off-the-top-of-my-head quick impulsive ideas.
January 30, 2013 at 8:01AM     
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PRO
Elite Granite & Marble Restoration
I see a few great suggestions! First, whoever suggested a great piece of art is right on with that! Second, some beautiful glass doors on the bookcases would be a huge improvement and keep the storage space! And my suggestion would be, depending on how much WOW factor you are looking for, you could cover that brick with several things. Any type of glass tile, subway and mosics come to mind or you could use granite tiles. You could use slab but that is pretty expensive! You can also use a combonation of these materials, glass and granite. Glass tiles on the wall and granite tiles on the hearth. We had an ugly brick chimney stack in a room off our living room (previously a bedroom)....my husband used granite tiles to cover it. Now it is beautiful! Ofcourse, he is a granite and tile guy too! This is a common practice in our area....a great way to modernize such a focal point! Make sure you hite a QUALITY tile guy! The granite tiles must be FLAT! Glass can be tricky to set, best left to an expert. Not a diy project. Good Luck!

Kim
Elite Granite & Marble
Ohio
January 30, 2013 at 8:27AM   
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connie1943
I have put a white wash on our fireplace, and it was beautiful, but as soon as it got a little soot on it I wished I had stuck with natural brick look. Yes, what a great place to put some amazing art.
I'm not crazy about the book cases with all the little things because it is already so busy with the bricks fireplace. I'd try different ideas for the shelves and decor in the bookcases.
January 30, 2013 at 8:55AM   
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PRO
Frederick + Frederick Architects
I would tear it out.
January 30, 2013 at 8:59AM   
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fsiepenkothen
I like the brick but agree that the brass cover is dated. I would put in a nice insert with an iron frame (I like the ones from Jotul). The iron would dial down the yellowness and be more energy efficient too.
January 30, 2013 at 9:00AM   
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js20882
This is an ugly fireplace we transformed. We left all the brick in place and covered the fire box area with stone and the rest with drywall. To the right we built a wood cabinet to hold the electronics for the stereo and TV. The TV is hung on a custom slide that slides out on a hidden track in the ceiling when you want to watch it and back in the cabinet when you don't want to see it. Also notice the valence lighting we added to up light the ceiling. This makes the low ceiling seem higher.
January 30, 2013 at 9:30AM     
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MarbleWarehousecom
The use of natural stone tile or slab outer edge of the fireplace and inside the framing would be perfect.
January 30, 2013 at 9:31AM   
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Hope Combest
I actually like the fireplace. I would change out the dated fireplace doors. Check out: http://www.lowes.com/pd_358281-46631-FN-5700_0__?productId=3470197&Ntt=fireplace+doors&pl=1¤tURL=%3FNtt%3Dfireplace%2Bdoors&facetInfo=

Mount small lights to the top shelf of each of the wall units to brighten up the area between the shevles and the large wood trim. Love the leather chairs...classy.

Couch idea: Check out: http://www.havertys.com/Product_38314?curIndex=49&resultCount=65

Also, would place chairs in front of fireplace (facing each other) and a nice short table between them for a nice intimate conversation area to share a glass of wine and small talk.

Have fun!
January 30, 2013 at 10:35AM   
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wantsideas
That is an impressive “Texas” sized fireplace! I can see why you don’t like the color of it though. Paint, accessories, lighting and furniture can definitely help tone down the yellow and red in the fireplace. Frankly I am more distracted by the bookshelves flanking it. It seems very dark but I understand why you don’t want to paint if it matches the rest of your woodwork. I’d remove about a third of the stuff including the plant, dark basket and any books that have red or yellow dust jackets on them. Look for accessories around your own house to brighten up those shelves a little. Good luck with it and I hope you will share your “after” pictures.
January 30, 2013 at 10:37AM   
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sylviavh
We had a brown brick that we covered with stucco. We used soapstone for the hearth .
January 30, 2013 at 10:39AM     
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lilhiz71
We had the same problem. We just did the sponge paint technique to make it look like beige bricks. Looked good and was easy, although time consuming. Good luck!

.
January 30, 2013 at 11:20AM   
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Poole's Stone and Garden, Inc.
Natural stone would make this fire place look much better
January 30, 2013 at 11:33AM   
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cathyjoco
Hi, I can understand why you may be unhappy; I am not sure how much you have budgeted; however, I think the issue is that this is a 'focal' point and you have not created any other area in the room to look at. If you did, the bricks will begin to disappear and it will be easier for you appreciate. First, move your chairs together, place a table or table lamp in between them, put them on either side of the couch. Put up some valances, with bold fabric on each side of the fireplace. Clean up the book case by removing 1 shelf and widening the area. Remove most of the books and small objects, opt for large pictures, display books (standing), large candles, decorative plates or vases. Either turn off the lights at the top, or move the eyeball to light the book cases, you may need to put a narrow flood (bulb) in them. I think I would remove some of the black paint from the bricks by an acid/water mixture or perhaps by painting them with a really sheer mixture of faux and cream. Either painting or removing may take several steps. Remove the candle piece from the fireplace. Look for a mirror or picture that can fit into that area. When you are ready to hang it, don't hang it directly onto the bricks. Move it forward, by using a 2 x 4. So you will need to hang a 2 x 4 x 20" on the top and the bottom first, then hang your mirror or picture. You may need to stack 2 - 2 x 4's because it looks pretty deep. You can add a lamp to the ceiling fan for more lighting, but add some lights to the couch area. To the right of the fireplace you have more windows - continue your window treatments, but use long panel drapes. Take the time to find the right fabric and you will begin to look at the curtains, chairs, and other things that you love about the room. Lastly purchase some pillows and a soft throw for the couches and chairs.
January 30, 2013 at 11:35AM   
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ranfarmer
I quite like your fireplace, but I suggest covering the brick over and behind the mantle with a nice decorative wooden panel or shelves that would tie in with the wood in the rest of the room and replace the brass glass enclsoure with something more sophisticated. Then you could achieve a lot by making several decorative changes in the room, including: change the carpet, change the couch, move the chair away from the fireplace. The fan looks a bit dated as well. Good luck!
January 30, 2013 at 12:08PM   
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alabamagal
Like the fireplace and do not think IT is the problem! What I can see, the rest of the rom is blah and colorless! There is too much carpeting showing. Would rather see wood floors with area rugs. The furniture needs to be gathered around the fireplace not shoved to the far corners. Since you love the red leather chair consider that your color starting point. You need some fabrics to soften the look then choose one color from the fabrics to liven things up. MOST of all...an idea already suggested is the #1 solution: go someplace like Hobby Lobby and buy some sheets of colored paper to place on the backs of the bookshelves then paint the backs with what works best, something compatible with the red chair and fabric. Lightening the shelf backs will work wonders and brighten up the whole 'look' and also highlight the objects ON the shelves. Now all that just dies in darkness. Finally that nitche needs something but beware of 'bad art' of which there is too much! It needs to fit properly and should be lighted. By te way, old can lights can be refitted very inexpensively with insets that fit right inside old cans and come in LED lights in a couple of colors,last for years and emit very little heat (Home Deot, Lowwes) If you keep the carpeting, try to lay another carpet with colors or a bold pattern, even cow skin on it in front of the fireplace to make a conversation area with the furniture moved in closer. The fireplace is so large, it needs a huge coffee table in front of it. That will help take the focus off the huge fireplace. Good luck!
January 30, 2013 at 12:18PM     
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Aegean Designing Whims
You've already had a lot of great ideas, but I'd work with the brick and make the room more of a contemporary lodge look. Dunes
Towerhouse Farm

Check out these two rooms on houzz. I think they'd work for you. Chrysteen'
January 30, 2013 at 12:34PM     
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djwamsey
it does not look that bad but if it was two tone like the regular bricks thats could be a hot spot
January 30, 2013 at 12:50PM   
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dymarie
I had the same problem and I'm still working on it (is under construction right now) but I cover my ugly yellow brick fireplace wall with white ceramic tiles and light grey glass backsplash and look fabulous and was really inexpensive.

I also ad a new modern black insert to compliment the look!

Take a look at the pictures.
I really love it and everybody who saw the transformation too!

For the couch I use white to match with the tile color with accent pillows.
Good luck! :)
January 30, 2013 at 1:30PM   
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ahpine
White wash the brick so that color variations still show through... http://www.theyellowcapecod.com/2012/03/white-washed-brick-fireplacetutorial.html
January 30, 2013 at 1:30PM     
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Right Angle Interiors
paint it a neutral, limestone color and put limestone square tiles in the center section where the awful sideways, herringbone pattern sits and top the raised hearth with a limestone slab or large square tiles.
January 30, 2013 at 1:35PM   
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Old Town Flooring
I would NOT paint it. I think that if you lighten the color of the bookshelves, the brick will look much nicer. Also, remove the candles from the mantle, and find a really nice mirror or framed art to put there. Finally, maybe something different for the fireplace screen...the glass doors look very cold and contemporary, while the fireplace and leather furniture are more traditional.
January 30, 2013 at 1:57PM   
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January 30, 2013 at 2:33PM   
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woofwoof
I'm weird, I like the f.p. Update all the furniture for things with cleaner lines and lighter fabrics. The dark furnishingsand 80's style upholstery bring down the room! Then, get some color in there (a warm color).! Maybe it's dark red, dark orange, rich emerald green, but something that you can incorporate throughout the room. Find items that can go on the bookshelves, a throw blanket that goes on the couch, pillows. Little "pops" of color. And a nice big, warm toned area rug placed in front of the f.p., that you position the furniture around. Cozy it up, warm it up with color and the f.p. brick really won't matter.
January 30, 2013 at 4:05PM   
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meghanw1
I have brick floors and a brick fireplace. All you have to do to remove the finish is USE KRUD KUTTER!!! Put it on. Let it sit a few minutes and scrape off. Its a good bit of work but worth it to prep the surface for painting or whatever you decide on. Also, Krud Kutter isn't toxic like some of the stripping chemicals out there.
January 30, 2013 at 4:12PM   
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lorrinda
I think the design of your fireplace is fabulous! I love the bookcases too. I don't mind the brick, but not crazy about the herringbone pattern in the center. Perhaps a custom art piece to hide it? My husband would like to put a big old stag head there, but that's a whole different argument...
If it's just the color you don't like, you can stain or color wash it. I like a previous suggestion of limestone if it will work with the flooring color.

We had an 80's brass fireplace surround similar to yours, and I wanted to change it immediately when we moved in but couldn't afford to at the time. My "temporary" fix was to paint over the brass with matte black Tremclad Heat Resistant Barbeque paint. 2 coats and it looks like wrought iron. I removed the glass doors and bought an iron standing firescreen. That was 10 years ago, we use our fireplace almost daily in the winter, and the paint shows no signs of wear at all. Glad I didn't spend that money!
January 30, 2013 at 7:38PM   
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Toronto Designers
if this was my house i would paint the whole fireplace a warm white like Benjamin Moore's Cloud White, and get a large scaled taupe slipcovered sloppy sofa to sit in front of it. i would replace the screen to be black for high-contrast and add some fluffy white pillows to the brown leather chairs... but that's my taste. not sure what yours is other than hating that brick.

but painting it will really bring out the quite lovely brick work design - so consider other colours too.
January 30, 2013 at 7:43PM   
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slaah
Jagwyer/its very nice chemeny i like it pant some of the bricks in dark blackclour and over the hole clour paint it withe black shadow ,change over head light focus the from down to up .chage the fier door from modern to oldtraditional on ,i hope this will give you atractive new loock
January 30, 2013 at 8:45PM   
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grannystefan
Before going thru effort of stripping/painting brick, I suggest working with what you have. By adding color, pattern and texture, the brick becomes less emphatic but remains a handsome focal point. My suggestions would be:
- Put doors on entire bookshelf areas, matching existing woodwork, eliminating clutter and making the recessed area the focal point.
- The most important space in the room is the recessed area in your fireplace. Personally, I don't think a mirror would have the effect that a piece of art would. I think this piece should tie your whole room together and should reflect the people who live there. So I suggest you place a handsome, large piece of art in the recessed area of fireplace wall - (unframed canvas/ framed picture/ fabric art wall hanging/ that reflects your style and personality repeating colors of existing leather chairs and other color favorites you may want to add). *note: "chevron" pattern is really coming into its own in the design world and would add another element of interest by hinting at its existence by minimally framing out your art work in the recess. The existing chevron is a bit strong, but by covering up most of it, it becomes a dynamic part of the wall.
- Replace fireplace screen with black wrought iron. Large wrought iron fireplace tools would be a handsome addition, either on a stand or hung on the brick.
- Add long stationary side panel drapery to windows flanking fireplace in a textured/nubby neutral fabric a shade lighter or darker than the painted walls. If possible, extend panels beyond the window frame to allow maximum light. Repeat similar style on remaining windows.
- Keep carpet, picking up a neutral tone for paint on walls and perhaps a darker toned, but neutral colored and textured sofa. ie., herringbone/ tweed.
- Add a area rug in front of fireplace, grounding a conversation area, placing side chairs on each side of fireplace and pulling up the sofa closer to the conversation area.
- Place a sofa table behind sofa. Two ottomans below sofa table could serve as additional seating and upholstered in a complimentary patterned fabric might add a splash of color, interest and personality when entering the room.
- Adjust lighting, focus should be the recessed area.
- Other lighting in the room (floor/table lamps) equally important in the ambiance and warmth of the room.
- Add a handsome coffee table to the conversation area. Wrought iron and wood combination would add interest and repeat the fireplace screen material
- Color, personality and pizazz to the room will come by adding fun pillows, a throw, and accessories.

If you decide to do something to the brick, all the same principles above would still apply.

Good Luck in creating a very handsome and welcoming room! I am excited for you.
January 30, 2013 at 11:56PM   
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Linda
I think there have been enough options given here. Good luck with whatever you decide.
January 31, 2013 at 12:03AM   
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Leanne Lovie
I also love the fireplace, particularly the recessed portion with the zig zag. I think that the entire thing is just too busy for your taste. What I'd like to see is the recessed portion and the hearth left as is, the metal surround removed, and the main H shape painted a terracotta color or a nice muted orange/red/yellow that reflects one of the tones in the brick but is all one color. The idea is to make the fancy brickwork stand out but make it less busy. I'd then get some pillows or other accessories in that color to repeat it throughout the rest of the room. Your chairs are brown right? I'd get a sofa in a chocolate brown or earthy red tone to go with it.
January 31, 2013 at 12:15AM   
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Loot Design House
Painting all the brick white and keeping the brass is amazingly elegant and forward, but not toooooo much. you can layer with some great accessories, a large impactful painting and some garden stool s to connect back to with the color. The ultimate color will be something that is a small splash or 4/5th on the painting scale. Keep if tun, clean and edited and you are bound to have some amazing times there!
January 31, 2013 at 12:22AM   
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Barbara Aikens
I think the brick color complements the warm tones and wood of the room. Why not try a huge piece of art to go over the diagonal bricks to break it up a bit.
January 31, 2013 at 5:46AM   
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cperricone
I think we have the same chair, and yes, it's one of our favorite pieces too! I would definitely NOT change the bookcases - I think your arrangement is PERFECT - very warm and inviting. We recently bought a house near Chicago, and SO many houses had those sweeping, high brick fireplaces. For me it was an instant turn-off. Just personal choice bc I don't like brick that much. I would go with the previous idea of a raised wood panel over the fireplace to tie in with the rest of the trim in the room (a custom cabinet person can do that) and a big wood mantel. Then stone veneers over the brick. Good luck. i think it will be terrific.
January 31, 2013 at 6:43AM   
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Eagledzines
Here is yet another idea (after sandblasting to get it back to it's original condition. You may not mind the brass covering if the brick wasn't yellow). The door color should compliment the beams and the rest of the woodwork.
January 31, 2013 at 8:27AM     
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slaah
Eaglledzines/ dark Nevey with black or with white paint i think this will be attractive
January 31, 2013 at 8:48AM   
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jagwyre
Ok. I took more pictures of the surrounding area and I'm going to create a new discussion. I've heard some people mention painting the wood which is certainly an option. I'm going to post the pictures here and there and if you have time, take a look and let me know if you would in fact paint it... and I'm thinking if the wood was painted the fireplace may not be a big deal.
January 31, 2013 at 10:30AM   
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slaah
Jagwyre/why you are not try to pout some tutch from your side, ithink it will be better
January 31, 2013 at 10:59AM   
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Eagledzines
What is your objective? Do you want to restore or update? What do you like about the room? What do you not like about the room?
January 31, 2013 at 11:56AM   
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kittyaudubon
That's quite an impressive fireplace. Very striking. You'd be foolish to destroy it. Since I can only see a photo, I'll just say clean and restore to bring out the original beauty of the brick. Don' paint, rather use something that gets absorbed and evens out areas that are unsightly. Simplify everything around it, working with the existing scale. In other words, avoid clutter and small stuff. Someone said wide plank wood floors in front... good idea. The rug is dreary. With so many comments.... please be patient.
January 31, 2013 at 1:24PM     
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wantsideas
I would NOT paint all that beautiful wood especially now that you can see it better from new pictures. Start with least intrusive suggestions about the fireplace and see how it changes it. Start small but really think about anything drastic.
January 31, 2013 at 1:51PM   
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rod handler
It's not nearly as bad as the fan, the silly paneling on the beams, and the nubby carpet. First, throw out the insert and get some nice andirons. Don't be afraid to paint the woodwork, especially the beams, and paint the bricks as well. What's under the carpet? Almost any flooring (except shiny vinyl and cheap laminates) look better than w2w carpeting.
If you want something more trad, get a nice piece of wood (like a salvaged 4X8), refinish it, cut it to the fireplace width, attach it above the row of horizontal bricks. Fill in above it with a big cut-to-size mirror. Definitely paint the ceiling molding.
Whatever you do, don't put a flat-screen above the fireplace. Tacky!
January 31, 2013 at 2:11PM   
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tiburonjoan
I like your fireplace. It's not that bad. But I have a similar situation I can relay. My mom had a very ugly fireplace made of this jagged, irregular stone reminiscent of styles from the '70s. Through a friend's reference, she found a stone and tile worker who suggested that rather than trying to cut off the stone, or paint it, to literally have it re-covered it new tiles. He first filled in the irregular stone surface with grout, and then on top of that, installed sleek, modern tiles in a much more subtle slate gray. The result was quite beautiful. Unfortunately I don't have a photo of it to share! Good luck!
January 31, 2013 at 6:30PM   
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amartell
The fireplace is gorgeous! Painting the cabinets surrounding it would be a better option.
January 31, 2013 at 6:55PM   
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groveraxle
I have to admit to not reading all the comments, but I must weigh in. I'm guessing there is some history to this gorgeous house. The fireplace and woodwork are very distinctive, almost like a cross between craftsman and midcentury modern if such a thing were possible. I LOVE the yellow brick, and the paneling and cabinets, and if this were my house I would keep them just as they are. What I WOULD do is get all new furniture for the living room, something sleek and modern, and edit the shelves on either side of the fireplace to include one or two pieces of bold glass art.

This fireplace deserves to be showcased!
January 31, 2013 at 7:01PM   
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lauriejrock
So much depends on what you have to spend and how much effort and talent you have. If you need inexpensive try painting with Ralph Lauren River Rock paint in a natural stone color. It has a gritty sandy texture that looks and feels like brick rather than slick like paint can. You can paint the grout a gray if you want to take the time. Try mixing the two colors into varing shades and dab a few bricks to make it more natural looking. I have done this a couple of times and was pleased with each of them. Be careful with the color choice. Stay away from anything to blue or green that will look fake and you'll tire of it. I think the idea of covering the chevron brick with wood or sheetrock is a great idea as well as finding a oversize piece of art that takes over being the focal point. Next paint your screen black until you find the one you love. Don't forget light, an eyeball or art light to keep your art a prominant focus. Consider adding a simple but beefy mantle that would match your bookcases. Your fireplace is so massive it could stretch all the way across and be a 6x6 if you wanted. Good luck to you. I find that the problem areas often become my favorite spots after I've invested time and creativity into them.
January 31, 2013 at 9:59PM   
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darmark
I don,t think your fireplace looks bad try adding a big beefy wood mantle to tie in with the wood color of your bookcases on either side of your fire place and a large painting in the alcove with some colors in it that would compliment the yellow cast of the bricks.That might take your eye away from only seeing the brick
February 1, 2013 at 12:12AM   
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shericucc
if it were my house i'd replace the tile and carpet with a contrasting warm tone wood floor. Add an area rug that tones down the yellow which is difficult to see and invest in large scale furniture to balance the fireplace. I agree with the posts about taking things out of the bookcase to create more negative space in this area. Getting this area right will have big impact. I too would put something taller and more impressive immediately in the alcove above the fireplace as many of the posts have said. Add side tables, simple, large coffee table (rustic), beefy lamps. Pull the chairs next to the fireplace in closer as well. Good luck. Would love to see the posts after you decide what to do with the space.
February 1, 2013 at 12:53AM   
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ispeakwhale
If this were my home I would go all Jonathan Adler on it in a 70's early 80's vibe.

I think I'm slowly building a reputation for not being a conservative commenter!

I can't attach this image but if you go to:
http://jonathanadler.com/interior_design.php

then go to " Other Projects".

Then it's the 3rd image of 6 with gorgeous square leather sofas. The colors, everything. Yum!

Otherwise, paint it all, or resurface it in an updated stoned that people in 30 years will absolute hate and want to resurface. ;)
February 1, 2013 at 12:57AM   
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andrew778
I actually agree with the others that overall it's a very nice brick fireplace... personally i don't care for the diagonal patterned brick in the middle recess, but if you installed a painted canvas to fill that middle section it could brighten up the space and be a great place to showcase art.
February 1, 2013 at 10:02AM   
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andrew778
another way to go would be to modernize the look by putting a stone or tile veneer on top of the brick... that could look very nice also, and allow you to choose a lighter or more neutral color while keeping the original fireplace intact.
February 1, 2013 at 10:12AM   
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Danielle B
The fireplace is striking; keep it as is, but all the wood paneling makes the room stuffy. Paint the wood instead; it looks old-fashioned. Also try different light bulbs. I have similar brick at the back of my house, and it is absolutely stunning when the sun sets.
February 1, 2013 at 4:30PM   
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K.O.H. Construction Corporation
The brick pattern(( herringbone) in the insert is too busy and has a lot of dark brick. Try this before you leap. Cut a piece of plywood or drywall to the size of the insert, paint it a neutral color, set it in the insert (temporary) hang a picture and decide if this is enough. you may like it. One other thing. DO not put acid on the brick. It is dangerous and can destroy a lot of things. I am a Mason and I know from experience. Good luck to you.
February 1, 2013 at 4:59PM   
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cozyworld
Please do NOT paint your woodwork. It is beautiful. Right now, it is the trend to have everything painted (have you noticed? EVERYTHING is painted white trim!) Eventually, that will go out of style again, and you will not be able to get your amazing woodwork back. It brings such warmth to your beautiful home!
February 1, 2013 at 11:47PM   
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Ron Kith
Try cleaning the bricks with acid cleaners may be it throw some different colours you may like
February 2, 2013 at 3:42AM   
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Danielle B
First of all, white paint never, ever goes out of style.
Your space feels dark with all the wood. Having some natural materials in your decor adds warmth, but having it all over the place is not cozy, it's claustrophobic. What's good about the fireplace is that it's materials are concentrated in one area. But you can't escape that wood - wherever you look, you see it.
My husband looked at your pictures this morning, and he thought it looks like the inside of a boat; that's a good thing if you are going for a nautical theme.
In the end, you have to go with what you like. If you like the wood but not the fireplace or vice versa, you know what to do. If you feel guilty about the trees that were sacrificed to build the house or the mason who put so much work into building the fireplace, then I am sure that the materials can be salvaged and sold or donated.
February 2, 2013 at 5:35AM   
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cozyworld
Once upon a time, wood was left in its natural state. So, yes, painting wood IS a trend, and trends come and go. I know I would never paint the woodwork in my '20s house.
February 2, 2013 at 7:37AM   
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gloria14l
The color is magnificent. What surrounds it needs to fit. First, take out the really ugly fireplace screen and replace it with a curved black screen you can see the logs through. Remove the bookcases on the sides and add matching, tall statuary on each side holding a light that gives off atmospheric lighting on a dimmer. Replace the carpeting with dark wood floors with an oriental area rug that highlights the color of the brick. Paint the wood detailing in a medium charcoal gray throughout the room. You'll have a masterpiece. Don't mess with the color. Pick up the color of the brick in the muted shades of a table lamp and a floor lamp where lighting can enhance the room. You have the makings of a room you will never want to leave. Don't ruin this with nonsense. Take advantage of a magical opportunity to have a spectacular space. Make sure the furniture is cushy and lush with lots of creams and whites. This room is the opportunity of a lifetime! Take advantage of it.
February 2, 2013 at 10:57AM   
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American Tile and Stone/Backsplashtogo.com
visit www.backsplashtogo.com for great selection.
February 2, 2013 at 11:14AM   
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jagwyre
While I love the original character of the house, the woodwork is in terrible shape. Painting is a much cheaper option than trying to restore everything that is broken. It sounds like the majority of you believe I should paint. If I do paint, should the walls and beams be the same color?
February 2, 2013 at 6:24PM   
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judybergman
Yes, paint it all an off white. You presented it as "ugly" and will never rest until it's gone. The brick is too church like and commanding, but there is nothing sacred about it. It is just a wall.
February 2, 2013 at 6:51PM   
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Christine
Maybe it's me but that FP rocks! I would lose the box beams though because it gives the room a rail way termination station feeling. I just think the room needs tweaking a bit. The leather chairs need to be moved out to a man's study or a library. They are crazy masculine and overpowering. We cannot see the sofa but I would prefer to keep the sofa (the color if its gray is masculine enough) or even go with a large u shaped sectional. Then you could feminize the room just a tad with some lighter colored arm chairs. You need to take all that shelf stuff down and put up a more uniform grouping in a lighter color. Organize books. Cover books in white butchers paper. And maybe rethink all the wood side tables and wood chair legs that are going on.
February 2, 2013 at 7:08PM     
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Gander Builders
Put mesh on it and go over it with Eldarado Stone. You could transform it!
February 2, 2013 at 7:16PM   
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jkristamagee
My last home had a brick fire place that the previous guy painted BLACK! Oh that's not the bad part- he then very carefully painted the mortar the cleanest white ever- IT WAS HORRIBLE!!!!! I actually covered it up myself and it turned out amazing! I didn't do anything to the brick for prep- I simply put on my shoes , drive to Columbia brick and picked out a mortar color that I liked. I chose a medium beige - I got a wheel barrow and mixed it up with water and spread it all over the brick from top to bottom - I did it messy. Some place thick and others so thin you could see the outline of the brick- it had an adobe type look in a way. It dried and I lived for 3 years and never had any chips or problems. It was simple and it was cheap and even better it was absolutely GORGEOUS!!! Everyone loved it. I am going to do it again to this home Bd my next and final home I will also smear my fireplace plus the brick on my covered front porch. It looks amazing warm elegant classy and cozy with dark woods my husband custom built an elegant and decorative mantel around it- just an Idea- it may not be your style - but just thought I might share the project that started off being a last resort for just a livable area and is now my most favorite look on a warm cozy fire place and front porches of brick homes.
February 2, 2013 at 8:38PM     
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cozyworld
jkristamagee, this is exactly what I need to do on my own FP. It needs to be tuckpointed anyway, and the mortar is black. NOt sure if it originally was or is just soot, but it is awful.

Glad to know you did a DIY project-- I want the messy look, too.
February 2, 2013 at 9:43PM   
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Danielle B
If you decide to paint the woodwork, I don't think it all has to be the same color. You could paint them in two shades of the same colour. It would actually probable yield interesting results.
February 3, 2013 at 9:49AM   
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astaire
Your fireplace has nice structure so I'd paint it and the bookcases a color that you love. The nice thing about painting the brick is that you can change it with trends. If it were mine, I would paint it a dark teal. Having said that, at a former home I had a very ugly fireplace and a carpenter made a veneer cap out of mahogany that literally slipped in place over the old one. He trimmed it nicely, and after it was stained, it looks great, but it cost a lot of money. If I had to do it over, I would now chose to paint because I don't think that I'd get back my investment.
February 4, 2013 at 6:21AM   
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PRO
slaah
I think danielle/ give you the best right paint it should have to be done
February 4, 2013 at 6:54AM   
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slaah
Iprefair braick to be paint in black paint and some sctared braicks paint in white
February 4, 2013 at 7:13AM   
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soberg
The color of brick can be toned down or shifted with diluted paint in various colors, sponged on. I did this myself on my huge brick interior wall that had some random black-painted bricks. It was one of the easiest, fastest projects I ever did, as I was not looking for a thick coat of paint, just an intermittent wash to shift the tones.
February 4, 2013 at 7:23AM   
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PRO
Bickhaus Homes
Maybe you're not looking for a big project. But honestly, it's a huge amount of wasted square footage and makes the entire room feel dated. If it was a room in a house I loved, I'd tear the whole thing out, shelves and all. Then install a more streamline updated fireplace and mantel. I know it sounds crazy but look at all that space you'd gain. It's a monster in the room and does not add positive character. Love the fan ! Have fun.
February 21, 2013 at 4:10PM   
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Triangle Brick Company
I think your fireplace is beautiful! I would like to suggest removing the dated fireplace glass and replacing it with a decorative iron fireplace screen. As for the sofa, keep in mind the style of your chairs and find a sofa that compliments them. The current sofa is contemporary while the chairs are more traditional. Happy Decorating!
June 4, 2013 at 6:55AM   
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