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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Help! Incredibly ugly fire place needs beautifying!

emmajanekpFebruary 7, 2013
We have just bought a new home and in the design stages of renovations....and lost in what to do with this fireplace. It's shape is such an eyesore for me and unfortunately it's the first thing you see when entering the house!
This photo has the previous tenants furniture in. We are replacing the floors with wooden flooring, downlighting and painting .... But what to do with the fireplace.
Love the idea of perhaps whitewashing ..... But the shape is still too ugly.

Any suggestions please??
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Do you have two of the same posts? I commented on one but I don't see my comment here. If you do have two posts, have Houzz delete one of them: support@houzz.com
    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 5:09AM
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I would take mirror off, paint bricks in white - same as the wall, and put bunch of firewood where chairs are.

Then yo could deicide what to hang above. May be add a shelf or artwork.
    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 5:09AM
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Oh yes, the mirror is definitely going, it belongs to the previous owners! Sorry olldbobbi I can't see two of my posts, but will check with Houzz. Please can you let me know what you wrote?
1 Like    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 5:22AM
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I just said I wouldn't paint the brick, personally, because I like natural brick. You can clean it with a foaming bath cleaner and a nylon scrub brush. For the area where the chairs are I believe that's meant for storing logs, and I suggested an interesting log holder instead of just piling them in there: [houzz=
Conmoto Wood Bridge Log Holder · More Info
Copper Bucket · More Info

I think installing a mantel would make it look better for you.
    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 5:29AM
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Thank you, at what height would you recommend the mantle should be? Half way up the brick?
    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 5:31AM
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I has a thought about creative plastering .... Something like this:
    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 5:34AM
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I think first I would paint the area where the plastic chairs are a dark color so it doesn't fight with the fire pit area. Then I would get a beautiful mantel that would go across the whole area to tie them together Then decorate the mantel as a whole not divided between the two areas. We just bought a beautiful fireplace glass door inset. It really adds to the look.
I think I would also paint the wall around the fireplace a color that doesn't fight with the fireplace bricks. Good luck, please post whatever you do. Can't wait to see what you come up with.
    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 6:16AM
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For the hieght of the mantel, I think halfway up the brick would be too high. I know the mirror isn't yours, but if you look at the first gridline up from the bottom, I think the matel would look good just a little higher than it.
    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 6:41AM
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Thank you - this has been really helpful
    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 6:42AM
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Great! Post 'after' pics, we never get to see them!
    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 6:43AM
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I think exposed brick here is not really old style (so not worth that much displaying) and due to somewhat non balanced irregular shape of it, it sticks out a bit odd, if painted (and perhaps scrubbed off to have some red peaking through) it would be more balanced. The mantle makese sense (white) and painted area for logs - well that's good idea too although you should have it filled with logs and that way it's not really fighting the fire place. ;)
    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 6:43AM
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Rooms That Work
Wow! I am a great fan of symmetry and balance, so I should hate this fireplace, right? Wrong! This fireplace looks "off" because of its current presentation, but it has excellent bones. Here's the problem: it is off balance largely because of the visual weight of the firebox adjacent to that space. You can solve this with split firewood, as others have suggested, and already it will look better. Fill that cavity completely with wood so you get equal weight with the fireplace. Next, and here's the big impact piece, paint the drywall surround and the brick the same colour and the walls something different. That way your fireplace has presence and weight. Now you have symmetry, balance and impact. It will be a beautiful example of Modernist design.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 6:54AM
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I love asymmetrical fireplaces, but I totally agree with Rooms That Work about painting the brick and drywall surround. Also, if you do that, no mantel. Keep it simple.
    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 7:02AM
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