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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Should I paint or stain my family room bookshelves?

lcouringtonFebruary 10, 2013
I am phasing out the oak in my home. Have already painted/glazed kitchen cabinets and added island with alderwood, painted all the windows and have painted shutters, brazilian wood with darker stain on the floor. The shelves and small bar area are still oak. Would an off white with glaze be right next to the red brick or would I be better off going dark like the floor? I would like to paint the brick but can't talk husband into it so for now they stay.
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If I were you I would do the cabinets the same color as the doors going into the kitchen. They seem to match your diningroom table. I think that would be a color your husband could live with too.
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:14AM
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Carmen Iwaszczenko
Paint them. Lighter would be better I think. You want the fireplace to be the standout feature, not the bookshelves.
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:15AM
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Thanks for the ideas. I'm not sure I want to make my hearth stand out more. Sounds misguided but it's not real beautiful in my opinion. I have always liked white bookshelves because I think the items being displayed really stand out more but I also think this particular area can start looking too busy. There is a lot going on with the hearth. The dark would help out with that problem.
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:29AM
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G.Elizabeth Designs
I agree with you, the hearth would be hugely different if you could paint the brick and yes, I would stick with dark.
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:34AM
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Thanks! What color would you paint the brick if it were a perfect world:)?
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:36AM
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I would start by painting the inside of cabinets next to fireplace the same color as your kitchen cabs. I've seen several photos of this approach and it looks beautiful. This woulda help you decide that this is enough or you should go all the way..plus it ties the kitchen and existing nicely.
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:52AM
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G.Elizabeth Designs
I would wait until you have completed the cabinetry before even thinking about color for the hearth, it is much easier to decide once you have completed your skeleton or foundation. I love what you did to the cabinetry in your kitchen and of course the walls will influence the color you choose for the hearth. The hearth has huge potential and it would look fantastic painted. Off the top of my head, maybe two to three gradations darker in than you walls in the same hue. You know what you're doing, good luck and hope you get your perfect world with the hearth.
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:18AM
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You have been most helpful! I feel much more confident now and ready to get started. Next I'll work on my persuasive skills. Thanks!
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:22AM
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We had the exact same issue. A very large fireplace and mantle with dark wook shelves on each side. We found a great product to paint our fireplace at www.brick-anew.com. Instead of just painting the brick, you treat it like highlighting hair with multiple shades of color. It turned out fantastic and my husband was able to complete it in one day. There are great before and after pics on their website. Maybe that will help you to convince your husband (my husband did not not want to paint our fireplace either, initially...) Good Luck!
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:43AM
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Thanks, I'll definitely check it out!
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:48AM
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I would paint the shelves and bar cabinet the color of the kitchen cabinets which look to be the same color as the fireplace mantel. While not a fan of red brick, the fireplace in my house was painted white when we moved in (which I prefer) but I know if it was natural brick, my husband would not have wanted to paint it either. Even though it is a minor detail, I would flip the accessories around on the mantel. The candlesticks on the left and the clock on the right. Somehow I think the overall picture would look better balanced because of the two different heights of the fireplace and the wood holder.
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 10:26AM
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Thanks. Yes, I think you are right about the mantel. Didn't put a whole lot of thought into it after Christmas.
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 12:57PM
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Definitely match with the cabinets. They are beautiful colors and will beautify the fireplace.
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 1:20PM
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I agree you do not want the mantle to stand out. Use the same color as,the bookcase cabinets, not the lighter one,like the kitchen. Too many colors will look unprofessional. The bookcase and table and other cabinet area you showed are just beautiful. It will make the hearth look stunning because I agree with you it is nothing spectacular.
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 1:23PM
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Thanks for the comments.
    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 6:01AM
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If you are keeping mirror, I would stain or paint shelf black
    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 6:05AM
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