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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Need to replace 80s mirrored fireplace!

vbellettiniFebruary 13, 2013
It's way beyond time to get rid of the mirrors that were here when we moved in several years ago! I hate this look. Fireplace sits in the middle of a long room, dividing living and dining room. My style is more traditional, eclectic, the house is brown wood shingled, more contemporary. Thinking of a travertine type surround with a cherry mantle...same on both sides of the 2-sided fireplace. Ideas?
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Shelton Interiors
HD81 See-Thru Gas Fireplace · More Info
I would treat the fireplace the same on both sides for consistency but stay on the light side for colors so it doesn't take over. Not sure if you're replacing the insert, but here is a contemporary look that gives the FP a visual presence in the room without dominating it.
    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 9:35AM
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What you're planning sounds great. I do question the cherry, though because your crown and base look to be walnut. I would want these permanent features of the home to match.
    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 9:45AM
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Barbara Griffith Designs
Your decor looks quite traditional to me. You can never go wrong with travertine. That said, I also think a cherry (very traditional) is too dark a contrast for the travertine. I would however, paint all the fireplace parts black..no brass. But being who I am, I will through something else out there for you. Mirrored furniture is very popular now, and when well done as an accent piece, looks fantastic. In fact, I have a quite large mirrored armoire with silver leaf for my TV in my living room and it is smashing in my eclectic room. You could trim the mirror sides out on the edges with the mirror molding that is available at all glass mirror stores..it is about 2 inches wide Frame all outside edges and add in inner frame as well in the large areas..push your envelope.
    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 10:07AM
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Thanks for the ideas! The crown and baseboard are actually redwood. I'm in No. Calif. I was hesitant about the cherry too, and agree it would be too much of a contrast. This room is on the north side of the house, not lots of light, and tends to feel a little cold...which is why I was thinking of cherry. Ms. Griffiths, I actually have two different mirrors that I intended to put over the fireplace on both sides. The one for the living room is tall, etched, kind of ornate. Shelton Interiors, yes, we are replacing the whole thing, and will definitely keep the same design on both sides. I like the size of the fireplace you pictured. Who makes that? What material would you suggest for a mantle? I'm concerned that the travertine all over would make the focal point too cold looking...also need to replace the tile on the flooring, in front...
    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 9:04AM
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Ironwood Builders
Being in NorCal too, don't give up on redwood to match just yet. There are still reclaimed pieces out there that will make for an excellent mantle...water tanks were typically made with 2" thick old growth. There are also many types and colors of travertine...but I prefer the look of limestone. The slab suppliers in the East Bay specialize and Hausmann specializes in limestone. Matching tile is available for most slabs, though with the amount of slab you need for a double sided fireplace a slab hearth may fit in the purchase. Can you post a few pictures of styles you like in fireplaces and photos of your ornate mirrors?
    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 9:36AM
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I'm new to Houzz. Is there a way to copy photos from my ideabook to the discussion page? I have several photos of fireplaces I like in my ideabook. What's the advantage of limestone over travertine? Is the redwood too soft for a mantle? I like the idea of using redwood...
    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 10:42AM
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Yarbro Home Improvement LLC
FYI. Color examples. Here is a Travertine fireplace with Cherry laminate floor. Covered the painted white brick. Homeowner requested a recessed firebox plus a deep shelf / mantle for electronics
    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 10:48AM
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Yarbro Home Improvement LLC
Another angle
    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 10:56AM
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I think travertine tile would look great on the fireplace. One type to consider would be more narrow tiles with more variation in the tile given your traditional style.
Ellen Grasso Inc · More Info
    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 11:12AM
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you could wrap the entire fireplace in Stone. Eldorado stone is a nice product. it would look ok with your carpet too.
    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 11:34AM
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Custom Fireplace Mantels
How about a cabinet/shelf unit to match the wood shelves you have on the wall. A mirror above the mantel and a precast travertine mantel to surround your insert. Do the same on both sides. I wood do the shelves see through to lighten the structure and get some light through from your living room.
    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 2:18PM
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Custom Fireplace Mantels
reloading pics, sorry
    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 2:42PM
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Wow! I like the idea of the shelves tho I wonder if that would be too busy? If I can get the travertine in a warm varigated look I wouldn't need a wood mantle. Just want to warm up the focal point (ha!). Of course cost is an issue & I wonder about the cost of a whole stone piece, vs. just the surround & a wood mantle...
    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 7:11AM
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Custom Fireplace Mantels
Well, I think they used mirrors to help the fireplace disappear in the first place and doing anything to it will make it "reappear" again. So:

1. If you don't want to have a box in the middle of the room, move the fireplace on the wall with the shelves. Of course this would be the most expensive option. But it will give you your room back.
2. If you clad or just drywall after taking off the mirrors, You are looking at a "monolith" in the centre of the room any way you look at it.
3. If you look at my sketch, shelves would actually lighten the "mass" of the monolith. You can even make those shelves see-through to the other side, again to make it lighter.

I see that the room is small and already "busy". A den/library feel to it. I think shelves, to match the wall millwork, would work. And the limestone mantels would bright up the space. The mantel on the pics (designed, fabricated and installed by me :-), runs $1500 installed.

I would go for relocation of the fireplace to the wall. If too involved, keep the study/library feel with the shelves on the sides of the fireplace.

Post more pics and a plan of the space with some dimensions.
    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 6:16AM
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OK, I'll work on that. I want the fireplace to remain in the middle of the room. It acts as a focal point & divider between living & dining rooms. We have to bring a gas line to the box. I do really like the shelving idea. You are in Canada? Why limestone rather than travertine?
    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 6:54AM
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Custom Fireplace Mantels
Yes, Toronto.

Either stone is fine. Lime stone might be more uniform and smoother. The picture i posted is a manmade stone and cast in a mould. If you find one locally you discover it offers unlimited shades of the stone as well as texture. With natural stone is what you see on the shelves is what you get. Plus a mantel like that would be more than double. And getting one to the right size for your needs is no problem with cast comparing to custom cutting the stone.
    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 7:03AM
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