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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

1960's fireplace

eckhkeFebruary 27, 2013
We are updating the entire house. We are going with a traditional look, but feel like this wall looks dated. We have already removed carpet and will put new hardwood floors. We have also removed the wood paneling. Any thoughts??
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Amy Stanley
The brass can all be painted out to black with a high heat paint this small change would make a difference. Perhaps with the wood floors and sheet-rocked walls this won't seem so dated. I am not sure how hard it would be to remove some of those built in shelves and add a different mantle? I would think a mason would know better then I would on that one.
    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 6:09AM
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HI - Great place ! I like that you removed the paneling and the carpets . I think some wood (T&G)between the beams on the ceiling would add so much , Either in a light stain or a white wash. The fireplace is beautiful except for the stone shelves - that is the dated part, I would rather see those gone and the one over the firebox replaced or covered over with a chunky rustic wood beam or a slick modern squared wood mantel stained dark almost black . The stone will have to have a good scrubbing with TLC and have you asked a fireplace expert to check it out , flue ,etc.? It is a wonderful room and I don't think it needs too much to make it great . PS: All the brass could maybe tarnished to give it the right look or paint it with heat paint or replace with a new set.
    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 6:23AM
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Marie Hebson's interiorsBYDESIGN Inc.
Hi eckhke, Marie here.
OK - I'm confused.
Your statement of "going with a traditional look" but yet you purchased a mid-century modern home?

I don't get it - why did you purchase this home if your going to change everything about it to reflect your traditional aesthetic?

Post updated photos of what you have done to date please - then I can answer more productively.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 6:30AM
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Lumber Liquidators
I agree with Amy. Brass is the part that seems a little date to me. I don't know how you feel about painting the whole thing but I know a lot of fireplaces look great white! Just depends on the overall feel of the room you want.
    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 9:19AM
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here are some examples of how you can keep the wall and have a lovely looking house in the style you choose...hope this will give you some inspiriation
    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 9:41AM
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I love the stone fireplace! Replace the brass screen with a more traditional, perhaps free-standing one, and add matching traditional fireplace tools--hammered bronze or something darker. Depending on budget, wood would look nice between beams, but if you paint, do a darker color so it doesn't call attention to the boxed beams which have a very modern look. The modern track lighting needs to go also. Paint the light wood cabinets if they are staying and perhaps switch the molding around the openings to a more traditional profile.
    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 9:58AM
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I have seen masons use a chisel to chisel the "shelf" / "mantel" stone off at the face so it matches the profile. After it cleans up it might be a better color for you. I'm guessing you have removed the scalloped triim on the shelving unit and above. For traditional, there are some great paint tones that just look wonderful with wood above. Consider painting out the built in black and rubbing back the edges. Leave the wood beams above but get a new updated fixture / fan.

If you are really going transitional, or traditional, then you might like to try a warm masonry camel stain on the stone. I would do that before I considered refacing. I can't see enough of your home to say it is mid-century, this stone profile was used long before the mid-century but became popular about then. It is real stone and a classic profile. Masonry stains are very very good, and with proper application would bring this up to the warm carmel that would give you a very traditional look. Talk to a mason and a specialist who does masonry stains.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 10:05AM
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Thanks for the comments. The house is an old ranch style home so it is very traditional. The lady that lived here before just made some interesting decor choices. The track lighting has been removed as well as the brass screen. We know we will atleast paint or stain the beams. Fans will also be replaced. One interior decorator told us to sheet rock over the stone? This is the wall the TV has to go on also, so we will have to place it over the mantle. I like the idea of putting an old wood beam over the fireplace.
    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 10:56AM
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Amy Stanley
Don't sheet rock over the wall it is a really cool feature, get rid of the shelves, beef your mantle the old beam is a great idea and hang your tv. I hate to see houses loose their roots completely. Did you paint the built-ins?
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 11:00AM
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Total Quality Home Builders, Inc.
Definitely go with a large wooded mantel. Honestly however the beams don't bother me at all. I think the built in shelving on right wall should go more than the beams and I would look at painting the wooded section of wall over the fireplace. It would really help! Sounds like you are making the right moves!
    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 11:02AM
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Thanks! Yes the built ins will be painted, and the curved molding removed. What are thoughts on the symmetry of the hearth? It continues all the way to the wall on the left but stops on the right?
    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 11:09AM
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agree with all the posters,chisel,stain or clean but DONT sheet rock over it,you might as well move into a cardboard box painted-any-color-you-like-,surely that is not why you bought this house,i think it is likely that because there is nothing of you in this place as yet you are seeing the bare wall!!!do some of the other work before you decide!it would be a shame to loose this feature..
3 Likes    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 11:13AM
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DO NOT SHEETROCK over the stone, That is very predictable and boring. clean up the stone like the smart folks say above, remove the hideous built ins, update the fireplace insert and voila you have a contemporary classic.
3 Likes    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 11:25AM
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House of Rocks
Good call on the wood beam over the fireplace. Something is definitely missing there. I think that is why it looks so plain. I would agree with other posters about the brass frame being dated as well.
There are sealants out there that can give the stone a smooth texture and give it a constant "wet" appearance. This might help bring out the color and make it less drab

I'm surprised a decorator would suggest covering the wall with sheet rock. It sounds like their views might not line up with yours. Done correctly, the fireplace could really bring the room together.
    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 12:30PM
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Amy Stanley
Glad you chose to update and paint the built ins rather then rip them out- love the charm. I am still pondering the hearth, I think it adds to the charm but does cause a symmetry issue if you are bugged by that sort of stuff. I am wondering if you could have something made or find something cool to go there that serves a purpose. What color will the built-ins be perhaps you could tie into this.
    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 12:49PM
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One way to deal with symmetry is to place television on left rather than over firebox at the midpoint of the wall - proper height is usually lower than above mantle anyway. Will yours fit in that area well?
Then, a classic low chest put on the left wall there can hold the needed components. Don't hesitate to drill through / into stone / add outlet to hang it there - lay it out on paper elevation wise so you can see how it will appear. The midpoint of the television will be around top of firebox / below mantle height for it to be eye level as seated.

You can add a wood mantle with traditional corbels boxed around to use the old stone mantle as its anchor. You may want to shop for an antique gate or carved wood art element for the stone area to the right of the firebox to balance the tv visually.
    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 1:44PM
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OH I would HATE to see such a cool place made tradtitional. I agree with Marie. Those mid century modern homes are gems!
    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 2:06PM
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This wall may lead you to believe it is a modern house, but there is not much else about the house that is modern.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 2:10PM
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AHH! It's a ranch! Makes sense now - traditional works. Can't wait to see the results. There are some great suggestions above. Good luck.
    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 2:14PM
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Yarbro Home Improvement LLC
People pay big $$$ for that stack stoned look. Please maintain the stone. Its beautiful.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 3:23PM
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HI -- Yes , I can see why you think this is a traditional house , but in fact it is a very typical contemporary ranch of the mid century era , it is very mid century looking. It was very common to have some traditional furniture pieces in a mid century home in that time . Families had furniture from their past that they never parted with even though they moved into a mid century modern house. Very few had the money to go totaly over to all the furnishings needed for that kind of house . Just because it's a ranch style house ,does not mean it isn't mid century modern. I think that fireplace is going to be the best feature in the house , so I hope you keep it close to the same .The reason the hearth is off set is so there was a space for the wood holder and tools to sit . I would not have the TV over the mantel but more onto the left side .It looks like a beautiful house and I hope the features of the time it was built don't get lost . So I think if you have traditional furniture is fine as long as the house isn't remodeled with traditional trappings.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 8:05PM
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