June 13th, 2008

I’ve been obsessing about what to do with the fireplace. This is always bad news when I start focusing like a laser beam on a flaw in the house. I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, all I see are fireplaces.

Here are some inspiration images that I’ve been thinking about…paint is a cheap and easy solution.

(via. Design*Sponge & Design*Sponge)

Below are some older shots of the fireplace after we refinished the floors and painted, but have yet to move in…notice the weird vents on the side. I HATE them and would like to make them disappear.

Just for kicks…

Right BEFORE we moved in and just AFTER. (It looks even worse now – like some sort of crazed flea market. What a mess!)

I think I want to take the leap and paint the brick. As is, it looks very traditional and the bricks do have some staining and paint on them already – I feel so guilty slapping paint on perfectly good brick that I need to justify. Also, that ugly mantel is very traditional, very very small and very very very boring.

Some more retro inspiration.

(via Sunset, Home Atlanta)

So any ideas? I’m leaning towards painting the brick a semi-gloss charcoal gray and beefing up the mantel and painting it a glossy white…and then stacking cut firewood inside the fireplace cause I’m super trendy.

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  1. minhus on 06/16/2008:

    I hear ya. I swing between hating my brick fireplace and dreaming of painting it white, to blocking it out entirely. There’s an issue I need to fix before I can paint it, otherwise it’d probably be white now. I’d really love to have a wood fireplace surround instead of brick, but that’s higher up on the difficulty scale, so we’ll see.

    I say if you don’t like it, paint it. I don’t understand people who act like brick is sacred.

    Those vents would be annoying. Of course having big vents on your floor can be annoying too.

  2. Kelli on 06/16/2008:

    Go look at the amazing brick fireplace/living room transformations at This Young House. I love the look of a white painted fireplace. That’s what I would go with!

  3. Mrs. Limestone on 06/16/2008:

    You don’t need to excuse yourself for painting over brick. Brick inside is generally not a good look in my opinion (it was at one time but that time has come and gone). Go for the charcoal paint and it will look great.

    I’d suggest painting the mantle gray too so it all reads as one piece of architecture rather than something added on…but thats just me.

    Good luck!

  4. That one girl that has a house like yours :) on 06/16/2008:

    Oh Please don’t do it yet!!!
    (Yes, I’m one of ‘those’)

    And here’s the only reason I say that… what you own is a specific type of house with a specific type of look. At some point in the future, you will probably sell it. (???) At that time, you will be selling it as either a) a regular home without a specific look, or b) a brick retro home. If you change the fireplace you have taken away one of the items that speak to exactly what type of home you have.

    As you know, I live in a 50s ranch with a a lot of similarities to your home. We are not going to paint our brick, because at some point it will be a selling point. (Sad fact is, trends do return!) We are going to cover it up because we aren’t huge fans. We’re in the process of designed a complete mantle and sidepiece which will entirely re-create the fireplace, yet allow the brick to be maintained in its original form.

    OK… I went on too long. But I just wanted to remind you that they carpeted over my original hardwoods because carpet was “in” and hardwood was “out”. Good thing they didn’t actually tear the hardwood up, since hardwood is now “in”.

  5. Little Miss on 06/16/2008:

    Paint it. I wouldn’t even bat an eyelash with hesitation. A warm charcoal (and I agree with a charcoal mantel as well) if you want it to stand out, or you could paint it all white if you want it to dissappear (same color as the walls).

    You can always paint the vents as well. Do it. Don’t wait. You’ll love it.

  6. Jennifer on 06/17/2008:

    I agree with anonymous…

    but I also think a wood front and mantle would look GREAT, too!

  7. Be the change..... on 06/19/2008:

    I think painting it all white would be great – you won’t even notice how small the mantel top is that way – it will be one continuous big fireplace!

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