Do you have an old wood-burning fireplace that you never use because of the hassles involved? I want to offer some alternatives so that you can make that space useful and transform it into a used feature in your home. There are various fireplace insert options available that can be fitted into your existing firebox and they include: electric, pellet, and gas.
I recently had a question from someone on how to transform their fireplace. They were tired of what they had and wanted ideas, and I thought it would be a great topic to tackle in a decorating article, and I wanted to share tips I learned with you.
First, what exactly don’t you like? I have often found that changing the wall color, or adding decorative molding or a new mantel can make the world of difference. Go through these photos on Houzz and see which features you are drawn to and save them in an IdeaBook, this will save you time if you do have to call in a contractor and keeps all your ideas in one area for reference.
Issue: You don’t like the color of your brick fireplace.
Solution: You can paint it or use a technique to change the color. Click here to view some fireplace ideas from HGTV. For how-to instructions, Lowes offers the materials needed and the help. For further instructions and a kit, Brick-Anew provides a package.
If you don’t want to cover the brick entirely, you could consider a stain. However, that is only recommended on brick that has never been treated or painted. I would suggest that you go to your favorite home supply or paint store and ask their advice before making any decision. Things to consider when choosing paint or stain on your brick:
- You will want low or no VOC or harsh chemicals since this will be inside your home.
- Whatever you use, it has to be able to handle heat and a porous surface.
- Consider the products requirements; for example, does it need a primer and a sealer.
Issue: You don’t like your fireplace surface may it be brick, tile, or plain drywall.
Solution: Cover it with a new surface. AirStone offers a lightweight product that looks like stone and goes on easily with an adhesive and is designed as a DIY product. Click here to view a video overview of the product. FauxPanels offers a stone lookalike that comes in panels for easy installation, click here to see their photos.
If you are not afraid to take on a construction project, cover it up with drywall, view instructional video and information on this topic.
Issue: You don’t like your fireplace surround or mantel.
Solution: There are many ready-made mantels that you can choose from, check out these ideas from Mantels Direct. There are many budget-friendly choices available, Wayfair even has options. Or, if you’re handy, follow these DIY instructions from This Old House to build your own.
If you would like to see some fireplace transformations, click here to determine what changes you may want to incorporate into your home. Click here to view another idea where the brick was covered with wood and painted.
I hope these ideas are useful for all of you wanting to take on this project, please post or send me before and after photos of your fireplace transformation so I can feature them. If you need help picking out colors or a room redesign, call me 610.955.8202 or email to set up your consultation!
By Debbie Correale, founder and owner of Redesign Right, LLC. You can learn more about her at RedesignRight.com. Find her on Facebook.com/RedesignRight, Twitter @RedesignRight, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Houzz, Google+ and Instagram. Featured photo from Houzz: Jennifer Butler Interior Design.
Since the mantel is a central focal point in a room, it needs to be considered as an important aspect in your room decorating. It should express your interests and what you love. There is always an opportunity to make small changes so that the room feels fresh and brings you joy. As we are entering the fall season, I wanted to cover some mantel decorating ideas that could take you right through the holidays with some tweaks. Below I describe some of the mantel design formulas that you can use as a starting point in your mantel decorating.
Are you the kind of person who wants both sides of your mantel to look the same displaying an item in the center? If so, you like a symmetrical look, and this style can be the easiest to decorate and change with the seasons. You can display a lovely mirror or piece of artwork in the center and flank it with tall candles, topiaries, or lamps (or flank the mirror with sconces). The key here is to have the proper height to create interest by encouraging the eye to look up. You will not want to place small items along the mantel. With each season, you can add a silk floral arrangement in the center displaying natural items of the season to add variety and color.
This mantel design concept encourages the eye to go from high to low and high to low each time varying the heights, like a wave. What this could look like is to start with a tall featured item such as a beautiful vase and gradually carry the eye in a wave formation. Try to group your items appropriately, managing color and heights accordingly. Stand back and look at your arrangement and be sure it isn’t too busy yet interesting creating that visual “wave”. This look is very flexible as items can easily be moved around, moved out with fall décor items nicely taking their place.
Do you like the concept of using all one color? A simple mantel design is best for you! Do you like white? This time of year you will find beautiful white pumpkins that can be used for a lovely fall decoration. Use white lanterns, vases and candles and you have a beautiful mantel statement! For some beautiful white vases check out this selection from West Elm.
By Debbie Correale, founder and owner of Redesign Right, LLC. You can learn more about her at www.RedesignRight.com. Find her on Facebook.com/RedesignRight, Twitter @RedesignRight, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Houzz and Google+.
Mantels and fireplaces are usually the main focal point in a room and the starting point in a room design. I have found newly constructed homes have a simple fireplace with a simple mantel. If you have always wanted a fireplace with surround, it’s not that difficult to achieve the look you desire. Let’s go over some ideas!
Picking a Look
What type of look are you going for with your mantel and fireplace? Since this choice dictates the style of the room, this is an important decision. To pick out a new fireplace, check Pinterest or Houzz for ideas, you will be amazed at the different choices. If you did not want to use new materials, perhaps looking for something with a “historic” value, here are a few options to review – click on the link to find out more:
- Brandywine River Antiques
- Pennsbury Antique Mall
- Monroe Coldren & Son, specializing in restoring and supplying in West Chester, PA
If you wish to add a stone look to your fireplace, you won’t believe the new materials that are available. Real Stone Systems offers a thin, lightweight real stone veneer that is easy to install with little waste. The veneer comes in panels for easy installation, click here to review the options available. They also have a tool where you can upload a photo of your fireplace to visualize what it would look like with their stone, click here to give it a try.
Home improvement stores, such as Lowes, carry a line of real stone veneer called Ledge Stone, to give you an idea of the installation involved, click here. Another less expensive idea is to use faux panels, and there are many looks available, click here to view those options from Texture Plus.
Decorating Your Mantel
Once you have the mantel and fireplace of your dreams installed the decorating fun begins! When thinking about your mantel decor, consider placing your accessories at varying heights to create flow and movement with your eyes. Create interest by layering accessories, adding unexpected color and textures; such as, shiny bottles, dull plants, woven baskets, metal statues and soft pillow to the hearth. To view some ideas on decorating your mantel, go to my Houzz Idea Book on Mantels and Fireplaces.
If you need help picking the look you desire, or need a room redesign contact Debbie@RedesignRight.com.
By Debbie Correale is founder and owner of Redesign Right, LLC. You can learn more about her at www.RedesignRight.com. Find her on Facebook.com/RedesignRight, Twitter @RedesignRight, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Houzz and Google+.