Fireplace Makeover: With a Little Help from my Friends…

This is one of those projects that I meant to do myself, but I’m glad that I didn’t. It had all the makings of dragging on for a ridiculously long time like our powder room, and I didn’t want dust, plaster, and paint to be lying about the living room and accessible by the kids for several weeks.

Many thanks to Joe and Jose, a painting team that do a great job and are enjoyable to have around the house, this job was done more quickly and better than I could have achieved myself. They worked on this at the same time they helped paint our stair risers.

The fireplace has been my bane since we moved in – with its cheesy faux finish and disturbing disembodied heads, it was impossible to ignore and clashed with everything I wanted to do with our living-dining room. On the other hand, we didn’t have the budget to completely redo it, and I felt it was a part of our 85 year-old house’s history and personality that I wanted to respect.

Updating an ornate fireplace.  Before and after.  From Jewels at Home.

Updating an ornate fireplace. Before and after.

Enter Joe and Jose with some saws and chisels, a bit of plaster, and a lot of paint, and this old eyesore became a unique focal point that doesn’t frighten young children (and their parents).

Updating an ornate fireplace.  Before and after. Jewels at Home.

Updating an ornate fireplace. In progress… excuse the severed head!

And here is the newly painted fireplace in Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray (HC-168).  The solid color really tones down this massive piece and allows us to appreciate the design, and I don’t miss those little heads at all!

Updating an ornate fireplace.  Before and after. Jewels at Home.

Updating an ornate fireplace.  Before and after. Jewels at Home.

And since the seasons are changing, I also took some pictures of the mantel decorated for fall.  I’d like to add some branches as well, but this is a good start.

Warm fall mantel with metallic pumpkin!  Jewels at Home.

Warm fall mantel with metallic pumpkin!

Warm fall mantel with metallic pumpkin!  Jewels at Home.

Fall mantel arrangement.

Doubtless, this new fireplace is a hundred times better than the way it was, but I am actually thinking of repainting it an even lighter shade of grey. I was inspired by this picture from House and Home magazine in January 2012.  WIth such a large and ornate fireplace, I think the color can be very subtle and still stand out.  What do you think?

Light grey mantel makes a subtle statement.  House and Home magazine January 2012.

Light grey mantel makes a subtle statement. House and Home magazine January 2012.

I’m glad we didn’t spend a ton of money nor throw out this historical piece… I’m also glad my hubby didn’t go along with Joe’s suggestion of putting one of the severed heads in our bed as a surprise! Eeeek!

“Jewels”

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2 thoughts on “Fireplace Makeover: With a Little Help from my Friends…

  1. I’d lean toward the lighter color too, but maybe that’s just because that’s what I’m used to in my house (both mantlepieces are off-white). It looks great now, btw — so much better than before!!!

    • Thanks, Janice! Yes, I think I’d prefer it a shade lighter, too, but I don’t feel like going through the effort of changing it again just yet. I’m also wondering if the dark stone will stand out too much, if the mantel is too light? We’ll see – it’s fun to play around with these things!

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