Last but toughest decision in new build

chloenkittyJuly 2, 2014

We are nearing the finish line in our new build yay! I have to make a decision on what has been the biggest thorn in my side, decision-wise with this home.

Our family room and kitchen are open to each other. Kitchen has 9' ceilings, white cabinetry, light counters and backsplash. Family room has 16' ceilings, one wall has French doors and all windows, and the short wall has 3 windows on each side up to the ceiling flanking where the fireplace will be. The floors are armstrong American scrape 5" hand scraped hickory in a dark, but not too dark wood. Wall color is a light (not too light) taupe.

Apparently the style is transitional. I thought it was called soft contemporary, but im no designer, so I'm told it's transitional. The fireplace is the thorn in my side. There is obviously room for a floor to ceiling stone fireplace, but I just don't know if I want one. I like them and I don't. IF I did one, I think I'd like it to be in softer colors like soft white, light tan and gray stones. I also love a white wood mantle with a beautiful facade like mother of pearl or a mixed glass mosaic in neutral colors. I say that because I love to decorate my mantle in white candles, crystal or silver holders and white flowers. During christmas, I do pretty much the same, white and silver, a little gold. If I did the white mantle, I would get a large tall custom mirror over it to add height because of the 16' ceilings and windows flanking the fireplace. I'm very torn.

This is the one thing I just cannot decide on, it's driving me crazy. I posted about this awhile ago in home decorating and mlweaving did some awesome photoshop pics for me, I appreciated it.

I'll post a few pics. Wish I knew how to post more than one at a time so I don't have to keep posting new replies, but I don't know how to do that. Thank you.

This pic is a bit old, but you get the idea of the wall.

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chloenkitty

Honestly, I like the look of this. I like how the white mantle will give me that clean, sophisticated look I like, however, I'm not a huge fan of stacked stone. Also, I fear I will feel like there is this huge slab/panel of stone going up my wall. I both like and dislike floor to ceiling fireplaces. And I realize it will get dusty, etc. that's not even my concern at this point lol

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 5:03PM
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chloenkitty

This would not be exactly it, but I thought about a white mantle with tall mirror for height. I realize my ceilings are a bit higher.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 5:06PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Maybe you'd like something more contemporary, like this fireplace by Candice Olson...you could easily add a white mantel to it.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 5:08PM
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chloenkitty

This isn't bad either, not sure about the stone or the cut out, but the style seems nice.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 5:10PM
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chloenkitty

Ya know Annie, to look at it I like it, but it's just not what I want for a fireplace. Thank you though :) it's one of those things where I can't decide, but know what I don't want lol

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 5:12PM
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chloenkitty

I love this Annie, kind of reminds me of what you posted, but am afraid to go this contemporary, that I'd tire of it and it's one expensive this to tire of and change!!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 5:17PM
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chloenkitty

This isn't so bad either, but would prefer a white mantle and not too fond of the cut out.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 5:19PM
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chloenkitty

I am in love with this, but wouldn't do it. Looks painted.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 5:20PM
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illinigirl

Hi Chloenkitty. Big dilemma! Have you gone to your local stone supply to see if anything catches your eye? There are stones in many colors and cuts, stacked, regular, irregular. Something for every palette. Soft buffy or gray whites to earthy golds, reds, and browns.

I will show you mine, just so you get a feel of fireplace to the ceiling (I think it's a 17' ceiling). It's probably not the look you are going for especially with the mantle because our mantle is rustic, and the stones are irregular with mortar (not stacked). Anyways.

[img][/img]

If stone doesn't work out for you there's lot of design ideas you can do with the white paneling sort of like one of your inspiration photos. Check this one out:
[img][/img]

good luck!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 7:16PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

The one you posted at 17:17 is nice,but I look at all those ledges and think dust collector.

I'm not a fan at all of 17:19. I look at some stone and ask myself how much like lizard skin is it? That one is too rustic for me.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 7:26PM
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chloenkitty

Worrying about dust is the last thing I'm thinking of. I'm a cleaner, so it's not a problem for me. If I did a white wood mantle, I would not do any type of paneling. It's too heavy for me and I don't like it.

Illnigirl, thank you for posting your fireplace. It is very nice, but it's an example of a fireplace looking like one big panel on the wall or something. Can't put my finger on it, but something about it bothers me. Something looks odd to me about a fireplace all the way, yet I like some of them.

And yes, I have gone and looked at stone and there is some nice soft colored stone out there.

The other thing I should mention is the fact that we will be finishing our basement in a year or so and will have a stone fireplace down there.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 7:56PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I don't know why, but I keep thinking tile...

Contemporary Living Room by Calgary Home Builders Morrison Homes

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 7:56PM
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Billygoatjoe

Good to ponder... Biggest regret of remote build is finish detail on one of the fireplaces (phoney stoney). Currently researching fix.

Note the wood moulding which wraps the stone ends in pics 17:03 and 17:08. The moulding hides the depth of the stone. Compare to the very thin side profile of 17:10. Also compare to the pics of 17:17, 17:19, 17:20. The side profiles in these last 3 pix APPEAR to be much more prominent. Could be real stone or an appropriately 'wrapped' corner. Hard to tell due to front on photo.

You'll also need to consider the layout of a stone fireplace and proximity to your beautiful windows.

Unfortunately, we ended up with the thin profile. A fully uninformed and deeply regretted decision on our part.
Good to take the time to get the look you desire.
~bgj

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 8:14PM
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chloenkitty

Billygoat, lol cute name :) at first I couldn't absorb what you were saying, but I think I finally got that you were trying tomstay the first few were too close to the wall, didn't stick out much, but the others did, were more prominent. I totally agree (if that's what you meant) I would not like it to be thin, I'd prefer a much more prominent stone. Thank you for mentioning that.

Annie, I have to say, I really like that one you posted.

17:17 is appealing to me a bit more, but a bigger firebox and mantle.

I know it might seem silly to have such a hard time choosing a fireplace, but it will be in the most or second most used room in our house and I want to love it. I just always thought it would be white mantle, but when we got a plan with high ceilings with huge pine trees surrounding our house, thoughts shifted to stone or mantle.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 8:36PM
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chloenkitty

I love this room, including the fireplace. The great candice olson, of course!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 8:52PM
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chloenkitty

I love this room, including the fireplace. The great candice olson, of course!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 9:30PM
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Billygoatjoe

Correct. From the side profile of this fireplace, it is readily apparent the stone isn't real. Using large corner pieces of cultured stone to wrap AROUND the corner of the fireplace would have better addressed the issue.

Rather than doing a demo, we may just have a finish carpenter build wood moulding over the sides like indicated in pics 17:03 and 17:08. IMO, it cannot be readily determined from the moulding install IF the stone is real or phoney. A stone mason or GC would know.

Just wanted to share so another GWer would be aware this is NOT a minor design nuance from our perspective.
~bgj

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 9:58PM
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chloenkitty

I am really liking this type of firebox. Don't know if it has a particular name, etc or what size it is. I think we have 90 inches of space between the windows that would be on either side of it. What about a firebox like this with stone like the color in 17:03 but maybe just a different shape?

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 10:19PM
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nepool

This one is my FAVORITE from Houzz, and the one I am trying to replicate. It has stone AND white wood. I love everything about it - especially the TV cabinet to the left where I can put the TV (don't care for over the FP TV).

I generally don't care for stacked stone too much- but it just works here.

Although we are going for a rustic'ish' look in the house (European/French Country) I didn't want a 16ft stone fireplace in the middle of my vaulted family room. The fireplace is at the center of the room, so would be in the highest peak. I purposely bumped out the fireplace into the back hallway so the mantle would be flush with the sheetrock wall.

Traditional Living Room by Saratoga Springs Design-Build Firms Witt Construction

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 10:53PM
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nepool

This one is by the same builder (on Houzz) using fieldstone instead of stacked stone. Also very nice:

Traditional Living Room by Saratoga Springs Design-Build Firms Witt Construction

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 10:57PM
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rmsaustin

Chloe -- the fireplace you posted at around 22:00 is probably from Spark -- sparkfires.com.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 1:01AM
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chloenkitty

Nepool, that first one you posted has also been in my favorite fireplace file along with this one with stone

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 8:56AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

The link for 21:30 seems to be broken....

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 9:31AM
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annkh_nd

The fireplace certainly IS a huge decision!

Based on your description and photo, it looks like the FP is in the corner of a large room - not necessarily the focal point of the room. If that's the case, I would not go to the ceiling with stone/brick/whatever. I think it might over-weight that corner.

Concentrate on a beautiful FP under your white mantle, and leave the space above for some lovely artwork.

If you do go all the way up - have you considered a taper? I think another set of long vertical lines in the corner would be too much.

Here is a link that might be useful: tapered fireplace

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 10:21AM
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chloenkitty

Annkh the fireplace is in the middle of the wall, it is not in a corner
I looked at sparks website and my goodness they're expensive for the long firebox.mim going to have to try and find one less expensive.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 9:01PM
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annkh_nd

From your photo I see a wall on the right - is there a wall just to the left of the scaffold as well? The way the light is coming in from the left, it seemed like there was more of the room there. that's what I meant by "corner".

Could you show us a sketch of where the FP is in relation to the rest of the room? That might help with determining appropriate proportions.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 10:49PM
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musicgal

bump

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 1:38PM
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