fireplace update picture story... almost done
I started out this knotty pine wall and fireplace renovation project thinking I was going to just paint the wall and paint the fireplace to try to take away the dated 80's look and be done with it simple and fast. Boy, was I wrong!
Here is what it looked like in use with all the clutter...(notice cute kitty taking a nap in the dog's bed)
Here is the same thing all naked! Notice the dated brass insert.
So I started off painting the knotty pine (tons of work filling all the knots and gaps... got it as smooth as I could). And painting the brass black was a no-brainer. (the insert is semi-permanent so it stays)
So now the pure ugliness of the F/P really popped! My plan to paint it white disintegrated. That would just go from brick ugly to white ugly. I could now clearly see that the real problem was the lack of a proper mantel. No paint was going to fix that!
THe picture doesn't show it, but the top courses of the fireplace were protruded in a staggered fashion... some sort of brick faux mantel illusion. That always complicated the idea of getting a ready-made wood surround. So I bit the bullet and hired a carpenter and got this:
I was afraid it was too wide and overscale for the room, but it is growing on me and I really love it.
At this point I wanted a tile surround to cover a vertical settling crack in the brick face and a matching hearth to bring the hearth to be the same width as the mantel "legs". Took forever to find a tile that I liked, but the quotes I got to install it were ridiculous, so I decided to leave it like that.
But then recently I remembered my earlier idea of painting the brick. That would at least allow me the opportunity to fill the vertical crack. I was pondering that for awhile trying to picture it. Then I recently got my Ballard catalog in the mail and on Page 16, I saw a beautiful picture of an antique brick wall. I fell in love with it and could picture it on my F/P. So I did some faux magic:
I love it, but I hope it doesn't look too formal. I am trying to make the room more fresh and updated - a la Pottery Barn (is there a style name for that look?)
But there's still one part left. I still have to paint the hearth to match, but I am stuck. It doesn't seem quite right to have the faux antique bricks on the hearth. Does it? Can I just leave it like it is? paint it black? One of the colors from the faux? light? dark?
What do you think? Have I ruined my living room? I suppose some people might like the original BEFORE picture. It does have a warmth to it that I miss a little bit sometimes.