What to do with fireplace?

akl_vdbJuly 9, 2014

Got rid of the pink tile flanking the fireplace. Still have the stained wood mantle.

I was going to paint the mantile to match our kitchen cabs (warm creamy white-kitchen craft seashell) and will eventually do the casings/baseboards.

Or, should I rip out the mantle, and put a stone surround?

As for tile if I keep the mantle, I'll probably do a little square mosaic.

What do you think?

Thank you.

Here is a link that might be useful: stone surround

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selcier

I vote for keeping the original mantle. It will be class for another 100 years when the stone cold look dated in les than20. However, if you want to pain it, go ahead! I think though that you should keep it the same white as your baseboards until you do everything. It will look odd as a creamy color with their more stark white.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 10:18PM
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palimpsest

I think there are two different things going on, one being the contemporary shaped windows and the other being a sort of traditional looking mantle that is high enough that even small things put on it overlap the window.

I would probably do a very simple stone slab facing around the firebox and maybe no shelf, or one that is level with the windowsill and paint all the window trim to match the wall color. Right now it seems to be a number of different uncoordinated elements and shapes and outlines and I think you want the whole wall to look like a Unit.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 10:46PM
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akl_vdb

Selcier - Those aren't the white baseboards on right now, I just removed the old honey oak ones and that's the drywall :) There are no baseboards on right now.

palimpsest- thank you, it does seem like a whole lot of stuff going on, doesn't it? I could do without that big window, but the natural light we get is amazing. We have huge windows in this house.

Window trim to match the wall colour, eh? Hmm, never thought of that.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 7:47AM
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rhomy

Photo to give you an idea of color. Get rid of all the small items on the mantel. It is OK to overlap the window and pulls the fireplace and windows as one cohesive window.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 9:24AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I like the mantel, but not in this room. I agree with pal that the lines are so contemporary, it's worthwhile making the fireplace go rather than compete with the rest of the room.

I like this kind of thing...

Contemporary Living Room by Calgary Home Builders Morrison Homes

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 9:41AM
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akl_vdb

Thanks for the colour help rhomy!

AnnieDeighnaugh - this is awesome. I never would have thought. Is that just tile? OMG I love it. Where would I go up to in my situation?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 9:57AM
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joaniepoanie

I agree with Annie....a simple tile or stone. I would not do a mantel...anything on it will be in front of the window and I think you have enough going on with the angled windows. Let the window view be your "artwork above the fireplace."

If this is a woodburning fireplace, I would use a solid piece of granite or smooth stone for the hearth. We had a tile hearth and the ashes and soot got stuck in the grout.... we never did get it out and it was a splotchy mess.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 9:58AM
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akl_vdb

Thanks joaniepoanie, it is a gas fireplace. You make the window sound so fancy, 'artwork above the fireplace' :)

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 10:39AM
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beverlyfla

I agree with palimpsest.......simplify. You have a contemporary home and I would paint out all that trim around the windows.

One of the most famous homes in the country has a window over the fireplace. Robert Evans Woodland home in Beverly Hills. Of course that style is Hollywood Regency, but the details around the fireplace and window are simple because it's the showpiece of the room. I would do stone.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 11:03AM
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akl_vdb

Ok, so how high should I do the tile up to? I got a sample today of the tile, it's a little shiny! Or I could do the tile that I'll do my front foyer with.

Tile to the right is the one in the Houzz photo, tile to the left is what our front foyer will be.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 10:05PM
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akl_vdb

And here is our hardwoods we'll be getting

Thanks for the help!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 10:06PM
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stolenidentity

Keep the mantle, stain the window woods the same as the mantle, put on the tile up to the bottom shelf of the mantle, don't put a lot of stuff on top of the mantle and do vary the height of your choices. As for that window I would hang an awesome stained glass in it on chains. I LOVE that fireplace design.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 10:19PM
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lascatx

You may be set on tile, but I have refrained from a comment I haven't seen anyone else make (trying to decide if I'm nuts) and wanted to through it out there for you to consider. When I first opened your thread, I thought the mantel was painted in a metallic finish and it took me a minute to read and look to realize that what I was seeing was glare and the real color was down below. While I do think you need to get all that trim the same color, I kind of liked the metallic paint idea. Everyone does tile and stone, but a pewter fireplace would be rather unique. Not for everyone, but something to think about if you like the idea.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 10:49PM
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rhomy

"I was going to paint the mantle to match our kitchen cabs (warm creamy white-kitchen craft seashell) and will eventually do the casings/baseboards"

Your idea.....[somewhat :) best I could do in MS Paint ]

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 9:23AM
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akl_vdb

Thanks for the suggestions.

If I go this route, where would I end the tile, up to the window casing? And laterally, in line with the window?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 9:23AM
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rhomy

Your FP if you keep all dark as suggested by some GWers.

You could print out and use markers to better define colors

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 9:25AM
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akl_vdb

Thanks rhomy. Sorry for any confusion, the pink and mustard and green rugs are just mats as there are staples everywhere where we took out the tile.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 12:16PM
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mclarke

Sorry, no advice here.

I just wanted to share that your post sparked a very strong memory. As a child, I was taken to the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Connecticut. I don't remember much of the tour, except that --

In his dining room, he had asked the builders for something very unusual -- a window over the fireplace. They had to design a special split flue to accommodate him.

He said he wanted to watch the snow falling outside while the fire was roaring inside.

I hope you have the same kind of pleasure from your beautiful fireplace.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 12:32PM
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justgotabme

Fascinating information McClark. I though the idea of a window over a fireplace was somewhat new. I guess not.

Here's a couple ideas I drew up for your fireplace AKLVDB. I used samples of your tiles. The lighter for the main part and the darker for mantel in the first picture. Then I used your wood to make a wood mantel and floors in the second picture. I prefer the two tone tile version, but if the floors are going to be wood, the wood mantel may work best.
I also widened and painted the trim in both pictures, though I doubt I got the color right, I hope it's enough to help you see what I mean.

This post was edited by justgotabme on Fri, Jul 11, 14 at 14:26

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 2:13PM
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palimpsest

I did not copy and paste your actual finishes, but I wanted to show how eliminating the extra outlines of shapes cleaned up the elevation. I don't think obviously outlining the windows adds anything. I would also accessorize with things that exploited the window rather than just stood in front of it:

versus:

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 3:16PM
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akl_vdb

Hmm palimpisest, that looks way better than my mishmash.

And justgotabeme, love it. We are doing the wood floors for sure.

Both pictures look so simple and elegant.

So tile up to the window casing, simple mantle up to the top of the tile and big things to incorporate it all into one.

Do I have this right?

Thank you so much for the visuals justgotabeme and palimpsest!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 4:35PM
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justgotabme

I'm glad you mentioned using something that "exploited" the window Pal. I too was thinking of colored glass, but forgot all about it by the time I finished the virtuals.
After seeing Pal's without window trim, I had to do other virtuals to remove them from mine to show the difference side by side. It really does clean up the visual clutter on that wall even more so than a "cleaner" mantel surround I'd already drawn.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 5:04PM
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justgotabme

I missed your message AKLVDB, while I was "drawing". I do believe you get what we meant.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 5:06PM
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publickman

Love the photo with the red bottles - they seem to mimic a fire down below. The clean lines look really nice with this style of windows. I don't think I could live with a window that I could not cover, however. Visitors to my house keep trying to turn off my skylight to save electricity as it is, but I am okay with that left uncovered.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 5:26PM
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akl_vdb

Thank you again justgotabeme! Can you come over and do that to my fireplace? I don't know where to start!

Publickman, This window we don't cover, the window is tinted, triple pane, low E to help prevent some heat in the room when it's July/August as it's east facing. So much light!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 7:03PM
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justgotabme

You are welcome, AKLVDB, I would love to come, but you'll have to wait until our own home is finished. We've been here over a decade and we are nowhere near finished. I have to redesign our fireplace surround and built ins, because hubby decided after making the built-in bookcases for our library, that he didn't want to spend that much time in the Gentleman's Parlor since we have so much else left to do. I now will be designing them around matching unfinished entertainment centers. I have to figure out how to make them mirror each other.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 2:30AM
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justgotabme

You are welcome, AKLVDB, I would love to come, but you'll have to wait until our own home is finished. We've been here over a decade and we are nowhere near finished. I have to redesign our fireplace surround and built ins, because hubby decided after making the built-in bookcases for our library, that he didn't want to spend that much time in the Gentleman's Parlor since we have so much else left to do. I now will be designing them around matching unfinished entertainment centers. I have to figure out how to make them mirror each other.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 2:31AM
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Patricia43

I like Pal's ideas. Palimipsest, great ideas, great with the trade.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 6:40AM
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beverlyfla

Sorry but don't think you will be able to create this surround with tile. The fabrication is going to be complicated, and when the tile is cut to fit, the edges of the cut tile will be exposed. That's why a few of us have recommended stone. This way when pieces are cut, edges will match the face.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 7:06AM
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akl_vdb

beverly27, thank you for the opinion. I'm losing it, there's too much to think of!

justgotabeme- but think how nice it would be to focus on something else for a while :) Good luck in your house, we've been here almost a decade, and all this started with a dishwasher flood in the kitchen. Do you see a kitchen in these photos?? Talk about creep!

Thanks for the help everyone!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 8:08AM
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rhomy

aklvdb - Oops! thought those throw rugs were samples of other areas of the house!

justgotabeme - your images are so much better than mine!

palimpiset - love the red glass! Much better than the blue made up objects I put in my pics!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 11:03AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Along the lines Pal was suggesting with glass in front of the glass, from houzz.com. Note the ceiling color picks up on the color in the glass objects. This one is ok, a little more transitional, but I prefer the really clean lines of the other one I posted. I like the mock ups and can appreciate how a simple wooden beam mantel would also look great. I prefer the shine on the stone...like how the colors go so well with your foyer stone.

Traditional Living Room by Little Rock Interior Designers & Decorators Tobi Fairley Interior Design

This post was edited by AnnieDeighnaugh on Sat, Jul 12, 14 at 12:37

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 12:31PM
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palimpsest

That's a perfect example. It's similar to what you are starting with but things "line up" in a pleasing way and you concentrate on the shapes, not individual pieces or outlines.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 12:36PM
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akl_vdb

Thank you AnnieD - it is similar, quite traditional, but I can see how the stone can line up under the window. It is also so much fancier than my place! Where do you find these pics, or how?? I know houzz, but I get overwhelmed. I'll have to search tile fireplace and see what comes up.

Thank you again!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 2:52PM
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