Help Christmas tree shaped brick fireplace

sweetpea43August 16, 2012

This is what I call my Christmas tree shape fireplace. It is all brick which is painted off white. I have been wanting to re do but don't know where to start.

The house is around 100 years old and has 10' ceilings with crown molding.

Would it look better with square wood detail from floor to ceiling with some kind of molding or ? I can not remove the fireplace has to stay because I use gas logs in it.

Any ideas wold be appreciated.

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Oh, my goodness! Is the fireplace original to the house? I've never seen anything like it, and I love it! Not what you want to hear, but I wouldn't touch it. I'm not sure the shiny brass insert is doing it any favors - it looks a bit too contemporary for the fireplace to my eyes.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 1:39PM
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Wow, that IS really different! If it were mine, I'd do something like this, if removing the tree part isn't possible. I like the lower part a lot.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 1:52PM
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wow what an interesting feature, i'd want to try and enhance it myself.
if it were me and i had enough budgeted i'd first remove wallpaper and repaint; replace mantle with dark wood, and replace the shiny brass with black iron on the gas stove.

i'd paint the fireplace cream with camel walls and black trim, since today i feel fall in the air,lol.

please let us know what you decide and how it turns out, it sure is different!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 2:36PM
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I think it's adorable, but I can understand how you might want to change it if you don't like cottage or quirky style.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 3:16PM
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Fori is not pleased

Another wow.

It's very stark against the wallpaper (which seems to go well with everything else).

Perhaps you should paint it black and cream and get some art deco repro wallpaper and just let it be wild? Think of it not as a Christmas tree but as an homage to the Chrysler building.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 3:17PM
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I don't know what to tell you about the fireplace, but I LOVE your wallpaper !

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 3:18PM
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I also love it. If you just want it to blend in better, painting the wall the same color would look great.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 3:29PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Haha, I would build something on top of the tree part to cover it up, but I LIKE the brass insert!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 3:38PM
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I would simply remove the wallpaper -- and paint the walls in fresh white. Then the cute cottage fireplace would blend in nicely ...

As for the brass doors and surround -- paint it out in black -- use high-heat or bar-be-cue paint ....

As for the fireplace -- I would add a round convex mirror above the mantel! :)

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 5:21PM
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Well, I love it too...all of it. I'm not a wallpaper kind of gal, but that paper is speaking to me. Maybe it's because I've lost myself in finding the perfect French country fabric for my kitchen. Anyway, I think you should beef up your mantle and hearth decor and embrace what you've got. Certainly not something you see everyday. Wonder if you could antique the brass insert? I'm finding an appreciation for old or antiqued brass...won't cost much and you can always spray paint black if you don't like the outcome.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 9:40PM
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laura mcleod

I would be very hesitant to change something original to the house. It would help to tone down the contrast between the bricks and the background color/pattern. If you paint the walls a creamy white (or other light color) and leave the fireplace white, the bricks would recede significantly into the background and the "stair steps" would not be as noticeable. So maybe considering changing the background and leaving the fireplace?

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 10:04PM
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Sorry, I can't figure out how to put the "before" picture above the after picture, or how to enlarge the "after" shot without it becoming blurry!

Anyway, here's my fireplace, just to show you how doable it is to change it. The fieldstone is not original to the house, it's something I added about 15 years ago. I was never happy with it, and this year I got around to remodeling it again, covering the fieldstone. You can't really see it in the picture, but above the fireplace is a wood frame and panel structure. Its stiles (vertical parts) line up with the stiles of the mantel. It's DIY job if you're relatively handy and have the tools.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 11:15PM
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I love your Christmas tree fireplace! It's so unique; I would keep it. I'd paint the brass or get new FP doors. If the wallpaper ties in with the rest of your decor, I'd keep it. If not, a cream wall color would be nice and calm.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 10:21PM
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Maybe hang some ornaments from it and call it a day?

Sorry... couldn't resist. :) It sure is unique!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 11:26PM
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I agree that I wouldn't remove it. It's original and unique and in good shape. I can understand why you would want to mask it though. What about using moulding along the irregular brick edges to frame it out and create a continuous line? It would have a similar shape as the fireplace in this picture.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 12:22AM
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Forgot to add that I would continue the moulding down to frame the rest of the fireplace. And get a chunkier mantle. Maybe one in a wood tone for contrast?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 12:25AM
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Hi sweetpea, wow, that's a Christmas tree, all right.

I disliked our living room fireplace when we moved into our house; the top just seemed out of sync with the bottom, all the little brick ledges were dirt catchers, plus our brick was downright ugly. Here are pictures of what we did. Our fireplace is deeper than yours, so our fix might not work for you, but maybe it could.

We had our contractor build a shell around the upper part of the fireplace with plywood, then stucco the surface. The original upper portion is completely intact behind the plywood that builds out the new shape, so someone could easily go back to the original if they desired.



    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 7:07AM
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I love your wallpaper!

I thinking just hanging the white would work!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 8:45PM
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Do you know the original brick color? I would embrace the fireplace shape and either sandblast the brick to the original color (if it's a warm red) or sponge paint the bricks to have less a contrast with your wallpaper. The pattern of the bricks goes well with the pattern of your wallpaper -- the repeating squares, the diagonal, that it would be a shame to cover up the brick.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 9:17PM
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To all the lovely people who offered suggestions I am adding a link so you can see the entire room. A few commented on the wallpaper so I thought I would show you my crazy decorating style. I collect old painted lamps so I added pictures of them also. I also added a view of another crazy feature in my dining romm - floor to ceiling built in. The house has been kept pretty original other than paint wallpaper. Many pictures so be prepared.
First picture is of exterior.
Any comments or suggestions for change are welcome.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 3:52PM
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I like it, but the agree the contrast between the white paint and the wallpaper is very stark.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 4:53PM
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Sweetpea, Is the brick smooth or bumpy? it looks smooth to me.

After seeing your photos, I'm going to say strip the paint off the brick. Smooth brick is pretty easy to strip with good old Peel AwayI. If not that, at least faux paint it to look like brick. As it is now, I love the shape but that glow in the dark white look hurts my eyes! You have a great house and a great vintage style. The brick is screaming to me - brown, brown, brown.

I got rid of the paint on our old home's fireplace. Tedious, but oh so very rewarding work!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 8:21PM
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Fori is not pleased

I can't imagine what a job installing that wallpaper must have been...

The white isn't working. Do you think the original brick color is that on the hearth?

Anyway, it might be nice just painted one of the lighter colors in the wallpaper. Everything else in there is rich and velvety-feeling and perhaps the fireplace wouldn't bug you if it had the same feel.

Otherwise, I'd cover the top part with wood like Olychick suggests (that matches the window and door trim) or do like Arlosmom. I'd certainly not do any permanent damage to it. It's just too know.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 10:08PM
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woodsy_1 Zone 5b Illinois

I agree that the paint needs to be stripped, or the brick faux finished. At any rate, the fireplace needs to be dark.

I have to say I LOVE your home! I could move right in and not change a thing. Well, except the fireplace!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 8:45AM
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I WOULD NOT change the wallpaper or anything else in the house to match the brick. You don't have white trim, you don't have white furnishings, you don't have any stark white anywhere else. The rest of your house is deep rich reds and beautiful dark woodwork. I would explore the possibility of returning the brick back to its original color if it is a red tone brick. I don't know anything about removing paint from brick and I imagine it could be a huge job to do. If that is not feasible to do, paint the brick a "brick-red" (not too bright). I have seen some faux paint jobs somewhere on the web where white brick was painted to look just like old red brick. Perhaps someone else can point you there.

Love your lamps! Love your entire house.


    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 9:35AM
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