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Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

Posted by wags848 (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 17, 12 at 22:48

Greetings! After many years of disliking our fireplace because it is too close to the windows and over-dominates the room, we are ripping it out. We will install a direct vent fireplace, & I now need to select a surround to build or purchase. I'm excited and also anxious...so many choices...and I want to get it right!

A photo of our current family room is shown. I've been leaning toward a simple white surround with granite or marble facing. Not sure if we need an overmantle; would use the current picture on our mantle or a large mirror. I want the fireplace to be a focal point but not a "wall hog" like our current one.

But, alas, the confusion and indecision has taken over! I was thumbing through the current Pottery Barn catalog and began drooling over a beautiful cast surround pictured in a room scene. I will attempt to post a photo from the catalog. So classy, warm, pretty, & more unique to me than a wood surround. More expensive, too, but I want something that will make me happy...might be worth the extra cost!

Please give me your opinions & thoughts!

1) Does anyone have a cast surround? Brands I'm researching are Dracme, Fireside Designs & Omega. Opinions? We will try & look at some this weekend, as I have yet to see one "live."

2) I'm aiming for a warm, open feel in the room. Not too traditional...more eclectic, modern cottage, "classic with a kick" vibe. Does the simple wooden surround or cast one get your vote?

Any input appreciated! Thanks in advance!

Ellen


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

Here's the cast fireplace in the Pottery Barn catalog.


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

Here's a general idea of a wood surround.


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

Here's our current family room:


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

Given what you said about over dominating, my chief concern would be one of scale. The cast fireplaces I've seen tend to dominate as well, so unless the scale is exactly right, you may not be happy with it. The wood surround you posted reads traditional....perhaps too traditional for what you want. You might consider an even simpler wood surround and go a little more contemporary such as glass mosaic tile for the surround.

Look around on houzz.com and see if you can't find an inspiration that better fits where you want to go....


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

AnnieD. - Thx for your input! Agree...the scale must be right. There are some smaller scale cast surrounds that I am considering. The glass mosaic idea is a good one; will consider it!

We went to a FP store today, and they had one cast surround that we liked, although the fireplace box is too large, IMO. We would have a smaller box, so there would be more facing, & the facing could be a material other than the cast. This Dracme surround is 65 in wide & 8 in deep; about the size we had in mind for a wood surround.

I have numerous photos in my Houzz Idea book; such a great resource! I will attempt to post more inspiration pictures later. For now, here's the Dracme we saw today.


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

I understand what you're saying about your fireplace overwhelming your family room, but I think a bigger problem is the windows. They seem too short for the high ceiling, and they're too close to the fireplace. Can you post a picture of your windows with the blinds pulled up to see what they look like? Almost any fireplace surround is going to be about the same width as your current one -- maybe a bit narrower, but the gap between it and the windows will be very small. The fireplaces in your pictures all have breathing room around them, and windows that are higher on the wall.

Would it be possible to replace the windows with taller ones, and/or move them farther from the fireplace? If not, hanging drapes on the wall above the tops of the windows would give the illusion of height, as in the second picture. Adding wide crown moldings would also shorten the visual space between the ceiling and windows.

One other thought: I think moving the cabinet in the right corner would help that wall. The step down from the ceiling-height brick to the top of the window to the top of the cabinet draws attention to the problem of scale. I think if you moved that and put up some tall drapes, a lot of the proportion problem would go away. The sofa looks nice in that room, and fits in well with the brick.

The mantel in the PB catalog is beautiful! In your room its narrow columns would have an advantage over other mantels b/c they would leave a little wall space between them and the windows. It's a strong Provencal style. I can't say how well it would work in an American home that's not Mediterranean in style. Other people here would know better.


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

While the cast fireplaces are pretty, they "feel" very Mediterrean or Spanish to me. I mush prefer the 2nd photo with the mirror above the fireplace. It's a more timeless traditional look. What will you be doing with the raised hearth surround? BTW, I am anxious to see your end result. I have a similiar fireplace and I swear it absorbs all the light in the room.


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

egganddart49 - Thx so much for the great input! You have an excellent eye & are correct re the windows. The builder put them in too close to the fireplace. Big mistake. I think the height was intended though, as neighbors with the same floor plan have similar height. Unfortunately, moving the windows is not in our budget. Tomorrow morning the contractors begin the teardown of half our chimney. We have a leaking chimney problem (more builder error), the masons can't match our discontinued bricks, and so we decided to shorten the chimney & install a direct vent fireplace. The bricks around the fireplace will need to be torn up to get the old firebox out and install the new one, so we're "making lemonade" and getting a new surround.

I see what you mean about the cabinet. I've tried so many items in that corner; just haven't hit on the right one yet! I like the idea of drapes, but the fireplace and windows are not centered (see photos below) due to an "upgrade" of a 2ft extension to the room when built. Seems like it would look unbalanced with drapes since there is extra room on the right side of the room. Argh! This room presents so many challenges!

I do like the idea of crown molding in the entire room. :)

Yes, love the Pottery Barn mantel! Yes, the narrow columns would help. Leaving enough room between the surround and windows has been an issue as I've been hunting for wooden surrounds. I want to have an attractive facing material, yet there's not a lot of room for both the surround leg and facing. Worried the surround would look like it had "pencil legs." We did tape off the measurements of the Dracme cast mantel we saw yesterday, and it would fit nicely width-wise. See the photo below with the blue tape. Mantel height may be a bit low?


ratherbesewing - Agree...the cast FPs can feel very Mediterranean or Spanish. I did find some photos (below) that are more "neutral." I like the one with the TV above it (we wouldn't put our TV there though!); looks like some kind of marble or stone used for the facing, which adds a little "kick" to the fireplace. Re the hearth, we are leaning toward removing it so we can gain more floor space. We don't use it that much, and until last year it was covered with a blanket in fear of our kids falling on it. I know what you mean about the FP "absorbing all the light." That's exactly what happens. I don't mind the bricks mid-day, but the rest of the time there is a darkness in the room that I am so tired of!

We have a half wall that separates our kitchen from the family room, so we see the fireplace wall all the time. That's why I want to be sure about the surround. We will probably put up plywood after the bricks are removed, & who knows how long I will take to decide on something! I will hunt, research, analyze, and overthink everything in fear of making the wrong decision! Thanks to everyone for your thoughts...I need hand holding on this project! :-)
Photo with blinds raised:


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

Photos showing sides of room.


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

Right side or room with additional wall space.


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

Dracme cast mantel in a more "neutral" setting vs. Mediterranean style.


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

The tape on the bricks shows where the Dracme cast mantel would fit. There is good spacing between the sides of the mantel and the windows.


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

Here's a simple white surround I like. Not sure we'd need an overmantle; might overpower the room like the bricks.
Opinions welcomed!


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

Wags, the width of the tape lines looks better. The height seems low to me too, but living with the plywood will give you a chance to try out different ideas.

I don't know if having an off-center windows and fireplace necessarily rules out drapes, or if drapes will draw negative attention to them. A lot of fireplaces are off center. Mine is off by 13", but is asymmetrical anyway, with a window on only one side, a book case on the other. I'm linking to a picture I posted of it on another thread. It's not a great picture, but hopefully gives an idea of its eccentric placement. (It's the third picture on the page.)

Seeing the other pictures of your room makes me wonder all the more why the windows around your fireplace are the size and height they are: the one on the adjoining wall is much better scaled to the room!

Here is a link that might be useful: my off center fireplace


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By the way...

It's interesting that you and ratherbesewing both said your fpl absorbed all the light. I'd been on the fence about covering ours up for a long time, until I finally asked an artist friend for her honest opinion. She said, "I think it sucks all the light out of this part of the room." The minute she said it I realized that described the feeling I'd had about it, but couldn't articulate.

Good luck!


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

I would definitely consider using window treatments to make the windows look taller, to match the fireplace area - even with the new surround. All of the surrounds you posted look gorgeous to me!

link on making windows look bigger with treatments


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

egganddart - Wow! Love your fireplace makeover! That is a wonderful transformation! The light that was sucked out of your room has re-entered! :) It's so bright & cheerful. What did you cover your stone with?

tinan - Thanks for the excellent link! Great tips! I will consider adding drapes. The extra space on the right still bothers me some. Maybe a tall floor lamp would help to fill the wall with the right balance. More to ponder and try out!


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

Wags: I have one more question regarding the raised hearth.If you remove the "raised " section, what happens to the actual fireplace opening? The opening will sit 12-15" above the floor, right? Will it look funny? I am trying to imagine--perhaps I haven't had enough caffiene yet this morning :-)


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

I decided not to remove the fieldstone surround. I covered it with plywood, then covered the edges of the plywood and stone around the firebox opening with sheet metal pieces, which are dark and blend in with the slate. A local fabricator made them from cardboard templates I gave him. I only paid about $150 for the four pieces, if i remember right. The stone is honed slate, 3 slabs. Around that is a poplar mantel, painted white. I hope to figure out how to post better pictures soon.

Did they take your brick down yet?


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

Someone here recommended the wood blinds/drape panels method for my living room windows - the tops are not even with eachother and they were not the same distance from the walls (one is a patio door and one a large picture window). I think you can use a similar technique to balance out the space on either side of the windows as well as make them appear taller. Use a rod across the entire area to the wall, or near the wall, and hang the outer drape covering part of the wall and barely covering the window, to make it appear that the window goes further towards the outside walls. And hang the rods near the ceiling to make it look like the windows go up higher.


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

ratherbesewing - You are very observant! Our hearth is 11-12 inches high, so if we left it at that level the box would be up high. I was preparing myself for that as a possibility and found an inspiration photo:

div>

However, our contractor & the fireplace folks are telling us the new fireplace box can go wherever we want it. So, we will have it flush with the floor if we remove the hearth. The width of the floor hearth will be wider than the new mantel, but I think it will be ok (not sure we want to spring for new flooring at this time!). I'll need to find a thin material for the low hearth(probably the same as the facing); we don't want a "toe stubber" protruding from the floor.

I must admit, I have also considered (in my state of analysis paralysis!) a simple in-wall firebox surrounded by nice marble or granite. It's more contemporary & not a great fit with our decor, but I've seen a few photos of it done in a way that could work. The wall units were numerous in the fireplace store we visited this weekend. We were told they are selling them left and right; extremely popular! They are pulling out several of the more traditional floor units to make room for more wall units. So, is it just a trend, or are they going to be around awhile? It sure would be nice to have more floor area!


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

egganddart - I'm impressed! Wonderful DIY project with a beautiful end result. Would love to see more photos!

The contractors are still removing the brick from the exterior chimney. They'll need a few more days then will need to rebuild where the chimney was. They found a lot of water damage today; poor workmanship by the original builder (who was reputable back then...now out of business). I'm not looking forward to them debricking the interior (and I'm a little sad, actually)...it will be a mess! I'll post pictures when it's underway.


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

tinan - That's a great tip! Thx for sharing. It's a nice "illusion" that could work!


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

I am facing the same challenge with redoing my mantle. I do have a white surround right now and have been wanting to beef it up in some way.
I do think regardless of what you pick the windows at that size will be overshadowed. They need "beefing" up. A lot of windows are made to look taller by using the wooden woven and matchstick blinds that a lot of trendy homes are using now. Put the header (stationery) up high, ending them at the top of your window and then the movable one underneath. If you bring the depth of the surround out a bit and the width narrower like in the one with the blue lines you might get some narrow panels in there and make that wall a real focal point! Nice long panels and the match stick blinds. I will try to find a pic of what I am talking about.


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

missgran - Another great idea! Thx! Yes, the "illusion" idea can be vertical as well as on the sides. I am a bit reluctant to swap out my wood blinds, though, as we have them on the other wall in the room (a large triple window & much taller windows than those next to the fireplace). The same wood blinds are also in the kitchen & the den/music room nearby. I have always loved matchstick blinds, however. I dunno. Once the new surround is in, that will help me decide.

I am a big bargain shopper and get a "rush" out of finding a great deal. Well, I don't want to jinx this, but I found a floor model of a cast surround for a real steal! I asked the salesman if he had any samples of the cast material pictured in a catalog, as I would never buy w/o seeing the real material. "Could you check in your warehouse and see if there's perhaps a sample piece somewhere?" I asked. Well, he thought he had the leg from a mantel somewhere & went to check. He came back & said he had found a floor model way on top of a shelf. It's missing the hearth, but no biggie because it wouldn't fit our hearth area anyway. We looked at the leg, and next week they will take the rest down for us to inspect; there may be chips or cracks, but we could most likely fix them. The mantel could also be stained or painted.

From all my "analysis paralysis researching," I knew that the same model was at a different fireplace shop for $4,800 including the overmantel. A ridiculous price, so I hadn't gone to check it out at that store. We were quoted $500 - $600 for the floor sample and $200 - $300 for the overmantel!!! Woo Hoo! That's less than what we'd have to pay for a wooden surround & facing material.

We then went to the shop that had the same model on display. It's beautiful! Looks much nicer than in the photo. Ours would be lighter in color, and the firebox would be smaller. The fireplace door is even the same one we're considering! It's a fairly traditional mantel, but I think it would look nice in our room. Fingers crossed the floor sample looks ok when we see it next week!!

So what do you think? I'll also post a photo with the dimensions taped on our existing brick (which will be torn down Monday). Also, should we go for the overmantel or will it overpower the room?


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

Blue tape shows where the above mantel would fit. It's large, but there is still room between the windows and side of the mantel. Still debating the overmantel.


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

We got rid of the original overbearing faux rock fireplace and put in one with just a granite surround and a floor level hearth.

The surround is about 54" wide. We wanted wood-burning so put in this EPA phase II unit so we can burn on most of the restricted burn days. The vents above and below allow room air to be heated by convection around the firebox so the firebox is well above the heart. It may give you a feeling for how that looks.

Before picture (with the cardboard and construction paper mock up of the new fireplace next to it (we ended up going a few inches wider on the new surround):
Photobucket

New fireplace wall (ours is on an interior wall so the fireplace isn't recessed into the wall):
Photobucket

The hearth is a black "granite" (probably basalt) set flush into the wood floor.

Closer up look:
Photobucket


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

cloud swift - Wow! That's a wonderful transformation. Getting rid of the rock fireplace really opens up the room and makes it look larger, brighter & nicer. Love your fireplace and the granite around it. It looks like your granite is slab vs. tile. Did you use 2cm thick granite?

I've been searching the boneyards for granite & marble slab remnants to use for our hearth. Most of the remnants are 3 cm, as they are used for countertops. I'm finding granite & marble tiles are a lot less expensive, although I do prefer the look of the slab.


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

I have a cast stone fireplace with some interesting accents and curves. It's very pretty and easy care. In our case the cast stone needs a bit more presence in our living room, even though the room is small. A Christmas pic is the only one I could find on short notice...reminds me it's only 4 months until we will be taking the tree down. lol

We have the hearth and even though it sticks up a couple of inches, it's not a toe stubber at all.

I'm about to look for doors for mine. It's longer and wider than most fireplace openings, so custom it is...


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

Here's some eye candy I just came across.

Here is a link that might be useful: Antique French fireplaces


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

happyintexas - I adore your cast fireplace! In fact, I think it's the same one I drooled over at the fireplace store a few days ago! See the photo below. Sure looks like it! It's so pretty and charming. Even my hubby loved it; unfortunately, the price was out of our budget. Enjoy your beautiful fireplace!

egganddart - Thx for the link! More to drool over!


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

Fireplace debricking underway today. Half is gone, and the room already feels so much lighter and brighter!


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

Wags, yes, it is 2 cm slab. I'm in Northern California and most of the slabs around here are 2 cm. A 3 cm could be used if that's what's available around you.

The stone for the surround came from remnants of the stone we used for our counters and backsplash in a kitchen remodel 5 years earlier. The "grain" of the stone switches direction between the sides and the top - we had one remnant that was long enough and wide enough to do one side and another that was long enough to do the top piece and wide enough that we could get both the other side and the top from it. I think the fabricator did a fantastic job of cutting them so that there is a graceful color/grain transition at the seams given a very constrained material.

We decided to do a black stone for the hearth when we found we didn't have a remaining piece of the blue that could do the hearth in once piece. That was fortunate because we think that it looks better with the black hearth grounding things tying into the black fireplace and setting off the blue. My DH found a 3 x 8' prefab counter in Shanxi black that was very uniform for $10 per square foot. I expect that, if he was more patient, our fabricator would have located a remnant for the hearth.


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

cloud swift - Yes, the black hearth does look great & ties in nicely with the firebox. Your DH got a deal at $10 per sq ft! I found a 2 cm remnant of Emperador Light Marble (which I love now... would look great on my island!); they quoted me $65 a sq ft which would be $780 for our 20" by 84" hearth! Ridiculous. I know a fabricator who charges $45-$50 per sq ft but even that seems high, especially compared to tiles.
I will keep searching!

P.S. So interesting that most slabs are 2cm in your region. Most are 3cm here in the Midwest. Northern Ca. must follow the European trends of thinner countertops...we're behind the times here!


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

"Extreme Redecorating." Bricks down!


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Gallery

Have you taken a stroll through the Gallery Fireplaces thread? You might enjoy it and find it inspirational, not just for picking a surround look you love (did you already pick?), but also decorating around it later. Just a thought?

Here is a link that might be useful: Fireplaces Gallery Thread


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

oceanna - Thank you! Can't wait to take a look at the fireplace and family room ideas. Such timely posts!

We haven't decided on a surround for sure; going to inspect a floor model on Wednesday. The entire family room is in need of a facelift; these threads are so helpful for ideas! :)


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

The $10 a square ft was for the material - $240 for a 3 x 8' counter slab. That didn't include the fabrication cost. Our GC had the fabrication cost for the hearth and surround in his bid for $500. He's good so I expect that's close to what he paid. (When he bid the job, we thought we had enough stone from the counters to do the whole job so the extra material for the hearth wasn't in the contract).


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

I have a similar issue with windows flanking the fireplace area. My problem is no place, but over the fireplace for the TV. My husband and I also like different things--he favors the light colors and I like the dark colors. It is fun looking at so many different ideas. We both like natural finish cherry. Our favorite direct vent is the Symmetry by Lennox. It is louverless and has a more clean look.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fireplace


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

Karilyna - Yes, lots of ideas to consider when one's spouse has different taste. My DH likes carpeting, I like cork & bamboo. I brought home samples of both yesterday. Today DH & the contractors were drooling over one of the cork samples; a hardwood plank look. LOL. That was the one I was really drawn to. So I hope we end up with flooring we both like.

Here's the fireplace after today's work. The firebox & drywall were removed. We also had crown molding installed; really happy with it! It adds a nice finishing touch to the room.


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

Here's a picture of the crown molding. We also added it to the tops of the "columns" & love it. Now we are on a roll! We are going to have the trim guy add some rectangular trim to the columns (long one on top, smaller one below the half wall area)...on all sides of the columns. Kind of like "picture frames" made of trim board. I don't want to go overboard, but we think this will give a little more pizzazz to the columns.


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View of other side of room.

I'm a bit nervous about how the room will eventually turn out, but optimistic that it will look good. Still have to decide on the flooring & paint color for the walls. Thinking about going with Laura Ashley Gold #3 which is in our entry; love that color. We currently have "Wheat" by Porter. Wish the surround was in; would make it easier to decide. Any ideas welcomed!


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

I have a fireplace surround dilemma too and just started searching for ideas and came across your thread. Looks like you're making great progress!

I hear what everyone else is saying about your windows, that they could be taller for the space, agree, but what hit me soon as i saw your pic was that the height of the surround seemed too tall and the material too dark for the space. Maybe it's the angle of the pic(taken from upstairs?) but it just looks like an oppressive giant looking down over the room dwarfing the windows, furniture, everything. The dark ceiling fan also draws my eye up as does the decor above the windows which draws ones attention to the lack of window height. Kind of shines a spotlight on what doesn't work. And agree, the dark color just traps the light at the windows, like light at the end of a tunnel.
So my eye sees the challenge as more vertical than horizontal.

Scroll down, more pics and now that the giant has been evicted it already looks soooo much better!

From your inspiration pics it looks like you're keeping it white or light in color and I agree. Glad to see the high step gone too.
If you like caste i think you could find one to fit your style, any style. I've seen them in model homes here that are painted and look like traditional wood surrounds when size (and fire codes) limit having wood. I wouldn't have known the difference if I didn't touch it.

As others said, raising your window treatments a bit, adding drapes would also help. I wouldn't worry about the asymmetry; they may soften that somewhat anyway.

I'd be very hesitant to take any surround all the way up the wall again. Maybe stop at a mantel. Take some time to think about it. Get some cardboard or a roll of butcher paper and tape a mock up to the wall. If you've got photoshop skills you could do it on the computer,or print a picture of your room and your favorite fireplaces and cut and paste.

Look forward to following the transformation!


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

island - Thanks for your input! Love the "giant has been evicted" analogy. LOL. So true. Once the brick was only halfway down, the whole room just lightened up and felt so much better.

We were on the fence re the overmantel (we are getting the cast surround). Per your point, don't want another giant. However, it's a light color, and it may help to keep the room bright. However, we may cover most of it with a large picture, or we may not even use it (it's a separate piece). We'll just have to see once we get it in-house. The price was a steal, though, so we decided to snag it.

Prior to the drywall teardown, we had painter's tape up showing the dimensions of the new surround. I've cut and pasted a lot of options. I do like the PhotoShop idea. My teen is a computer guru, so I am giving him that task. :)

Good luck with your search for ideas for your surround! Try Houzz.com if you haven't already. I found so many inspiration pictures there & saved them to my Ideabook. Now I've started another Ideabook with flooring ideas. That is the next step for us. This is truly a snowball project! Funny you should mention the fan; I just told DH we may need to swap it out. Then there's the furniture.... :)


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Wow! Just taking down the bricks is a HUGE improvement, so much more light and bright and even brings the windows into perspective. I love people who are doers. That must have been a lot of work and it already looks great. I'm proud of you! I love the cast surrounds. We have a friend who put one in a very traditional library and it looks fabulous. They have all sorts of styles available, they chose a very simple style, not ornate, and it is to die for. Their library has beautiful wood paneling and it just pops with the light color of the cast stone. So pretty. Wish I had a picture of it to post, but they sold the house and built a new one after completely renovating the old one. I think they like to reno.

Anyway, I am loving all that you are doing! Inspiring! I would not have known where to start to take down a big fireplace like that. I think it will be so much more "you" when it's all done.


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

SaraKat - Thanks so much for the kind words, support & encouragement! Very timely, as I had a case of angst yesterday worrying about all the changes and whether all will look good in the end. I'm a bit out of my comfort zone, as I prefer to take my time hunting and analyzing options. I don't have the luxury now, as the chain reaction of decisions is here. Flooring & paint color are on the list for this week.

Yes, I adore the cast surrounds! Here's another inspiration picture I love:

I love the simplicity and uniqueness of this surround. I hope ours will bring about the same feeling of charm & warmth.

Thanks again for cheering me on! :)

Wags


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

Oh wags I LOVE that one! Did it happen to mention the manufacturer? Nice doors and very pretty with the sconces.
Hate the doors I have now, gold horizontal trim on top and bottome of the glass with gold tone and wood handles. Looks like your old one might have the same?
Who is doing all your work; general contractor or subbing it out to someone for the woodwork, someone else for the fireplace, etc??


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

island - Yes, love that surround! I found the photo on Houzz.com. It says the surround is Fireplace #640 from Materials Marketing. The doors were custom. Your current doors sure sound like our soon-to-be old ones!

We found a remodeling contractor who is on his own now; used to work for a large remodeling company in our town. He has another guy help him with trimwork and other tasks. Some friends recommended them; we've been pleased. They are very nice, professional, clean, experienced, and reasonably priced. They demo'd our exterior chimney, rebuilt the upper side of the house, removed all the family room bricks, installed the crown molding, removed the firebox, & tomorrow they are adding trim to our "columns" leading to the room, plus framing the firebox area for the new fireplace.

We are working directly with a fireplace store for the installation of the new fireplace & surround. We'll have the contractor meet with the fireplace installer to make sure all is good before they put the direct vent fireplace in.

Today I went flooring shopping...round 2. Feeling beat up, as I'm not "feeling the love" for any of the samples. I am not a carpet fan, and have been looking for something more "green" yet comfy. Brought home a lot of cork, but none seem to go with the decor. Round 3 tomorrow. I have come to the conclusion that remodeling is like a roller coaster ride. Today was a downer. Hoping tomorrow is a better day!


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

Yesterday our new Heat and Glo direct vent fireplace was installed. On Monday our contractor will hook up the gas line, put up the drywall, and level our hearth area. Then we will paint, install new flooring (may hold off on this as I'm really "stuck"), & then the surround will go up and the fireplace officially "fired up."

I had the fireplace guys bring out a piece from our new surround to better coordinate the wall & floor colors. So glad I did, as what I had been leaning toward won't work. The cast stone is more beige than I thought, and it seems to have a bit of a pink undertone. I was thinking about a khaki color. If anyone has any color or flooring advice, bring it on! Input appreciated!


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

Here's part of the cast surround. That's a sample of cork we like next to it, but just not sure about flooring type.

Any wall color suggestions?

Thx!

Wags


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

Update: Drywall work completed. Painted most of family room (thanks to DH for painting on his birthday!). Had a heck of a time finding a color that didn't highlight the rosy/pink undertones in the cast surround. Finally went with SW Bittersweet Stem, a nice warm neutral that is khaki/beige and also a bit golden depending on the lighting.

This week the GC will do another round of leveling the hearth area. Then it'll be time to have the surround installed! Fingers crossed it will look good!!

We haven't selected new flooring yet. Thinking about cork or bamboo. I think we'll live with the new FP for a bit then decide (plus, I need a break from the remodeling!).


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

New wall color - Sherwin Williams Bittersweet Stem.


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

Wall color with different lighting.


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

Looking great! Will really make your room look so much lighter!

I had a thought about the height of the windows and hanging the drapes higher to give the impression of taller windows. What if you also hung the blinds you currently have up to the height of the drapery rod and dropped the blinds to just below the top of the window with the blinds slanted closed? Then when the drapes were open the window would still appear taller as you would not see the wall between the rod and window top? Just a thought...


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

Like the grate in the Heat and Glo. Can you let us know which model and size you chose?


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

We chose the 32 inch Heat and Glo 6000 CLX model; we liked the look of the LED embers, so opted for this one.

Tomorrow is the big day! The surround is being installed, the fireplace door/front installed, and the fireplace will be fired up. Fingers crossed it looks good!


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

It's in! After 2 months, it was time for the new fireplace & surround to be installed. We are so pleased with the results! We have to replace the flooring next, but here's what happened this week:
Family room painted and ready for installers.


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

Hearth, facing & legs installed.


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

Mantel going up.


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Surround up! We really loved it at this point & questioned whether we needed the overmantel.


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We put our picture up & thought about it. Decided to go for the overmantel.


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With overmantel. We love it! It actually balances the room and works with the "challenging windows."


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

Beautiful transformation!
I do like the overmantel to balance the windows.


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Side view. I like that it is fairly flush with the wall. It feels so much more light & open versus having the floor-to-ceiling bricks and the large hearth.


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

Our large picture doesn't work with the overmantel, but that's ok. I'll have fun swapping out items on the mantel every season! Just threw a few items up today; still playing around with what to put on the mantel.

Now we need to pick out new flooring (different hearth widths, so we have no choice). Thinking about cork or bamboo & adding a nice area rug.

That's it for now. It's been a busy two months with so many details to sort through, but I did enjoy our first remodel. I appreciate all the input and support from this forum. Thank you! After we finish the family room, it'll be time to tackle the kitchen...and I'll be back seeking more input! :)

Wags


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

That looks really nice. I love the fireplace and agree with the overmantle.
This time of year a few pumpkins and gourds would love lovely on the mantle.


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

Wow this is wonderful, would love to see the before and after together,


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

francoise47 & lyban - Thx for your kind words! Yes, the overmantel does work. I was so worried it would overpower like the previous, but the proportion is so much better. Having space between the FP and windows is a huge improvement, too.

lyban - Yes, pumpkins & guords would look lovely. I may have to visit HomeGoods soon (yippee!). I'm pulling out Halloween decor for the kids today; will rummage around for something temporary.

icel - Wish I knew how to post photos together! Here's the previous fireplace; at least it will be easier to compare vs scrolling to the top of this very long thread!


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

lyban - Found a few fall items, but still not right. Feel like I need more height. Will hunt tomorrow.


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

Forgot to mention that we installed new crown molding in the room. I like how it makes the room feel cozier. We picked a thin molding (similar to living & dining room) so as not to compete with the trim on the overmantel.

We also added crown molding and "picture frame" trim detailing to the pillars flanking the step-down into the room. Really happy with how our "columns" turned out! I love seeing the new fireplace between the columns when I'm in our entry.

I am so happy!! Our dark, cold room is now warm, cozy, inviting, open & bright. Plus our new fireplace will save us energy and help heat the first floor. :)


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

View of family room/fireplace from entry.


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Wags: what kind of stone did you use on the surround and hearth. It all looks beautiful!


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ratherbesewing - Thx! The surround, facing & hearth are made of cast stone that has a limestone texture.


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It looks wonderful wags! What a difference! The columns look terrific with the trim, too. Just in time for the holidays too. Enjoy!


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That looks amazing, I love the cast fireplaces. Great job. I was thinking that you could add false transoms over your windows and instead of glass put mirrors in the panes or even leaded glass or something.


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egganddart - Thanks! Yes, it is a huge difference! It feels like a different house...the whole aura of the room has changed. We are enjoying the room, and the view from the kitchen, so much more. Change is good. :)

gr8day - Thank you! What a creative idea re the fake transoms! My neighbor has a similar home, but they have the transoms flanking the fireplace. It looks nice. I was thinking about valences; now I think I'll live with the windows "as is" for a spell and ponder it. Love your idea!


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Wags, OMG you slayed the Giant!!!! Your new fireplace treatment is great as are your new moldings. Totally changed that room. Congrats! Please keep us posted on the flooring. Love it.


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island - Thanks so much! Yes, the nasty Giant has been permanently evicted from the premises. He is not missed in the least! :)

Hope you are making progress with your fireplace dilemma. What a difference a new surround makes! Good luck!

Wags


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Wags, your new fireplace surround is perfect. That surround should never go out of style -- it's a gorgeous classic. Well done!

"Wish I knew how to post photos together!"

I use tinypic.com. You don't have to have an account there as long as you post it and forget it (that's what I've used on the Gallery Threads for a long time). I select the size for message boards and it comes out just right. Once it gives me the results I just sweep/copy it into the post here. You can post as many as you like in a row. The best thing is they seem to keep them on file for years, as once posted they very rarely disappear. I don't have an account there, just didn't bother.


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

oceanna - Thank you so much for the nice compliment and the posting tips! I will try tinypic.com.


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

Wags, you're so welcome! Ask if you have any questions about it. And your fp surround is awesome. I wish my fp looked that good!


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It looks great! What a huge improvement, and just in time for the chilly nights when a fire will be most welcome!


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

oceanna - Thx again! We are so happy with the new surround and finally like our family room (after 12 yrs of dislike!). Next up is new flooring. The snowball keeps rolling!

tinan - Thank you! Yes, we can't wait for the chilly nights. Had to chuckle as today it was a beautiful, breezy, warm fall day, & we had the fireplace blasting for over 8 hours! The installers told us to run it that long the first time to burn off the factory "coatings." It didn't smell very good, so we were glad for the nice day & had all the windows open. The fireplace definitely works...and will be so much better than our drafty, energy inefficient one. Bring on the cold weather!


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

Waggs. No new fireplace for me yet. Will take care of it when we redo our kitchen and downstairs bathroom and we just started to think about it, gather inspiration, etc.
I'm looking forward to getting rid of the hideous fireplace doors we shared.
Can you tell me more about yours and sorry if you already posted and I missed it. Did you replace the fireplace box itself? Doors come with it or seperate? What kind of doors are they?
Is your fireplace wood burning or gas?
Thanks.


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

Oh good idea on burning it hot during weather when you can have the windows open. We just replaced our furnace and had the same issue - HVAC guy said it might smoke and set of smoke detectors too! Well it did, and smelled awful. I don't know why they have to coat these things with noxious stuff! Anyway the smell did go away after a short while of blasting the heat, hope yours did too.


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

island - I don't miss those fireplace doors at all! :) We'll try and sell them on Craigs List but wonder if anyone will want them. LOL.

Yes, we did replace the entire firebox. We purchased a Heat & Glo direct vent gas fireplace and had to pull out the old firebox and reframe for the direct vent unit. There are many styles of doors they offer, and the prices vary. We liked the fancy arched ones, but not for $999! We went with the Folio, clean face front which was no charge. Figured we would put the "savings" toward the flooring. We can always get a nice fireplace folding screen if we want. Check out the Heat & Glo website for more information. www.heatnglo.com. We went with the CLX 6000 model which comes with a remote, nice embers and log set, and a blower. Let me know if you have questions!

tinan - Yes, the smell was awful! I wondered the same thing about the noxious coatings. Ugh! At least the smell is gone now. Enjoy your new furnace!


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Update - We absolutely love our new fireplace and surround! So glad we selected the Heat & Glo with the blower; we've used it quite a bit now that the weather is so cold here. Love having the remote to adjust the flame height, backlighting, and blower speed. We now use our family room a lot; no more draft, and we enjoy the look of the room so much more.
We still need to replace the flooring; decided to wait until the new year for that project. Still thinking cork.

Here are a couple of photos showing our holiday mantel. I need to find something tall to go on the overmantel. For now, my dad's hand-carved Santas are just enough for Christmas cheer and fond memories of my dad.

Happy Holidays!
Wags


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My dad's Santas enjoying the new mantel.


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Wags, can you share the paint color? Sorry if I missed it--I scanned the previous posts quickly!

What an amazing transformation! I love your new room!


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What a lovely FP. Those carved santas are gorgeous and what a wonderful memory of your dad.


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

flymom - Thx you! The paint color is Sherwin Williams Bittersweet Stem. Love it.

lyban - Thx you for your compliments!


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

Fabulous!!! I have been following your project as I also had a fireplace that was challenging. My finished project isn't nearly as stunning as yours.


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RE: Help Me Pick a New Fireplace Surround!

mustangs - Thx you! I'll bet yours is a nice improvement! Ours was such an unwelcome, light-sucking monster that anything would have been an improvement. :)


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