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Fireplace..eyesore or asset? counter/color scheme/ design help pl

Posted by homebuyer23 (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 19, 13 at 3:18

Remodeling our kitchen and 1st floor. Kitchen was open to family room which had dated brick fireplace at one end. New layout will have kitchen pushing into this space with dining table in front of fireplace, and a wall knocked down for family room to be adjacent to new dining room, see attached sketch of new 1st floor layout.

Elements in place:
Floors, golden oak stain throughout first floor…already in, can’t change.

Cabinets "Perimeter - Beaded inset shaker painted a white (BM White Dove probably, but still time to change) Small island ��" cherry stained in a coffee finish.

And…The Fireplace.
I had planned to completely redesign fireplace, and install cabinetry built-ins on either side, but budget tightening led me to eliminate the built ins, and to try whitewashing the dated brick to see if I liked it, it was a free solution, as opposed to the big job of covering up all the brick with stone, tile, or drywall as I had originally planned on.

So, I did it, and I think I actually do like it (honest opinions on it?), and will like it way more once there’s a new screen, new stone on hearth (soapstone?), new mantle shelf (soapstone? Painted white? Distressed wood?), and different color on walls next to it .

I am having a problem deciding how to design the kitchen around it now though. While not IN the kitchen, it’s fully visible from the kitchen and our dining table will be right in front of it. If it’s really a disaster I need to know! But, if you see the potential in it, please offer ideas for the rest of the room(s)

The counter material I love is Sea Pearl quartzite. My fabricator has a nice lot of it in stock that I can get a good price on because it’s in stock. On its own its beautiful, but I am afraid it’s a bit too green, I am not sure how to tie it in with the fireplace or if it clashes.
With the fireplace whitewashed, I’m afraid the Sea Pearl doesn’t go and it’d blend better with a more black/white/gray kitchen.
However, I tend to not really fall for the black & white kitchen look, which is why I prefer the Sea Pearl quartzite.

But, I do really like a few dark counters…honed or antiqued Jet Mist, soap stone, and possibly steal gray leathered (budget friendly but sort of boring material).

Can anyone PLEASE help me sort through this??
Sea Pearl Quartzite - Really want this, but does it clash with the fireplace or can it work? What backsplash, paint color, hardware, etc would work to tie this in with the look of the whitewashed fireplace??

Honed Jet mist or soapstone...I recognize these might look better, but I worry about maintenance with both materials. Also If I go this route, how can I warm up the space, I don’t like all black/white/gray/blueish colors, I tend to look for some warmer tones.

Do you like any of these scenes I put together? Any feedback on them would be great. I prefer Sea Pearl, and am looking for suggestions to make it work and look good with other elements, or just tell me if it clashes & the darker black/gray counters look better.
I seriously need an interior designer, I am so overwhelmed by this, but it’s just not in my budget! If there's anyone out there that likes to look at a floorplan and know a couple existing elements & then can come up with good design suggestions, I’d love to hear from you, thanks!!!


future layout
 photo peninsulaplan_zps2ad70b54.jpg

"before" fireplace
fireplace before photo DSC_0576_zps9b69b413.jpg

semi - "after" fireplace (still needs hearth stone, screen, new shelf and everything surrounding it has been demo'd so ignore all that)
Fireplace after photo DSC_0610_zps07b4dcfe.jpg

Sea Pearl slab I love
Sea Pearl slab photo DSC_0551_zps946e868c.jpg

Ideas for using Sea Pearl...does it work or clash?
Sea Pearl scene photo scheme_zps0a1794b6.jpg

I think this works, and think its really pretty. But, not sure so much dark counter surface is "me".
Jet Mist scene photo Jetmistscene_zps215a076d.jpg


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Fireplace..eyesore or asset? counter/color scheme/ design hel

I think the sea pearl is lovely and looks like it goes very well with your white washed fp. Having a fireplace there really adds warmth and charm to your whole space. I think with the fire place on the far wall and with it having been "neutralized" that you can focus on the colors and designs you love in the kitchen. If you love the sea pearl and its affordable, choose it and design the rest around it.
Google sea pearl granite and look at the kitchens with it. Go on houzz and do the same thing. This should help you clarify your vision.
It's too soon to be picking backsplashes and hardware IMHO. You need to get the large items in place first.(although I choose my bs first and tried to design around IT).

I used a designer that charged by the hour for 5 hours. She listened to what my vision was, did some preliminary sketches and helped me tweak my space. It was well worth the money. Kitchen remodels are expensive, using a designer is really key to getting the results you want. It's too big of an undertaking to do alone, especially if you're not really into design.

I recommend that you spend a lot of time going through the kitchens on Houzz and choose the elements that work for you, put them in your idea book, then consult with a designer for a few hours to help you solidify your choices.

Good luck!


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RE: Fireplace..eyesore or asset? counter/color scheme/ design hel

I like your fireplace much better whitewashed. I would leave it that way for now. The Sea Pearl is gorgeous! It doesn't look too green to me, but I don't mind a bit of green anyway. If it's available and affordable, I would get that in a heartbeat.


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RE: Fireplace..eyesore or asset? counter/color scheme/ design hel

I don't see the green either. In the pics, I think the whitewashed brick and Sea Pearl look fine together. Even if they don't look perfect together, they aren't adjacent to each other, and there will be oak floor, painted walls and a dining table between the peninsula and the fireplace, which I think will minimize the effect of any difference.

Great job with the fireplace; it looks great.


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RE: Fireplace..eyesore or asset? counter/color scheme/ design hel

The fireplace looks beautiful with your other choices! Don't get rid of the fireplace...it adds a lot of charm and character to your space. And, fireplaces in kitchen/dining spaces are a great asset, IMHO :)


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RE: Fireplace..eyesore or asset? counter/color scheme/ design hel

I like the Sea Pearl and I like your fp whitewashed, too. :)

Here's an idea--why not remove the slate(?) tile in the hearth, and replace it with a piece of Sea Pearl (either a solid piece/slab or tiles). Shouldn't be much work to remove the exisiting tile, nor much work, or expense, to replace it with the Sea Pearl (I would think they could use a remnant piece). Then it would tie-in with the adjacent kitchen, and I think, would look terrific with the whitewashed brick!

We did something similar with our FR fp. Before we even knew we would paint the brick, we took out the multicolored slate tile, and had a piece of our kitchen granite installed. Our fabricator "lost" (broke? sold?) our remnant(s), even though we had told them we wanted to use it for our fp. We tracked down slabs from the same lot, at another local fabricator, and had them fabricate and install the piece. We could have waited for a remnant to become available, but didn't want to risk someone using it all up for their job, so had a piece cut from one of the full, uncut slabs. The price difference (between cutting into a slab, and using a remnant) ended up being fairly nominal after all. I think it cost us somewhere in the hundreds, cut and installed.

I don't have digital "before" pics of the hearth (slate tile), but here are a few showing the granite "inlay" before and after painting the brick:

 photo IMG_5069.jpg

 photo IMG_5537.jpg

(color is off in the "after" shot, but it's the best one I have where you can see the granite piece)

With your hearth configuration, I think a full piece of Sea Pearl would look stunning.


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RE: Fireplace..eyesore or asset? counter/color scheme/ design hel

Focusing first just on the fireplace issue:

Having a FP there seems like a valuable asset, to me. Though I would suggest changing it out to an air-tight woodstove or insert for more convenience and more efficient heating while still preserving the ambiance of a visible fire through glass doors.

The other issue with a non air-tight or open fireplace is that if it is within the same area as your vent hood (even in the case of adjacent rooms, but certainly as you have presently got the space laid out) so you will have major issues with the vent fan de-pressuriing the fireplace draft resulting in smoke coming back down the chimney into the room, which is both annoying and extremely dangerous. Air-tight appliances (whether insert or free-standing) particularly if combined with dedicated combustion air feed from the outside largely eliminates this issue. Without an air-tight appliance of one type or another, you've got a problem. And open fires by their nature once started have to completely wind down, which can take many hours, before their need for free draft is over. That may be why the previous owners had that hunk 'o brass there, assuming it was at least a semi- airtight set up.

And I am on record here bemoaning my own situation in which I have an air-tight woodstove actually in my kitchen. I completely loathe it because of the endless mess a woodburning fire generates (wood debris, chips, stray bits of bark on the incoming side and messy ash removal on the back end) and because my stove location is smack in the middle of a very narrow room and my working zones which inevitably puts clots of fire-admirers clustered in my way. A hearth is an extremely powerful psychological draw, it just can't be ignored.

In my situation I can't remove the woodstove from the kitchen chimney because we have no central heat in this northern NY house, so I have decided on the drastic step of removing the kitchen from the woodstove.

However my new location for the kitchen will adjoin my dining room where I plan to install a small version of a woodstove, or perhaps woodstove-y looking gas-fired direct vent FP simply for the undoubted ambiance of having a twinkling fire in my DR where we eat all meals. (And in the case of a gas-fired appliance, the advantage of turning it on and off in an instant with a clicker.)

In your case (except for the draft issue of an open FP conflicting with your vent fan, resulting in poor FP draft or the need for an extremely generously-sized, and expensive, dedicated make-up air system,) the position of your FP on the far side of the DR table seems quite nice. If you're not using it to heat the whole house the amount of wood-mess and ashes will be reduced compared to mine. So I would recommend keeping it and enclosing it an air-tight manner (stove or insert). Very nice looking ones can be found, without all the 1980's brass cheesiness. (Though brass is perenially on lists of the next-big-thing in decorating.)

BTW, don't be fooled by claims that people can cook on typical room-heating woodstoves. Some of them even have griddles on the top, which is very appealing - and misleading.

Forty years of having heated my house solely with woodstoves is speaking when I say that the only "cooking" you'll do on them is roasting marshmallows and hotdogs inside, and warming the odd pot of tea, soup or stew during power outages. The latter is a useful reason to have one, all by itself, but it's not really cooking as you might be thinking of which is only easily done with a proper wood-fired cooking stove fueled by very intense, though usually relatively short-burning fires close to the cooking surface. The reason my lamented woodstove is in my kitchen is because it replaced the wood-fired cooking stove I used when we first arrived on the farm.

Now regarding your kitchen planning: I personally wouldn't have peninsula seating so close to my dining table. I might have a single or a pair of stools, but not organized seating. But I am completely out-voted by almost everybody these days on this issue. And although I predict that the next big idea in decorating will be a wholesale flight from the peasant-style of living spaces completely open to each other, the open-plan trend is still on its upswing.

In practcal terms, you have a potential conflict with thee position of the sink and the range. The best place for a DW in a household of right-handed people is on the left of the sink, but that would be a bad place (space using wise) for it because it will interfere with anyone tending the range. Perhaps your are lefties, or are willing to forgo the convenience and functionality of having it on the best side of rhe sink.

Also, unless you have a prep sink on the island you will be in the position of carrying things bound for the range past it to the sink for processing before backtracking to the range surface. (Think the water needed to cook frozen peas.) In your case, except for scooting slightly around the barrier island, it isn't many added steps, but, still.

I wonder if you have collected too many of the current-fave features of popular kitchens than will easily fit in your wall-less kitchen space.: Have you considered having either an eat-at peninsula or an island, but not both. If it were my space I would consider reclosing the wall between the kitch and DR somewhat to gain useful wall (and thus counter and storage) space and having a mostly-for- work island, perhaps with a cook's or companion's perch space, but not a family eating bar. I also wouldn't like looking at the post-preparation state of my kitchen while eating - I want to leave it, at least temporarily, behind me while I enjoy my food.

But, of course, this describes my kitchen planning preferences, not necessarily yours. But I raise the issues as a counterfoil for tsunami of pictures of exactly what you proposed that is all around us in print, TV and on-line. Just make sure that each part of it actually supports how you really want to live in your space, not just what everybody else is doing.

And as former volunteer firefighter I am bound to point out that any form of fire (whether FP, airtight woodstove or insert) requires a stepped-up level of commitment to maintenance and safe operation or a tragedy may result. To fire, you and your family and pets and all your stuff and house are just fuel, which it will be happy to gobble up. Don't give it a chance to do so!

HTH

L.


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RE: Fireplace..eyesore or asset? counter/color scheme/ design hel

Thanks SO much to everyone so far.

I am so glad you like the whitewash, I do too, but then sometimes I get scared it looks unprofessional or something.

I do indeed intend to replace the slate tiles (I have to since I didn't protect them and now theres white paint splotched all over it!). I thought soapstone would be beautiful on the hearth, but wonder if that would work if I have the Sea Pearl out in the nearby kitchen? I like the idea of Sea Pearl on the hearth too, but I just don't know how it will look right next to the brick. Sounds like you all think it would look good so that makes me happy. Seeing it laid out like I did now actually does make me feel better about it too, but I can't help thinking the black/gray counters just look better. They won't give me a sample of it til I put a deposit down.

My biggest problem is just that with the Jet Mist counter option, I think making it look great would be easy. I can just see it, visualize it, I can easily see the paint colors that would look good and just overall feel like I could have a cohesive look. It makes me want to go that way, except..I'm not sure that look is totally "me". That would be a very "cool" toned/gray/white kitchen. Gorgeous. but, me? Maybe, but not positive.

I love the Sea Pearl & I always gravitate towards shades of green & brown...so much so that I was actually determined not to use green during this remodel because its so predictable for me!. But...I cant help what I like and I like that Sea Pearl! I just think the fireplace reads so "cool" toned, and in fact I worry it reads a little pink...it is white over red, after all. And I'm just afraid of introducing the colors in the Sea Pearl to that pinky/white/gray color scheme of the FP.

Does anyone get a visual of what else would look good, if I did the Sea Pearl, what color tone would you put on the wall? Any thoughts pop in your mind as to a backsplash that would coordinate with the colors in the sea pearl, as well as the cool shades of the fireplace?
Its a little early to think of backsplash, but I want to because I want to go into this with a vision/overall look, otherwise I'm afraid I'm going to pick mish mosh of things I like but don't necessarily go together.

Liriodendron, first your layout recs are greatly appreciated, but cabinets are ordered and demo has started, we are going with this layout now. I stressed about it for months, and months, in the end I really do believe this layout will work out best for our family.

I'm extremely grateful for the info about the safety concerns of the fireplace. Right now I am focusing on the design, because I have to make these decisions within a week or 2. I have considered changing it to gas because we actually rarely use the fireplace, for common reasons many people don't I guess...little kids so safety, plus the hassle/cleaning etc, plus that old brass screen was a royal pia to mess with. I figured changing to gas would make us more likely to use it since its easier, I never thought of the huge added benefit that its way safer than using a wood burning fireplace.
We have never and don't intend to, run the fireplace to heat the house. We have gas heat throughout the house and just don't need to. I doubt I'd light a fire at the same time I'm using my hood more than a couple times a year...maybe on holidays if we light a fire & Im cooking for family. Is 1 time enough for it to be dangerous, or is it only a problem if you consistently light fires while running your hood? Would getting an updated version of the big honking brass screen keep us safe for the times we do that?


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RE: Fireplace..eyesore or asset? counter/color scheme/ design hel

ps cat mom, your fireplace looks awesome!
what a beautiful transformation. did you use a gas insert?


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RE: Fireplace..eyesore or asset? counter/color scheme/ design hel

Looks really good! Great job!


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RE: Fireplace..eyesore or asset? counter/color scheme/ design hel

I was going to suggest soapstone on the hearth, and I then read that you were already thinking about it! I think it's a great idea, and of course keeping the fireplace goes without saying...


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RE: Fireplace..eyesore or asset? counter/color scheme/ design hel

Your fireplace looks lovely and is definitely an asset. If you love the Sea Pearl, you should go for it. Having said that, I personally would prefer soapstone or jet mist, just because I like counters that have no or very little movement.


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RE: Fireplace..eyesore or asset? counter/color scheme/ design hel

Safety issue with kitchen exhaust fan draft competing with needed fireplace draft happens the instant the two both occur at the same time.

Essentially you'd have direct competition between them with the weaker one surrendering and allowing its exhaust stream to be drawn back down and into the room. Which is preferable: the grease, heat, steam and odor laden kitchen products or the smoke, particulates, heat and dangerous gases (including carbon monoxide) that should normally be sent up the FP chimney? I definitely want neither of those in my inside air space!.

So your example of a holiday meal is exactly the scenario where you might see the problem. Imagine how utterly day-ruining and annoying it would be to have the table beautifully set for the festive meal and then need to turn on the kitchen exhaust fan while you had a cheery fire in the fireplace. If you did so you could easily overwhelm the fireplace's draft and upward discharge of smoke and ash and gases and pollutants and instead draw them directly into your room over the table where your family was gathered.

Big headache, big clean up and a celebration ruined, even if you turned off the kitchen fan right away to avoid the serious health risks.

If you replace the honking brass thingy with an air-tight covering (which is esentially what an air-tight insert is) you could probably, but not certainly, run both at once.

If you switch to a gas burner in the fireplace, but it is still not isolated in an air-tight chamber, you wouldn't have the smoke and particulate risk that you have with wood smoke, but you would have an elevated risk of carbon monoxide being drawn back into the room. The good thing about a gas burner, however, is that you can (usually) instantly click it off and stop any problem immediately. But for certain if you have a gas-fired appliance in the same space as your kitchen exhaust fan you will either have to have a smaller, perhaps inadequate BTU fan or a have a big bill for a costly make up air system.

Newer building codes address this where older ones kind of skipped it. But you will be remodeling under the newer code, almost certainly.


Sorry to be such a pessimist on this, But a critical factor will be whether or not you choose to have an air-tight system (with whetever fuel you choose) in the FP enclosure. That's the avenue I would (and do) take: isslate the two air spaces as completely as possible in order to allow each exhaust stream to work well, and safely.

Sorry for adding layout comments, I didn't realize that it was already fixed and ordered. Carry on!

HTH

L.


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RE: Fireplace..eyesore or asset? counter/color scheme/ design hel

homebuyer23, thank you! We are super-thrilled with how it turned out.

Yes, we put in a gas insert, and we love it! We've had it for two winters now, and have used it quite often. Very energy efficient, and OMG the heat it pumps out! Ours is in a ground floor (on slab) FR, which is normally a little chilly during the colder months, and the insert heats up the room (the entire downstairs!), very quickly. We leave the pilot running during the colder months. The intermittent pilot "times out" while trying to light the fp when the outside temp drops below 50 degrees or so. An added benefit, is that keeping the pilot lit, warms up the cold air coming into the fp, so it keeps the room a little warmer than it otherwise would be.

Our insert is such, that it could be removed by the next owners if they so desired, and the fp could be used as a wood burning fp again--the insert is a self-contained unit.


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RE: Fireplace..eyesore or asset? counter/color scheme/ design hel

While I think the fireplace looks better w/white wash, it still doesn't quite work for me. However, I think you should make the decision about the kitchen/countertop independent of the fireplace. I love the Sea Pearl. It is really beautiful. One thing that I would suggest you think about though, is how the Sea Pearl will be templated -- because you have two corners (at least it looks like the counter turns the corner to the cooktop run) and the Sea Pearl has a definite directionality to it. Where will seams be? How will the horizontal-ness of the stone work with your layout?


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RE: Fireplace..eyesore or asset? counter/color scheme/ design hel

You did a great job with the fireplace! I think you should go with the sea pearl because it is was you love. Do not fight what you love or you will likely regret it. One idea is to use both types of counters? You could use the soapstone or darker counter on the perimeter and the lighter sea pearl on the island or vice versa. Just a thought

I would do a stained wood or some sort of wood mantle. I would use the oil rubbed bronze hardware on the cabs to tie it back to the wood mantle. Since everything is going to be light (except your island) I would definitely bring in some brown contrasting tones.

I really am horrible at choosing a back splash. I always need to see how the entire kitchen turns out first.

It is going to look fabulous! I bet you are very excited!!!


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RE: Fireplace..eyesore or asset? counter/color scheme/ design hel

This kitchen may not be at all like what you are looking for but thought it might give some inspiration.


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RE: Fireplace..eyesore or asset? counter/color scheme/ design hel

aktillery, that's the cover photo of my inspiration kitchen ideabook in houzz! thanks too for taking the time to give suggestions on how to make it work. What type of stain do you think would work on the wood mantel? I think my old mantle shelf looks awful, its a medium tone and too orangey. I was thinking if I do stained wood it should prob be a very dark or very light stain...?

RMSAustin, you're right about the horizontal lines of the sea pearl, I do worry about that. The stoneyard employee says that with the computerized layout program they will be able to make it work, but I still am concerned. I actually originally loved White Macaubus but I know the strong linear pattern in that wouldn't work well with my big "U".

Thanks all for your comments. Im feeling better about my choices even whichever way I go.


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RE: Fireplace..eyesore or asset? counter/color scheme/ design hel

I would do a very dark stain and make it a bulky mantle. I did the same thing when I redid my fireplace in my last house. I white washed the bricks and gel stained the mantle and I thought it looked great. I wished I could fish out some of the pictures. I guess great minds think alike!! ;)


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RE: Fireplace..eyesore or asset? counter/color scheme/ design hel

OMG Homebuyer 23, this is an almost identical layout to our house that we renovated last year. Stairs in same spot, fireplace in same spot (which is our FR), powder room in same spot, windows in nearly the same spot. We were presented with a similar layout initially but chose a different direction. We eliminated the wall between the kitchen and DR (which is the room in your layout that doesn't have a name) and changed our windows in the kitchen, changed the kitchen double french door for a single door to the deck to give us more room for counters. We also took out the sliding door in our family to the deck and replaced it with 3 double hung windows.

Our fireplace is the entire wall, floor to ceiling and we had a gas insert installed 5 years ago because of a serious back draft issue we had with the fireplace. The insert has been great. Our house is much warmer because of it and we use the fireplace much more (got to love those remote starters!). We were trying to come up with some way of covering it up, but I cleaned it using a product from our fireplace insert contractor and it looks great.

We painted the kitchen/FR Benjamin Moore Grey Horse. It is a wonderful color. Picks up the grey in the mortar but depending on the light is also has a bluish-green tinge. After we painted the room we loved the fireplace wall!


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RE: Fireplace..eyesore or asset? counter/color scheme/ design hel

I have no advice, but I think your FP looks so much better! I'm struck by the similarity to my original FP--we had the same brick, which I detested for several years. I finally painted it a solid color and never looked back.


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RE: Fireplace..eyesore or asset? counter/color scheme/ design hel

Love your FP update. I would fo a thicker mantle shelf, perhaps something closer is thickness to the thickness of your ceiling beams.

I did bluestone on my fireplace hearth. I really love it and I think it would blend well with your other choices.


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RE: Fireplace..eyesore or asset? counter/color scheme/ design hel

I had the red brick like yours & we faux painted it a creamy gold about 15 years ago. I really liked it but it no longer worked with our new white kitchen.
I wanted to design my new kitchen around the old color beccause I was so scared to paint it again. I also wanted to try to save my old wall paper. I guess I don't like change. The fireplace & hearth are Revere Pewter & the walls are BM La Paloma Grey. I like the combo even tho looking at the paint swatches, they didn't look like they would go together. At night, under lighting, the Revere Pewter looks very light. I am going to wait until we have a rug, furniture, etc to decide if it is too light. During the day, with natural light, it looks great.


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RE: Fireplace..eyesore or asset? counter/color scheme/ design hel

Change is good. Can't believe I wanted to save that wallpaper. I also didn't want to part with the entertainment center. Thank goodness that big guy is gone.


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RE: Fireplace..eyesore or asset? counter/color scheme/ design hel

To me, painted brick looks rather awful as it ends up being so monotone. However, I like your whitewash solution. The brick looks to still have its texture and character.

As far as your hearth stone, I'd recommend a slab of soapstone. We got a soapstone remnant for ours and love it. It absorbs heat from the fireplace and radiates it back into the room long after the fireplace is off.

Finished Fireplace Surround photo DSC03919_zps38662708.jpg

This post was edited by gpraceman on Fri, Oct 18, 13 at 20:16


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RE: Fireplace..eyesore or asset? counter/color scheme/ design hel

I was worried that our painted brick would look awful, because pictures of it do look awful. I certainly looked at enough of them on Houzz. Our faux patent (the old gold) had texture & was attractive. I was very resistant to painting it one color. But in person, it looks fresh & attractive. I have learned about 10 times through this remodeling process that you can't make decisions based on just pictures.
I'm not criticizing homebuyer23's whitewashed brick. She asked on another thread to see my painted brick as we are both using Revere Pewter. BTW, I love the Revere Pewter in your room. I know you wanted to go darker but I think it looks great.
Gpraceman, your soapstone is beautiful.

This post was edited by romy718 on Fri, Oct 18, 13 at 23:27


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RE: Fireplace..eyesore or asset? counter/color scheme/ design hel

First of all I LOVE what you did with your fireplace, it's an asset. Secondly, I just finished a whole house gut and reno with a TON of decisions to make. In my bathroom I wanted to have better durability in the shower so I used porcelain tile that looked like carrara with a glass and real carrara mosaic that was framed in ming green marble. My problem was that the porcelain tile came out more like calacatta and then I was stuck with a very expensive countertop if I wanted to match it. In came Sea Pearl quartzite. I have pure white cabinets and used the sea pearl and my slab is very similar in color to yours. I also have a light green on the walls and the counter is stunning. But the best thing to me is, that it doesn't appear that green even with my green walls. It casts a little bit of a gray tone and then when you look at it closer it looks green, but again very subtle. I don't think that you should use the sea pearl on your fireplace as I think when things are too matchy it looks like you got it on sale. The beauty of design is in the variety. I have a giant open kitchen with my eating area in the middle and a family room on one side. I did an off white kitchen with walnut island and on the family room side I did bright white built-ins around my fireplace with carrara surround. It came out wonderful. Your fireplace is in your eating area, it doesn't need to match, it just shouldn't fight with what you choose in the kitchen. If you love sea pearl, get it!! I also wouldn't worry about the straight patterns in the corner, I have the same thing with my granite and it's fine. Counters need to have seams and if you love your stone you will overlook that. All I know is that I fell in love with both stones that I chose in the master and the kitchen and when I walk into each room I fall in love all over again, I would hate to just have chosen something that is safe and doesn't give me that "wow" feeling. Good luck!


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RE: Fireplace..eyesore or asset? counter/color scheme/ design hel

Thanks so much to everyone.

Romy718, your room is beautiful!! You do not need to wait for rugs & accessories to know that, it looks great and the colors are so pretty and work great together. Thanks for showing me. And I need to go on back to the backsplash thread and start looking up info on those tiles. I think the one that you said you were using in your own kitchen is my favorite...is it ok if our houses end up looking like cousins?!

gpraceman, someday I hope to replace the slate hearth with soapstone. That was my plan for this remodel but budget got tight and we decided to just scrub down the existing slate hearth, my GC put some sort of sealer/enhancer on it; and we painted the shelf White dove same color as our trim. I'm not crazy about it, I really want a thicker distressed wood mantle, but it'll do for now.

nyse2502, first, thank you Im so glad to hear you like my fireplace!
This thread is from several months ago, in the meantime I had several other threads going round and round on what countertop material to choose. In the end I went away from the Sea Pearl, the Jet Mist, the Steel gray...
and ended up with a Calcutta marble on my island that I love and a very plain almost solid gray Silestone on my perimeter which I am really happy with. It was a great solution for me. I got a (relatively) small little chunk of a gorgeous fragile material that I love, and then I have an extremely durable uncomplicated attractive counter everywhere else that I don't have to worry about.

I admit to being totally overwhelmed and absorbed with my own reno that I haven't had tons of time to be looking at all the threads on here so maybe I missed it, but have you posted pics of your whole house reno? Sounds like a huge job, congrats on being done!

I'll post a picture of my updated fireplace. This room still needs a lot of work...a rug, something on other side of fireplace, different mirror or something else on mantle, a screen for fp...but you get the idea. Thanks for all the support on this thread!


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RE: Fireplace..eyesore or asset? counter/color scheme/ design hel

I love the sea pearl. I saw a slab of that in person and loved it, but my husband nixed it. You will have a much more up close and personal relationship with your counter than your hearth, so prioritize that choice. I like a dark hearth but wonder about soapstone scratching with the fireplace tools, logs, etc. just a thought.


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