Help me with my giant stone fireplace
Kirsten
June 14, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I bought a house built in the 70s with a double volume living room and a massive stone/rock fireplace.
(The whole chimney is actually made of the stone)

When buying the house, I imagined I would cover the stone, as I am not crazy about it. But now I'm not sure how...
- could I plaster over the stone to create a large plastered feature wall? (I imagine a big, black or charcoal gray wall with a large piece of art)
- should I rather consider drywalling over it?
- I'm not mad on painted stone, nor the idea of acid washing in my house, but if I could reduce the 'orange' colour of the stones, and make them more gray, that could work. Any suggestions?

What would you do?
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Kirsten
Here's another image - it looks more 'orange' in real life.
June 14, 2013 at 2:26AM   
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PRO
CDR Design
Kristen, thank you for allowing me to comment. It looks like your taste is more clean lines, transitional, monochromatic.

I would hate for you to cover that beautiful 70's work of art. Ironically, it somewhat fits in with your style. That is, note the off-centered fireplace and the and the a-symmetry of the ceiling lines.

You mentioned covering it up and hanging a piece of art. Have you thought that the fireplace is a work of art in itself?

I would leave as is.....place no artwork on it and let it stand as a piece of art itself.

Here are some other things I would do:

-can you move the sheer curtain that on its left?
-move bench in front of fireplace
-what is that chair hanging out in the middle of nowhere? Your furniture need to be really squared up to make this work.
-replace the chandelier with something more modern and hang it lower.

What is your plan for paint for the room? The white is not working with the fireplace. I notice some greige to the right. Not being able to see the rest, my recommendation is that you paint the entire room in a gray, including the beadboard.

One idea would be to paint the room a medium gray. Paint ceiling a lighter gray and then paint the beams the darker gray of the walls. It would make the gray in the fireplace stand out, as well as make the whole room work together.

I would use the orange in the fireplace as a small pop of color.

Examples of how similar fireplaces stand on their own as works of art.

I would be happy to help with the rest of the room to help you embrace, rather than hide the fp.


[houzz=Pine Brook Boulder Mountain Residence Living Room]
[houzz=While at CHil Design Group]
houzz=Rustic and Modern Fireplace]
June 14, 2013 at 3:07AM     
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Mark
I saw this online. Three shades of Benjamin Moore latex paint called Cloud Cover, Athena, and Apparition were applied on the stone using a dry bush and ragging teqnique until the orange was covered. I think it looks amazing.
June 14, 2013 at 3:20AM     
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tkjs68
Good advice from cdrdesign.
June 14, 2013 at 3:35AM   
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Kirsten
Thanks for the comments. I should have mentioned that the rest of the furniture - and definitely the chandelier - need to be relooked. The chair is just temporarily sitting in a sunny spot.

I really like the fireplaces that cdrdesign added pictures of, but I find my fireplace and those fireplaces just look like night and day. With my fireplace, the rocks are large, uneven, round, orange and a bit ugly. The Pine Brook image is just stunning - I love that rock look.

I'm not too sure about painting the stone - Thanks for the suggestion, Mark, I like the direction, I just wish you could do a much lighter version of that.
June 14, 2013 at 3:47AM   
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charleee
I guess I will take the opposite road here, I would paint that fireplace in a heartbeat. It is a monolith, it's dark and lightening it up with paint will change the look and the mood of the whole room.
June 14, 2013 at 3:53AM   
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Mark
You can always drywall over it. Then finish it how you wish.
June 14, 2013 at 4:07AM     
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CDR Design
Can you take a long shot of the room? Are you planning on painting the room anyway? Try painting it gray and then see how you like the fireplace.
June 14, 2013 at 4:13AM   
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Ann Brauer Quilt Studio
Looking at the space I would consider breaking up the intensity of the fireplace--and I agree it is rather intense by hanging a sculpture--maybe metal off the the left hand side to offset the fireplace and then I would consider having a large green plant at the bottom. I also think the very thin curtain--while useful for light--re-emphasizes how heavy the stone is. Just a thought.
June 14, 2013 at 4:20AM   
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Kirsten
Thanks for the replies.
Mark: I've been looking for an example of drywalling over stone - thanks - do you have a pic of the final product?

CdrDesign: I'll take a long shot of the room tomorrow. I wasn't planning on painting - we did paint before we moved in. The wall next to the fireplace is quite brown-greige, but the wall on the other side of the room is almost a pure gray. Will try get a shot. The ceiling will be a mission to paint because it requires a scaffolding type thing (a long long ladder isn't long enough, our painter erected this whole scaffolding to get to the top parts of the wall - but I will consider it. If you don't mind sparing some more advice - what are your thoughts on a sofa? I'm thinking of an L-shaped sofa (you'll get a better idea when I post a pic tomorrow)

olldbobbi: I'm thinking about it. Maybe if I can just lighten it, not completely cover it...

Ann - Haven't considered a sculpture. I am keen to lose the curtains all together - I don't need them for privacy or light - they're just there to 'soften' the look of the room and dull sounds a bit - but maybe I should just lose them.
June 14, 2013 at 11:46AM   
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Dry wall it. paint it charcole. Add long stainless steel mantel. Leave empty. With huge sunburst mirror over it. Drama I love it.
June 14, 2013 at 11:51AM   
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rovanick
maybe a mantel would break it up a little - if it's possible to install one at this point
June 14, 2013 at 11:53AM      Thanked by Kirsten
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Google stainless firepl inserts. I love the high ones that are long and narrow. Look very contemporary. If you do that look no need for mantel. Google contemporary fireplaces see what comes up. Many store carry this look now.
June 14, 2013 at 11:54AM      Thanked by Kirsten
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Mark
Once you dry wall it over the choice is yours how you want to finish it, but here is a good example of how a brick fireplace would look if covered . Before and after
June 14, 2013 at 12:16PM        Thanked by Kirsten
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PRO
Barnhart Gallery
Kirsten, I know. Totally weird orangey rock. And I really don't want to love it. But then I look at the amazing craftsmanship -- how it's truly indoor/outdoor, with the windows organically springing from the stone in two directions. And I'm starting to adore it a little. I want you two to work this out.

So, I'm covering up some lower area with stacked wood in an Ikea Expedit, (or holder of your choice.) Then I've taken up some major square footage with art. And while the colors are a bit strange on their own, they're beautiful on and around this handsome greyhound -- or art of your choice. This is giving me the sense of a wonderful and massive fireplace but without so much of the orange.

I actually like the light fixture, just not the shades. I recently swapped out some grandma-glass shades for bubble glass with clear bulbs on a fixture and it looks brilliant. Might save you a few bucks or euros to try.
June 14, 2013 at 2:15PM        Thanked by Kirsten
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tcufrog
Right now you have two styles in the room that are fighting each other. The beadboard ceiling and curtains scream "cottage" while the fireplace and natural wood window trim look like they are from a mountain lodge. The lighting doesn't work with either. I can't see the furniture to get clues from it. Which way do you want to go or do you want to go in a third way?
June 14, 2013 at 4:00PM      Thanked by Kirsten
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CDR Design
Notice how you can see the outside of the fireplace from the inside......Frank Lloyd Wright influence

Could you please remove that sheer from that end and watch how the outside is brought in and vice versa. If you change the fireplace you are really playing with the architect's original intention.

I would highly encourage you to paint the room as I suggested above first. Then see if you really want to make this change.

It appears the beadboard was added later. I am wondering if you would like that removed. I think it would also help your thought process.
June 14, 2013 at 4:32PM        Thanked by Kirsten
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Ann Brauer Quilt Studio
I totally agree that the beadboard is also wrong. Replace the curtains with a lovely stylized blind. Same result. Different look. The fireplace is spectacular but BIG.
June 14, 2013 at 4:34PM      Thanked by Kirsten
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Ann Brauer Quilt Studio
I suggest instead of the wood--a really nice stone vase with flowers or a green plant. Again keeps with the theme but makes it less massive.
June 14, 2013 at 4:36PM      Thanked by Kirsten
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CDR Design
How large is the room? Can you post a long shot?
June 14, 2013 at 6:22PM      Thanked by Kirsten
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ron1118
Do not change it, it's gorgeous and part of the architecture of the house! Like others have said it just needs some art and a mantlepiece to break up the monotony of the stone.

You have a gem there, just needs a bit of polish.
June 14, 2013 at 7:08PM      Thanked by Kirsten
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Walter Comstock
You could wash it instead of paint, the light and dark would show but still be toned down. Good luck
June 14, 2013 at 7:12PM      Thanked by Kirsten
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Kirsten
Thanks everyone for your input.

I'd say my style leans towards romantic contemporary - or cozy contemporary. I like clean lines and modern furniture, but with a bit of warmth to it.

I have large stacking aluminium doors which open up fully to the one side of the fireplace - and I like the contemporary, airy feeling.

The room is quite large, and we need to buy furniture - the sofas are very, very old and will be replaced with something more modern.

I can certainly remove the beadboard above the doors - I will try that - and remove the curtains. I will start there.

I will consider a mantle and some sort of art work. A lot to consider!
June 15, 2013 at 7:33AM   
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ron1118
I think the problem is that in the past someone has tried to change everything but the fireplace. The white banister and white ceiling should be wood not white. This would warm up the room considerably. Since you like modern contemporary furniture anyway, this along with the FP will give it a "midcentury modern feel".
June 15, 2013 at 7:38AM        Thanked by Kirsten
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CDR Design
Oh my goodness...nano doors. I love those! Seeing the full room, I am more convinced that ever that you need to keep the integrity of that fireplace. The house is meant to bring the indoors out and the outdoors in......the chimney is providing the basis for that.

I am not so much opposed to the beadboard as the color. You may want to check with an expert to see if the beadboard is an added feature. My guess is that it is added.

You are making a wise decision. Removing the drapes and adding gray to the ceiling (whether painting or removing beadboard) will make a huge difference. A gorgeous home!!!!
June 15, 2013 at 7:45AM      Thanked by Kirsten
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noiwh8
I have to strongly agree with cdrdesign. You have a gem of classic architecture, of which the fireplace is key. The ideas being tossed around to maim the stone fireplace would be a case of remuddling that will make the house unsalable in the future. Think of the clapboard houses that were covered in aluminum siding to save money painting, but removed all character from the facade. Some remuddling cannot be remedied, and many options being talked about are permanent.
June 15, 2013 at 8:10AM        Thanked by Kirsten
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PRO
COASTROAD Hearth & Patio
- Since it appears that you have a manufactured fireplace in the middle of all that stone, I'm going to venture that you might have stone veneer applied over the top of wood-framed chase, which makes it very easy to un-do. Well, maybe not VERY easy, but pretty easy.

If that is the case, DO NOT build over the top of the stone, remove it. In fact, if the fireplace has been used frequently over the past 40 years, it is probably time to have a serious look at replacing it. You can find your local fireplace nerds here: http://www.hpba.org/retailer-locator.

If it really is solid stone/block masonry, it might be easier to just freshen up the bottom half of the wall to give yourself some relief from the mass of orange - assuming you are getting away from the natural wood of the original design.

Particularly if you replace the fireplace, I'd think about incorporating a hearth extension at seated height all along that wall to reconnect the floating fireplace, add some interest and create the third side of the seating group that you are trying to achieve with the bench in front of the fireplace opening (the bench could move to the window side without blocking the view).

I think you have a great opportunity to work with the bones of the house and create something classic while giving your living room the facelift you're looking for. I'll be interested to see what you decide.
June 15, 2013 at 9:44AM      Thanked by Kirsten
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CDR Design
My recommendation is to maintain the integrity of the house, including the fireplace. I apologize if my statement came out otherwise.

Kirsten, I do think it would be wise to have a chimney expert to check the safety an integrity of the fireplace and chimney inside and out. That may help you make a decision.
June 15, 2013 at 10:40AM        Thanked by Kirsten
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PRO
Schroeder Design Group, NCIDQ, Licensed
You should keep the stone the way it is, particularly because it is an architectural feature that is at the exterior. I do like the hearth extension idea above. I would focus instead on bringing back the look of that time period, with today's interpretations. Everything about the architectural features, including the ceiling and beams are what the house is, so instead of changing that, work with the scale and line of the furniture, more mid century pieces and there are plenty these days. If the ceiling fixtures are original, I think I would keep them for a while longer....I took a good look and the big exposed bulbs make me think they are original...I like the metalwork.....I think I would focus on purchasing a very large area rug, contemporary design, shag or oriental....they used those plenty mid century too.......with a bit of the earthy colors, including specs of dark grey or black, just spots of the color so you're not reusing a color that you don't like already, but you may be surprised that by enhancing what you have, it could make you dislike the stone a bit less. also the grey wall next to the stone is really a muddy color. It should be the same light neutral as the walls and I would keep the ceiling and beams one color, in fact the current color, like the walls....I would not draw attention to the ceiling by painting the beams differently. Or, if you want a change, the walls could be a very soft neutral pulled from the stone, but I would not paint the ceiling the same as the walls....the lofty light ceiling is very nice in my opinion. The sofa/s, and there is enough space for 2, or an L shaped sectional, in perhaps a warm greyed flannel fabric and a very large square, glass cocktail table so you can see the area rug.
June 15, 2013 at 11:24AM      Thanked by Kirsten
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doctornancy
As others have mentioned, there is incongruence between the heft of the fireplace and the delicacy of the other features of the home (bead board ceiling, balusters, sheer draperies). It's probably a matter of preference which you want to honor more. Personally I am in the drywall camp Though beautiful, the stone is just TOO hefty for my tastes. I've drawn a rough rendering of the wall dry-walled to give you a visual of that option.
June 15, 2013 at 11:47AM        Thanked by Kirsten
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Ann
I'd keep it as is and repeat its colors (a bit) in other parts of the room. It's pretty amazing, you might grow to love it.
June 15, 2013 at 11:56AM      Thanked by Kirsten
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bevballew
I agree to keep the fp. I follow CDR's ideas. I would see if there is something that could tone down the orange or like suggested a large pic and I loved the idea of caramel colored furniture. Loved travisinterior ideas but not for here. I am of keeping the integrity of the originality. If a chemical cannot tone down the orange I would try for a wash or paint but keep the stone. This will be a fun project to follow!
June 15, 2013 at 12:00PM      Thanked by Kirsten
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sidneyroche
http://jonesdesigncompany.com/ Here is a post from yesterday 6-14 about a to the ceiling fireplace transformation that is consistent with the indoor outdoor feel
June 15, 2013 at 12:24PM      Thanked by Kirsten
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PRO
Wyland Interior Design Center
You can remove the stone down to the wood studded chase as Coastroad Hearth & Patio suggested or build over it like Mark suggested. However, building over the top may not be possible since it appears that the existing stone is butted up next to the windows on each side.

I do agree with others that the existing stone front is in keeping with the architecture of the home and it might be easier to work with it. The beadboard could be changed out with tongue and groove wood and then either keep the beams white or paint them a dark brown.

Here are some examples of fireplace refaces that I have done for client's home.
Project ONE- Photo # 1- Before. Photo # 2- After. This project we removed the old rock down to wood stud and chase. Added new sheet rock and paint.
Project TWO- Photo # 3- The existing fireplace had brick all the way up the wall. Will built out around it (Mark's suggestion) and then built the new fireplace front.
Project Three- Photo # 4. We removed the old stone and refaced the front with quartzite tiles and pebble rock mosaics.
June 15, 2013 at 12:53PM      Thanked by Kirsten
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tcufrog
I would search for photos on Houzz of rustic contemporary style. Here is one good example: Staged, Davidson Green Home Here's another good example. Living and Dining

The first one has some good ideas for working with rather than fighting the orange.
June 15, 2013 at 2:25PM        Thanked by Kirsten
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