Need help updating my family room / fireplace
sarahfina
July 5, 2013 in Design Dilemma
My family room needs updating. The floors are parkay wood stained cherry ( I hate), but they are thoughout my family room, kitchen, hallway and entrance way (2,000 sq. ft. total), and cannot afford to change. The walls on the left side of the room are all french windows and french doors, so no wall space. The opposite walls on the right have built in cherry wood bookshelves and door ways to the living and entrance room. I am looking to update the painted brick fireplace with stone and paint the walls a different color. Please help with suggestions.
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judianna20
If this room was mine, and I was "stuck" with all the natural wood and assuming the furniture was staying as is I would:

empty it of all the decor pieces except the painting (it is something important to you…golf?)
rehang the picture a few inches lower to the mantel.

.
paint the walls the same white as the fireplace in a MATTE finish.
paint the ceiling (not the beams) a cool icy blue (from the painting)
paint the brass on the fireplace black

4 Likes   Thanked by sarahfina    July 5, 2013 at 10:37AM
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PRO
Brooks Custom
Have you considered using concrete for your fireplace? It's about 1/3rd the weight of stone and can be customized to your design; below are some examples of how it may look:
0 Likes   Thanked by sarahfina    July 5, 2013 at 12:01PM
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PRO
COASTROAD Hearth & Patio
- In the close-up shot it appears that you have a gas insert. Was the original fireplace all masonry, or is the masonry only a veneer to dress up the fireplace?

The odd proportions of the fireplace, including the too-tall hearth extension with the curved corners, makes me want to get back to a blank slate and start over.

The classic proportions of the coffered ceiling make me think of something like this, which would look more appropriate with the parquet floor you hate:
0 Likes   Thanked by sarahfina    July 5, 2013 at 12:18PM
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decoenthusiaste
I'm with judyg on the decor changes. As for the FP, with the door so nearby, unless you can close it, I'd think you'll have to be cautions about proportions and balance. If there is another way to access that space behind, consider closing that wall so you can do more with it and the FP.
0 Likes   Thanked by sarahfina    July 5, 2013 at 12:23PM
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sarahfina
Thanks for the good suggestions and changes. My husband is the one that likes the picture over the fireplace but could be changed. I would love to start over on the fireplace....but would have to have the firebox rebuilt if I lowered the opening to the floor. The door to the right of the fireplace goes to two bedrooms so I cannot close off. I love the photo from decoenthusiaste! Simple but elegant. Yes this is a gas insert and the brick is original as decoration.
0 Likes   July 5, 2013 at 2:51PM
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decoenthusiaste
I think judyg posted the photo, but it is great!
0 Likes   July 5, 2013 at 2:53PM
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Patricia Kent
Love your beams and large window, I
don't even notice the floors so don't sweat them. I do think the cab to the left of the fireplace overwhelms everything. Don't you have enough shelving with the built ins? Could you turn the couch toward the fireplace or the built ins? Is your TV in the cab? Could it go in the built ins? I think you would like your fireplace better if it were the focal point. I would move the plant closer to the window nad the dog statue to the hearth.
0 Likes   July 5, 2013 at 3:03PM
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sarahfina
Hi Patricia, Our TV is in the large cabinet on the left. Yes - it is large only because we don't want a small TV. I will post additional photos of the window walll and the wall with built ins.
0 Likes   July 5, 2013 at 3:24PM
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cathyjoco
Hi Sarahfina, Hah!! look at your cat in the first picture! I'll tell you what worked for me. I went and found about 15 paint chips that I liked. Each chip was a series of 3-4 colors. Then I went home and picked the color that best went with my furniture, drapes etc. It turned out to be a taupe/greenish color. At the store I ordered 1 small can of each color on the swatch (in semigloss); I also purchased some glaze and sponges. That night I painted all the grout in the medium color. The next morning I mixed little tiny drinking cups of paint with different percentages of paint and glaze. Then I just started sponging away. A pie tin with some water helps. I was happy with the finished product - it wasn't what I wanted, but it finished my room and it fit my budget. (Prior to painting I chipped my bricks and hit them with a hammer because the lines were so straight.) Then I added a mantle. I don't have a picture of mine. On yours I think I would add 1 more layer of wood at the top, to make it a little deeper, everything looks like it's going to teeter off.
0 Likes   July 5, 2013 at 3:25PM
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cathyjoco
Oh and I would remove the plant to the right and move the dog onto the fireplace. I would also update the screen - keeping it flat at the top. I think I would talk to a few carpenters about rigging some kind of front to the fireplace to square it off. Even it if was made to go up to the bottom of the first brick....The rounded front is is odd looking....
0 Likes   July 5, 2013 at 3:31PM
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sarahfina
Thank you - I like the glazing and considering having all the brick removed and starting over. Due to so many built-ins, I would eventually like to replace the wood floors with a light beige stone.
0 Likes   July 5, 2013 at 4:13PM
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sarahfina
Attached are the Breakfast room (behind the sofa) , the window wall on the right of the fireplace and the built-in opposite the windows.
0 Likes   July 5, 2013 at 4:39PM
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decoenthusiaste
Unless the main use of this room is as a library, I'd have a book clearout and style the built-in with 1/3 books, 1/3 decor and 1/3 open space.

0 Likes   July 5, 2013 at 4:58PM
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sarahfina
Thank you - great idea. Many of these books are old.
0 Likes   July 5, 2013 at 5:16PM
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Sandy G. ltd.
-- Or you can have fun with your books. The bookcase can also be packed with books. You could organize them in colors - all reds, all whites, etc. This will cut the business of colors all over the place and give you a fresh look on that wall.

I am assuming that you would rather not remove the ent. center, so I will not go into things you could do if that was to happen. I also assume that you would rather not mount the tv over the fireplace. .

However, the bully in the room is the entertainment center - it is a large piece in a small corner and it is dark. It would help even this wall out if you finished the fireplace in an equally dark way - and I am not qualified to speak to that process . . . but there must be a good way to refinish the bricks. Also, paint the wall a dark color too so that neither one of these elements stick out any more in any way. You want them to appear to be all one unit on the wall, not a dark thing and a white thing. You have tons of natural light in this space so having a totally dark wall would not make much of an impact that way.
0 Likes   July 5, 2013 at 6:18PM
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sarahfina
Hi Sandy - I don't mind losing the entertainment center. I would love the TV over the FP.... but because the hearth is so high, the TV would be to high. I initially wanted to go stone all the way to the ceiling in a travetine, with the TV on top of the FP and no mantel. But.... the TV would be too high. I am open to any suggestions as to what to do with the TV. I also considered putting the TV in the bookcase, but it would be in the corner and would not work either. I like your suggestion to make the wall the same color so it appears as a unit. Any other suggestions appreciated .
0 Likes   July 5, 2013 at 6:40PM
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Sandy G. ltd.
-- Well, I was going to mention this alterate solution but didn't think you wanted to move the entertainment center out of the room.

It sounds like the only place for the tv is in the same place so to integrate it into the room, you could do your version of this.

My rough draft of this idea:
Remove the ent. center. Then extend the fireplace bricks over to the window - bricks on the lower part with a cubby to hold the tv at the right height. You will probably have to bump the bricks out in order to hold the tv unless you mount it to the wall. Please hide cords since this will be a new build.

If you do not need that whole new space for the tv, run the bricks up to the same height as the fireplace by the windows. This should leave the top 1/3 of that wall clear - no cabinets. You will want to redo the curve on the hearth so that this detail goes in a sraight line all the way over to the window too.

Your new mantle could be cherry stained to match your bookcase . This would tie the new build to the wall already there. If you need some storage for TV stuff, you could use the area to the left of the TV for that - just build storage in that spot with a door [or not].

Since the fireplace opening and the TV are both dark, think about finishing the bricks in a dark tone. This will keep the bottom 2/3 [or so] visually one unit. What you do above the mantle could be completely different color-wise.

I hope this helps you visualize a possibility. Also sure that there will be parts that would not work and that's ok. If you have any questions I'm sure this team will help!
0 Likes   Thanked by sarahfina    July 5, 2013 at 8:11PM
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sarahfina
Thanks Sandy - I like your rough draft and this could be a possibility. I very much appreciate you thinking of a good way to integrate the TV with the fireplace.
0 Likes   July 5, 2013 at 9:09PM
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Sandy G. ltd.
-- Glad to get just a kernel of an idea to you. I am used to brainstorming and you never know where it will lead! Hopefully, something that is a great solution for your 'Design Dilemma'!

Would like you to know that I will not have access to a computer from Sat. afternoon until Tues. AM. No iPhone, iPad, or any of those gagets - doing just fine anyway with my old Mac that my kids call a dinosaur!
0 Likes   July 5, 2013 at 10:31PM
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