Horrific Mantle
weldrealty
July 28, 2013 in Design Dilemma
We just bought a house built in 1981. It is a 5500 sq ft. Chateau-style stucco home The very large master bedroom has a fireplace that is approx 10 ft wide and 8 ft tall with carved wood mantle (trying to look 70s Austrian Castle?) and tan marble base. It is shocking. I am sure someone spent an enormous amount of money having it built. We have had to put a lot of $ into the home to make it livable, and are now out of budget. Do we rip it out, or try to make it work somehow, considering the budget is $1000.
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creeser
Rip it out. I don't think even painting it would help.
1 Like   July 28, 2013 at 10:21AM
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theellams
its really ugly get rid of it nothing would look better than what is there
0 Likes   July 28, 2013 at 10:25AM
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creeser
I'm looking for photos as an example, but if you tear it out, do something very simple, tile or wood, with a simple mantle. That way, it'll be something you can live with for a while until you decide on what direction you want to go in with it and you can stay in budget.
[houzz=
1 Like   Thanked by weldrealty    July 28, 2013 at 10:28AM
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Amy Thompson
Take the big piece off the top and take half the wood off the sides. Take the decorative piece off the marble if you can. Put a new mantle on that's shorter than the bottom granite paint the wood? something pale and soothing put a few preeties on around done : )
3 Likes   Thanked by weldrealty    July 28, 2013 at 10:29AM
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anne dee
you could paint it all white? for a quick temporary fix
Kaleidoscope of Homes (Simmons Estate Homes)
rework the fireplace?
White Oaks Renovation
you could remove the decorative posts and keep the mantle(but possibly the mantle will be too heavy looking on its own)
Hollywood Hills Home
2 Likes   Thanked by weldrealty    July 28, 2013 at 10:35AM
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sstarr
You could box in the turnings, and darken the marble with stain:
0 Likes   Thanked by weldrealty    July 28, 2013 at 10:39AM
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anne dee
remove the bracket that surrounds the FP opening
Dream Home Great Rm

take a look at this FP for grandness!
Camelot
1 Like   Thanked by weldrealty    July 28, 2013 at 10:40AM
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sstarr
If you then replace the stock windows with heavier mullions and trim, you could have a Rapunzel-like room.
1 Like   July 28, 2013 at 10:41AM
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Rip out all wood. Leave marble. Then paint same as bedroom.
2 Likes   Thanked by weldrealty    July 28, 2013 at 10:46AM
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Put fireplace rack inside and add very large white birch logs. Add candles to floor of FP.
0 Likes   July 28, 2013 at 10:47AM
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Then add a large mirror over new FP. No mantel needed.
0 Likes   July 28, 2013 at 10:48AM
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garnetlady
Considering the budget, I would take the box off from the top, leaving the mantle if possible. Fix the wall behind the box. Leave all of the rest. If you still hate it, start planning & saving for a major renovation.
1 Like   Thanked by weldrealty    July 28, 2013 at 10:48AM
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PRO
Scott Design, Inc.
Take a picture of it, include dimensions and put it on Craigs List. Then dismantle it. Once the surround is gone, you can see how much marble to deal with.

Call in a stone fabricator who installs stone fireplace surrounds. He would be able to answer questions such as... Can the decorative trim around the firebox opening be removed without noticeable damage to the marble? Can he cut back the length of the hearth and repair the ends with the cut-off pieces? That would also bring up the question as to what to do with the floor.

Once you know what you are dealing with and what is possible, then you can see how much money you have left to build a simple mantle or apply a bolection molding. Once you have decided on how to furnish this large room you will be in a better position to know what to do with the fireplace wall for the long term.
Rocky Ledge Living Room with Fireplace
Living Room - Contemporary
2 Likes   Thanked by weldrealty    July 28, 2013 at 10:50AM
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Anne
I would do what Scott design has suggested about taking pics and putting it on craiglist. I might offer a swap, remove it and it's yours/
3 Likes   July 28, 2013 at 10:55AM
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1kmast
Many counties have demolition recycle companies that may come and remove it to sell in their recycle stores. a theater
company or a warehouse that works with theatrical groups?
1 Like   July 28, 2013 at 11:24AM
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PRO
Wyland Interior Design Center
Holy smokes, that is ugly! I crown you with the ugliest fireplace award! All kidding aside, the marble is nice and I would keep it since it is neutral enough to blend with most any other colors you may use in the space. That is, I would think you can remove the arched wood detail from the marble okay. The existing wood fireplace surround is far too out of scale for the room, height of the room and much too bulky.

How tall is the fire pit opening? It looks like it might be taller than normal. Most openings are approximately 36" high. If it is higher than 36", you could have a contractor build a header across the top and tile it with the same marble. You will need to check with local building codes to confirm that is okay to do this.

The existing fireplace surround- You might try just removing the upper box panel and upper crown, leaving the bottom crown. There maybe a shelf that the upper box sat on that you could sand and refinish to match or paint. If not, then add a new mantel on top of the bottom crown about 1" thick and larger than the crown on all three sides. Then remove the barley twist spindles and build a box out on each side creating columns. This could be matching wood with raised panels and corbels on each side or cover with tile. (See photos examples below from projects I have done. You could do something similar in wood or tile like Photo's # 1 & 2. Or a combination of both tile and wood like Photo # 3).

To save money and re-purpose the existing fireplace surround, what if you cut the upper box in half and turn both halves onto their sides to create the box out columns that I was mentioning above. It looks like it is the same width as what the existing wall panels are now. Might not be the best look but could work until you can afford to do something later on. (See attached drawing. It is not the best sketch that I have ever done but you get the idea).
1 Like   Thanked by weldrealty    July 28, 2013 at 11:59AM
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PRO
weldrealty
It is a huge fireplace. The opening in front is around 43-44". Thank you so much for all of your helpful suggestions. I think we will just rip it out and work with the marble that is there in a simpler way. I love the examples you all gave. Thank you again!
1 Like   July 29, 2013 at 10:16AM
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