Need help with family room especially the fireplace
Loyedi Waite
October 15, 2013 in Design Dilemma
When I bought this house 2 years ago, it need a lot of work. This family room was being used as a bedroom (room located in basement of a split level house). First things I did was remove the nasty carpet which revealed old asbestos tiles (tested) and remove the big black plastic bag hiding fireplace opening. Quick fixes as to lay new carpet and paint (and major expenses was replacing windows). After moving to other parts of the house, I am now back to this space specifically the wall. What should I do with it? I am so torn! I am thinking of making the space a sitting room, since I have another room that is about 450 sq that I can turn into a family/media room.

I have attached a current photo. You will notice I like to collect items when I travel therefore I kind of like the built in to display my items but on the other hand I am thinking of a more modern look? Not sure which direction to take.
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Paint the whole thing, brick and all. Remove the arch trim under the mantle and beef it up if necessary with a straight mantle piece. Extend the left shelves down to the old TV ledge.

You could add some false backer boards behind your shelves made of thin masonite veneer to hide the brick and give a smoother finish.
October 15, 2013 at 12:40pm        Thanked by Loyedi Waite
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HI -- This is a memory for me . A house we had almost thirty years ago had almost the exact same fireplace wall . If I still had this - I think I would take out all the brick and shelves -- strip it right back and convert the fireplace to gas and re - face the fireplace front in a new stone or tile or concrete . And then maybe have some new white book shelves on each side . Or just have matching console cabinets on each side and then some of your décor items and Art could be displayed above on each side . The trick is to display your collectables in a more organized manner . Example -- the large platters should be displayed together in a grouping on the wall ,and so on . Or you could work with what you have by removing the angled shelf and re-working the bookcases to cover the brick . Covering the top of the hearth with a tile. Getting a new screen or heat painting the fire screen . Remove the mantel or simplify it to be more modern. Then display the platters or have a modern round mirror . Only display some of the best travel mementos --- they don't all have to be out at the same time -- keep some back for changing things around to keep it interesting. Also change out the old light fixtures for some new L.E.D. track lighting on dimmers.
October 15, 2013 at 1:14pm        Thanked by Loyedi Waite
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With new carpet installed, I would suggest a paintwash of grey (green based) or taupe to lighten the brick, but allow some variation. The woodwork is the only warm toned element in the space; with your current furnishings, I think it is useful, and would also place the plates on the wall, so they can mimic the warmth there, and add some other warm accents.
If you plan to lighten in other areas of the room, an espresso stain could then be a lovely way to frame your collectibles against the paler brick.
October 15, 2013 at 1:42pm        Thanked by Loyedi Waite
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Paint the built in's in black to modernize. Need to understand why brick getting sooty...chimney issue?
October 15, 2013 at 1:49pm        Thanked by Loyedi Waite
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LB Interiors
I would paint all the wood cream or white or black. Add a cabinet on the lower left side to balance the right side with two doors and a shelf inside. I would square off the lower mantle ledge. Clean and simple. I would remove the left triangle ledge, only if the brick hearth extends all the way to the wall.
October 16, 2013 at 1:00am        Thanked by Loyedi Waite
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Meteor Electrical
I would then cover the brick walls and give the whole room a fresh paint go for something neutral perhaps cream or browns as they are the most popular modern choice at the minute. You could even do a feature wall with the wall with the brick being papered and the remaining walls being painted.

You were saying you like to display items you collect why not just freshen up your old display cases with some paint or replace them with a few glass display cabinets and then to give it a modern twist add in some LED lighting into the top of the shelves to really draw attention to your collection!

I would maybe remove that wooden triangle ledge just to create a bit more space in the room and you could perhaps use this space for a television and then add in some furniture such as a brown sofa and maybe a mirror above the fire just to modernize the room!

The fireplace is up to yourself really you could keep it as an open fire or if you wanted to modernize why not put in an electric fire really simple and effective!

Let me know how you get on!
October 16, 2013 at 1:55am        Thanked by Loyedi Waite
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The wood appendage is gone, everyone - second photo is the room with new paint and carpeting.
Loyedi, more than a few of these suggestions would involve other changes in the room ( and I think everything that can be done to a fireplace has now been suggested!). Are there additional plans beyond bringing the wall into the current scheme? ie, new furniture, colour or style changes?
October 16, 2013 at 9:20am        Thanked by Loyedi Waite
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Loyedi Waite
Wonder suggestions. Since I basically had numerous reno projects to do in this house, I am limited on my budget for this room or else I think I would cover up the whole wall and only feature a stone surround for the fireplace and convert it to gas.
Since I have to now budget for a new driveway and patio, I decided for simple steps for this room.

I have decided to paint the whole brick wall. I removed the arch on the mantel and will look into beefing it up as suggested. I do think my collectibles are now "too much" and will take lefty47 recommendation on downsizing and only highlighting my favorite pieces. Actually my favorites are in my living room, so this wall became the overflow room.

I think to the left side I will fill that space with logs...I actually like that look. I will remove some of the shelves in order to displacy on select pieces. New drapery and new semi-mount light fixtures, hang the TV up on the wall and new media console...alll will hopefully freshen up the look.

Thanks all!!
October 21, 2013 at 9:26am     
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HI --- Good plans --- it's going to look very nice and inviting !
October 21, 2013 at 10:01am   
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Room looks good. I would put in big drum style 36" black or silver. chandelier, in ceiling leave high. To add interest. And white wash fireplace. a all black fire screen. Paint all oak white. Add a pop of color with a big art piece on fireplace. If floors are tile, go a big area rug. Add some more color with pillows in various size and shapes, mix it up.
October 21, 2013 at 10:07am   
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Nancy Travisinteriors
No silver go black lights. area rug 8x10. Zebra would be fun.
October 21, 2013 at 10:09am   
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Add a teal throw over back of sect.
October 21, 2013 at 10:09am      Thanked by Loyedi Waite
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Is that TV too large to mount inside the recess left of the FP? That's a perfect spot for it and to keep the room oriented to the focal point. Replace the builder's special light fixtures - try a semi-flush drum for both. Sometimes you can find a semi-flush and a pendant of the same style if you wanted to put a table under the second light. No mirror reflecting the ceiling when you remodel, please.
October 21, 2013 at 10:16am     
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What's the look of the rest of the house? More modern? Cottage-y? Traditional?
October 22, 2013 at 9:49am   
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Galilee Lighting
A beautiful chandelier can definitely upgrade the total look and give it a modern touch
October 22, 2013 at 10:20am     
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