14 YEARS...
jdevinone
October 30, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I've been staring at this mantle for 14 years and just have no idea what to do with it. Seems so sparse.
I'd love to put stone over the brick I fireplace too

What y'all think?
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dclostboy
I'd like to see the mantle over the fireplace only built up to the crown molding...it will add more substance / weight to what should be the focal point of the room. Easy to cover the brick...find a tile that you like and go with it.
October 30, 2013 at 5:28pm     
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PRO
J. S. Brown Design
The mantel and book cases are very nice proportions, you could cover the brick surround and slab with calcutta white marble. I have seen a new product called Plane by Stonepeak
this is a porcelain 1/4" slab that looks just like calcutta stone for half the price.
October 30, 2013 at 6:59pm     
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jdevinone
Can I just tile right over the brick?
October 30, 2013 at 7:10pm   
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Lidia Nonn
Paint the inside of the book cases black, paint the fireplace brick black as well. Install one large mirror on the wall above the cases/fireplace and hang (with commercial suction cups) either your current mirror or art onto the wall mirror. Add candles, or lamps or both on the shelf. It will look stunning!
October 30, 2013 at 7:19pm     
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jdevinone
Thanks Lidia. Hard to imagine black- sounds interesting. And my room is naturally on the dark side so is like to brighten it up
October 31, 2013 at 3:00am   
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ReMax - Lisa
I would try painting the brick in BM Kendall charcoal before you go to expense and bother of tiles. It would look great against the white and could be done in an hour! Next some larger more chunky things on the mantle. Maybe a stack of large leather books, and a piece of large artwork or huge vases?
October 31, 2013 at 3:24am     
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Michelle Ashby
Hi jdevinone, do you have a seperate TV room? is this room just for enjoying the fireplace and reading?
October 31, 2013 at 5:02am   
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motownmom
It's a lovely fireplace with classic looks. I see a doggie bed (and doggie!). black leather back of a seat and the wine rack, so I'm assuming you have some traditional feel to the room. I think going for small changes will have an impact for you, but to be honest, while we get tired of things sometimes, it doesn't need major changes.

It looks like soapstone or marble on the hearth. I'd pick up one of the grayish tones from that and paint the bricks in that color, including the ones surrounding the soapstone/marble.

Then, depending on the style in the rest of the room, I think a lovely wallpaper that picks up the colors you have for the wall above the bookcases and fireplace would look great. I'm not much of a wallpaper person, but have seen so many classic styles on Houzz that I have learned to like them in small doses. If you don't want to do the entire wall, maybe the backs of the bookcases to add some interest.

My philosophy is always start small, then if it's not a big enough change, think a while about what you'd like and have another go at it.

Good luck and enjoy the process.
October 31, 2013 at 5:20am     
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Michelle Ashby
i was thinking, would you consider that stainless steel frame around the fireplace instead of the brick? Fire Sense 31" Moderna Stainless Steel Wall Mounted Electric Fireplace, might give that modern feel, and also some shine. If you decide you would have a TV in there, maybe i would mount it on the wall, and on the sides, have mirrors, frames with pictures to give life to the plain wall, and some nice shiny ornaments.... not sure what you like though? if you wanted to try some wall paper for something different, and background colour, you could try what ever your style is, or something like this? Sebastion Aqua Damask Wallpaper OR Knotted Wallpaper, Sample, Wasabi and on those bare side walls, you could try some decorative mirrors like this...Carmel Decor - Decorative Mirrors 1 ,Carmel Decor - Decorative Mirrors 2, Carmel Decor - Decorative Mirrors 3 (to keep with the shine and colours of your choice of course... nice to play around... :)
October 31, 2013 at 5:21am     
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Michelle Ashby
or if you want to keep the integrity of the room, you can try TV coverups... looks like your painting, but then if ever you want to watch tv by the fireplace, you can :) Hidden TV , Hiding Your Flat Screen TV Without Cutting Into the Wall
October 31, 2013 at 5:28am     
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jdevinone
Wow that's pretty cool Michelle
October 31, 2013 at 5:53am     
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jdevinone
Michelle this is my only room for TV.
October 31, 2013 at 5:56am   
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jdevinone
Motownmom I love the idea I wallpaper behind the bookshelves. Maybe even some contact paper so I don't have to deal with the glue. I'll have to hunt for nice contact paper. Not sure what my style is really. I hate clutter. I do like traditional , contemporary I suppose
October 31, 2013 at 5:58am   
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gduplessis
Love the built in bookcases. I would continue the painted built in look above the fireplace to divide the long wall. Sconces on either side. Stone would warm the look up. Owens Corning has some really nice options.
October 31, 2013 at 6:00am     
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linlac
I agree with extending the area above the fireplace to the crown molding. You could do something as simple as adding trim pieces painted white along with the wall within the trimmed area. I would paint the walls around the surround with more contrast than what you have now.
October 31, 2013 at 6:15am     
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saratogaswizzlestick
You have great bones here. I would start with emptying out the bookshelves. It looks like you have a great camera collection but it is scattered. Group it together. Artfully arrange rest of items. There are a lot of horizontal lines so i would put a starburst or interesting shaped mirror over the fireplace and relocate the current mirror. More items on top. A collection of different heights of mercury glass would be nice. I would move the wine rack. Is it too wide to go on the top nestled into the corner? Love your paint and the crown molding detail.
October 31, 2013 at 6:35am     
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CDR Design
I cannot advise you what to do about paint, tile, unless I see the rest of the room.

The main problem, though is not the brick. The main problem is that the wall is very horizontally-oriented and what should be the focal point the fireplace, is getting lost. You need make your mantle resemble the 3 photos above.
October 31, 2013 at 6:47am   
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momof5x
You have kept it well for 14 years so I think you deserve to treat yourself to a whole new look. I like these example below:

Project in Tiburon

Living room

Living Room

living room painted brick fireplace
October 31, 2013 at 6:53am     
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yoboseiyo
my first instinct is to continue the bookcases up the wall above the mantel to the ceiling.
and i like the idea of wallpapering the shelves.

here's an easy way to do it :: cut some foam core to 1/8" smaller than the area between the shelves. wallpaper or contact paper the foam core. make sure to wrap it around to the back side. then just slip the foam core into the shelves. use some sticky tack if you're worried about it staying up.

that way it's easier to change out.
October 31, 2013 at 7:13am     
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Lola de la Borda
I would use wallpaper on top of the shelves, there is some fabulous wallpaper with books which would give the effect you wanted originally. I like the idea of the Calcutta marble around the chimney surround. Roche-Bobois has some beautiful wallpaper.
October 31, 2013 at 7:24am   
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Rina
I've done a little rearranging of the mantle and the shelves on the left. I've added one more little sculpture, the bowl on the mantle, and a bit of one of my favourite Victorian paintings. On the mantle, two arrangements of three items each are easier to look at and enjoy than single things dotted along the space. On the shelves on the left, I filled the bottom shelf with horizontal books -- I like this on a bottom shelf as it gives a sense of weight and solidity. I added a shell from the shelf on the right to link the two plates (making another group of three). Removed a couple of things for breathing space. I gathered the cameras together: display a collection as a collection, I think. On the top shelf where the one small (vertical) camera was, I drew in a flat box which is a better shape for that space.

This is by no means perfection (I don't do perfection much) nor is it meant to be prescriptive, more an illustration of principles. I do hope it's useful.
October 31, 2013 at 7:30am     
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jdevinone
Rina that was great! I really liked the ideas and will definitely incorporate those ideas. Thank you!
October 31, 2013 at 5:15pm   
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jdevinone
yoboseiyo -What a terrific idea -can change with the seasons! Thank you!
October 31, 2013 at 5:17pm   
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jdevinone
Has anyone done or heard of putting Airstone over the brick
October 31, 2013 at 5:21pm   
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nechamaj
Just looked it up since haven't heard of it. What is it made of? Looks like styrofoam?
October 31, 2013 at 9:25pm   
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lucyhomedecor
Yes, you can tile over brick. I put travertine over my red brick.
October 31, 2013 at 9:45pm   
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Rina
Good morning, Jdevinone. You're welcome. I'm looking forward to seeing the transformation of the wall, whatever you decide to do. I love your little sculptures.
October 31, 2013 at 10:15pm   
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jdevinone
Rina awesome suggestions. I just barely see from the pic what you added. Photo doesn't blow up. How did you get the edits made?
November 2, 2013 at 5:09am   
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Rina
Oh dear -- it seems to have posted okay, it blows up on my screen. Sigh. Maybe you can try someone else's computer? I'm so glad you like my suggestions. I use Microsoft Paint, which allows one to do quite a lot but I think in a more laborious way than something like Photoshop would do. It may amuse you to know that I chopped that big bowl off the bottom of a chandelier. I'm a terrible cheat, but it turned out rather well, I thought. Ask me about any detail you can't make sense of!
November 2, 2013 at 9:20am     
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jenniferdietrich
Install doors on the open book shelved areas. Build out the fireplace above and I stall a stacked stone floor to ceiling.
November 2, 2013 at 5:41pm     
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jdevinone
Creative Rina!
November 2, 2013 at 7:13pm   
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Rina
:-)
November 2, 2013 at 11:14pm   
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reggiesmall
So many great ideas from everyone; anything you choose will look great as it's already a lovely space.

I just have to say thank you for this posting. I had such a good laugh (not at you but rather with you!) as I can almost envision you staring at this wall constantly, grumbling that you want to do something, you KNOW you should do something, but simply not being able to decide exactly what.

Been there, done that, finally made a decision. Then I kicked myself why I took so long to decide.
November 2, 2013 at 11:41pm   
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chookchook2
Extend the bookcases to the ceiling and put books and pretty DVD cases in them
November 3, 2013 at 12:51am     
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PRO
J. S. Brown Design
This is an example of the 1/4" porcelain slab Calacatta Vena Classic I mentioned. It is an exact replica of marble slab at a fraction of the cost.
November 3, 2013 at 1:37pm     
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PRO
TVCoverUps
jdevinone- Michelle brings up a great point about TVCoverUps. Framed art(including your own) or mirror(such as the one you currently have) adds to the room's decor, with the hidden TV and Entertainment Consoles beneath. Available in Automated & Manual lifts and allows for TV tilting hardware. Standard Sizes(37", 42", 50", 55", 65") or build to your custom specs!
See how EASY it really is:
November 5, 2013 at 10:55am   
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