fireplace help
Susan Baker
March 18, 2014 in Design Dilemma
I have a fireplace that I am converting to gas. I need help. I really do not like the tile on floor and the brick because this is my living room and I want it to look pretty not hunting lodge. That ugly thing in the fireplace is an old propane heater it will be cut out when the gas goes in. Ignore the green and red temporary chairs all furniture in the room is carmel tone on tone with subtle patterns. In addition, all clutter has been removed from the area. Thanks in advance for your suggestions!
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lucidos
Most likely that pyramid is a faux covering. When they convert to gas ask the guy. You can then remove that with a hammer and resheetrock that area.

If that is part of the flue...(I doubt it is) You can box out that top area and sheetrock it.

In either case it you will need to replace the shelf and hopefully matching that crown molding.
2 Likes   Thanked by Susan Baker    March 18, 2014 at 1:20AM
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Susan Baker
hi I checked today and the pyramid shape has to stay. Should I reface what stone?
1 Like   March 19, 2014 at 12:42AM
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PRO
Vitroceram Inc.
just a suggestion... here is a very contemporary option to your fireplace project
0 Likes   March 19, 2014 at 9:35AM
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Meet Me at the Wrecking Ball
Total crap shoot here: paint all the brick except the small mantle section. Use a color that is somewhat lighter than the shade on the wall. The mantle will pop and the rest of the brick will fade into the background, doing nothing more than adding interesting texture. It's hard to tell from the picture, but does the pyramid shape slope back into the wall or is it straight-up vertical? I see a great oil painting on the pyramid. Simple (smallish), sweet, brilliantly framed. Keep the mantle clutter free--the symmetrical urns that you have there now are too contrived. Lose them both in favor of one thing that's off center and works in the room--make it personally meaningful, like an heirloom vase paired with a small picture frame. Or choose a simple, elegant battery-operated clock with a housing that has a shine to it. I think it's going to be stunning when finished.
0 Likes   March 19, 2014 at 10:42AM
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victorianbungalowranch
You have a Craftsman style fireplace with the original flanking bookcases with leaded glass doors. The tile work is likely original too. Please do not tear them out or reface with stone or tile. This is very high quality work in excellent condition and you will ultimately be devaluing your house by removing character features like this.

Get a designer who understands period homes and how to make them look fresh without expensive tear outs. I don't know what the rest of your house looks like, but I bet it is a bungalow, Craftsman, or Tudor Revival. Celebrate what makes your house unique. You will be surprised what a difference just color and décor can make, and it will put the old stuff in a different context.

It has been this way for nearly 100 years, and there has been a revival of this style in the past 15 -20 years. Check out Arts and Crafts Homes website to learn more. People pay good money to create this look. Try living with it for a while and it may grow on you as you understand the history and style of your home. Ultimately working with, not fighting, the style of your house saves money and prevents expensive changes that don't look quite right because they are out of context or scale.

Personally I think it could look great just the way it is--and pretty, not too lodge--with a nice wall color and more white dishes or nice framed pictures on the wall. If you really cannot stand it after changing the wall color and so forth, consider casing out just the top portion and extending the mantal (leave original and build a cover going all the way across). Or consider painting the brick--even painting or fitting a wallpaper or fabric covered panel on the backs of the bookcases could make a difference.

Craftsman houses were designed to be earthy and to celebrate natural textures and finishes, but lots of people do paint them to make them look brighter and more cottagey. Way cheaper than tearing it out. But a total pain for the next owner who likes Craftsman to strip and restore.

Anyway, here are some pictures of the possibilities:

This woman cased out a Majolica fireplace that was valuable, but she hated, in her 1920s Mediterranean Revival, without damaging it, and she added the angled hood similar to what you have. Scoll down to see the before and after: http://www.houzz.com/discussions/287054/House-trim-color

This woman painted hers to look more cottagey (stay away from gloss paint though--looks artificial):
Ideabook: My Houzz: Scandinavian Style Inspires a Bungalow's New Look

This next picture is of a mixed brick and painted surround fireplace in a new expensive house built to look old, Partial casing could create a similar look, even with the original brick and tile. Décor is probably too traditional for you.
Connecticut Estate

This is the type of insert that might work--make sure the top arch relates the existing fireplace opening.
Living Room Fireplace

This fireplace is similar, but not as nice, as yours. The paired little windows are common in houses built about the time yours was, and frequently had the built in cabinets like you have below. The hearth is a similar color to yours. Check the outside to see if some windows were filled in.
Highland Park Custom Home Remodel

This is some of the things to consider before changing brick: Ideabook: What You Need to Know Before Painting Brick
Ideabook: How to Paint Brick Like a Pro
2 Likes   March 19, 2014 at 10:46AM
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lucidos
I believe you are talking about the hearth. The red tile can go. You could put a scrap piece of granite in onyx there with your gas conversion. I don't think you were ever considering changing the fireplace front just the pyramid? Some options below. Victoria is dead on with the style. Google craftsman/tudor fireplaces and there are 1000's of options.

Typically, the design in this type of home is very masculine. You can easily work with the elements and bring in more contemporary or feminine features.
0 Likes   March 19, 2014 at 11:21AM
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PRO
Mark Bischak, Architect
I think the fireplace looks great as it is.

If you wanted to lighten it up a little you could change the wood mantle and the shelf on top of the bookcases.
1 Like   March 19, 2014 at 2:22PM
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PRO
Distinctive Mantel Designs, Inc
drywall over brick....wonder if you could bump off that brick shelf ?
0 Likes   March 19, 2014 at 2:35PM
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pdn36
Your mantle and built-ins are absolutely beautiful! It would be such a shame to resurface the fireplace. The workmanship should be enjoyed and appreciated. Features such as this are what give a home charm and character.
5 Likes   March 19, 2014 at 3:05PM
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pdn36
And in no way does the brick scream lodge. Craftsman style tends to feel a bit masculine so add a few more white accessories to create a softer, more feminine feel.
3 Likes   March 19, 2014 at 3:09PM
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PRO
citrusquilts
Please don't remove the fireplace, esp. As its craftsman. Just paint it white, and add a large oil or acrylic painting.
1 Like   March 19, 2014 at 3:18PM
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lovebugsmom
Are you sure you want to take that out? It is beautiful. The only thing I would change is the tile on the floor.
1 Like   March 19, 2014 at 3:26PM
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PRO
Mark Bischak, Architect
I would not paint the brick.
3 Likes   March 19, 2014 at 3:26PM
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PRO
flair lighting
om gosh, dont change the brick it is awesome! if you hate it box it in but dont paint it!!!! and if you are going to rip out those doors.....send them to me! they are beautiful!
victorianbungalowranch:
"You have a Craftsman style fireplace with the original flanking bookcases with leaded glass doors. The tile work is likely original too. Please do not tear them out or reface with stone or tile. This is very high quality work in excellent condition and you will ultimately be devaluing your house by removing character features like this."
0 Likes   March 19, 2014 at 3:51PM
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PRO
Jeannie Kowing Design LLC
I am with the other Pros - don't paint it. Don't tile it. It is a unique and wonderful design. If you don't like looking at it you can preserve it under some framing going straight up to the wall (a sort of chimney) then do a batten board look over it. Please give pictures of the original to the next home owner so they can rip out the covering you put up and enjoy the original brick, the way God intended. :)
1 Like   March 19, 2014 at 4:05PM
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