Sunday, October 12, 2014

Budget Fireplace Makeover

When Justin and I first bought our house, one of the aspects we loved about it was that there is a wood burning fireplace!  HOWEVER... it looked like this:

-Dark brick color (same as the exterior of our home) makes the room feel darker.
-Hearth and mantel are dirty cement... there is nothing appealing about it!
-One side is against a wall and it is off to the side of the entire room!
-The track lighting is ugly...!

-It functions!  That's always a good thing!
-It doesn't look completely terrible... I knew I could work with it :)

So before Justin and I moved in we had some MAJOR paint parties... like literally paint every room, ceiling, baseboard, door frame, etc. kinda parties...!  I remember we decided to start tackling this project around MIDNIGHT one winter evening (we are nuts) and immediately regretted that decision.  After cleaning the bricks, we started with a couple coats of Olympic Masonry Block Filler.  It's a primer for fireplaces that helps fill in the tiny cracks and pores in the brick and mortar.  It is amazing and totally frustrating how much paint the brick absorbs.  You really have to slop it on to fill in everything!  We then used one of my favorite paint colors, Swiss Coffee by Behr.  It's a really creamy white that gives warmth to the space.

After a couple coats of paint, the fireplace looked like this: 
Big difference... but I still HATE the cement hearth and mantel and I still cringe when I look at this picture!  I'll show you a closer look at how gross this cement really is:
YIKES!  It has looked like that since about January 2012...

I've had very grand plans for this fireplace... like a complete overhaul... (as you can see my drawings on the left-hand side of the above picture) however, I want to make sure it would coordinate with other future plans I have for our wet-bar and kitchen... so I will just hold on to those ideas for now :) and keep saving.

I finally painted the hearth and mantel a couple months ago (not sure why I didn't paint it from the beginning!?)  Here is what it looks like today:
Picture - Goodwill | Candle Holders - TJ Maxx CLEARANCE! | Basket - Marshall's | Blue Throw - Target
Big improvement but it still needs work!  I did a rendering of what I would like to add in the near future:
Okay so lets start with the big piece... a new mantel.  I would love to remove the cement piece and get a nice piece of reclaimed wood.  Wouldn't that be lovely?

Next I would like to refinish or re-frame my Goodwill art-piece.  The current wood frame is a yucky cherry stain that just isn't my cup of tea.  I'm thinking something more natural looking.

I'd also love to add a beautiful pair of blue and white Chinese porcelain vases.  This pair runs a mere $460... so I think I'll keep looking.  It's hard to find pairs for a reasonable price!

On the hearth, I would love to add a Boston fern to the opening of the fireplace.  I am considering an artificial one, since it will get very little natural light.  I haven't seen any nice ones in person, but I figured since no one will be close to the plant, it might not be too noticeable?  We shall see!

I already ordered the adorable striped copper candles for my candle sticks.  I can't wait to see how they look in person.

So that's all I have for now.  I'm sure I will totally change the decor once we start using our fireplace this winter... but I'm liking this much more than the sparse look I had a few months back.

What do you guys think?  I'd love to hear from you :)

Happy Sunday and GO CARDS! (we will be cheering at the game tonight!!)

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