Are you ready to update your fireplace? If so, I've got 3 tips to share with you, along with a couple of photos from a recent project. Above is the "before" fireplace photo. My clients wanted to put the flat screen tv above the mantel and bring a more transitional style in the room.
Here's what we did:
It's like someone turned on the lights!
Tip #1 - create more visual space on the fireplace wall. We did it by pulling the new custom window treatments over to the side. This gives a more open feeling.
Tip #2 - use a new material. In this case, we tore the whole sheetrock, brick and wood face down and rebuilt it with stacked travertine. The stone wraps to the wall, creating 3" sides so it doesn't look flat. The mason had to replace the old sheetrock with Durock cement board, but that's standard when working with heavy tile. The hearth floor got a sturdy porcelain tile. Looks fabulous!
Tip #3 - Consider using a nice chunky board from the lumberyard as your mantel. This piece of poplar, stained a walnut color by our crackerjack carpenter, is less rustic, more refined than a reclaimed beam. He also created what I'll call a backsplash with the poplar because we made the whole shebang a little lower than the old fireplace. With 9' ceilings, we needed more breathing space for the TV. I think the sound bar (sitting in the center of the mantel) looks better in front of wood rather than a painted sheetrock wall.
Tip #4 - this isn't really a tip, it's a thought. I understand the desire to get rid of entertainment centers, so the TV has to go somewhere--often it's above the fireplace. But look how pretty the room is with a piece of artwork on the wall! This is "Misty No. 1" by the talented Michelle Woolley Sauter of One Coast Design. I photoshopped it in, with her permission. I love the frameless style.
Take a look at where the TV used to reside in the room:
This was a perfectly nice custom built entertainment center, about 16 years old. Isn't it amazing how things have changed over those years? It's hard to keep up with everything about TV's, including how to install them!
To recap - visually lighten the space, change out your hearth material and use a chunky piece of wood as a mantel. Then light that fire and enjoy!