Monday, July 23, 2007

Our Fireplace Remodel

Fireplace After RemodelThose of you who followed our kitchen remodel will be amused to hear that I’ve learned an interesting side effect of household renovations: as soon as you improve one aspect of your home all others look shabby by comparison. Our kitchen was no sooner done than we looked at our fireplace--which could only be described as a monolithic tribute to the 1970s—and knew it had to go.

So we started into the whole process again. We ripped out the rock wall, the mammoth oak mantel, the rock-and-tile hearth and even the fireplace itself and installed one of those newfangled gas fireplaces. Moore Heating ran the gas line and installed the fireplace then Artistic Finish did the finish work including our funky new custom maple mantel.

You can't see it well in the picture but the mantel is six feet wide and projects outward ten inches in an ellipsis.

Fireplace Before RemodelNow we have flames with the flip of a switch and a way to keep alive should the power ever go out (which isn’t uncommon in the winter here). The granite tiles match our kitchen countertops and the maple mantel matches our cabinets. The only question is: what should I put above it?

The picture shows the mirror I had above the old fireplace but it's too silver and too rectangular. I need something round to go with the curve of the mantel and I need something with a punch of color. I’ve got lots of pictures up elsewhere (no more pictures) and don’t want to spend the money on an expensive print and custom framing job. What would be fun is something that uses the Sundried Tomato color from the nearby kitchen but is dramatic and different. Any ideas?

An oval mirror with a contemporary frame in red is the only thing I can come up with and it would be hard to find. Maybe a grouping of some kind? No, that wouldn't look good, I have the picture grouping to the left of the fireplace already, just out of frame of the picture. Maybe a red wreath of some kind? Or would that look too much like Christmas to leave up year round? I need your advice on this one. Candice Olson where are you when I need you??

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27 comments:

Caffienated Cowgirl said...

Hmmm...well, you could always find a cheaper, unfinished oval mirror and do some custom painting...maybe with a sponged effect over the sundried tomato color. Or you could make an arrangement of some kind in a large/tall vase for the center. Regardless...it's a fantastic fireplace!

Loralee Choate said...

I actually love it when things are not in frames. One of my favorite things on my wall is an unframed abstract that an artist friend gave me.

What about something like this

~JJ! said...

Wow. That's gorgeous...

Maybe some red glass bottles (different sizes, opacity and hues of red) arranged on the mantle?

I love the idea of a red-framed mirror...

Gorgeous.

dcrmom said...

LOVE the new fireplace. Very mod. Sorry, no brilliant suggestions for the wall above. I'll be interested to see what you come up with.

G's Cottage said...

It is lovely. But I have a question. You stated two things "Now we have flames with the flip of a switch and a way to keep alive should the power ever go out..." that don't seem to go together. Does it come with a manual ignition system?

Mel said...

It looks great Michelle. Mom & I love it.

Dad

Daisy said...

My recommendation is very general. Keep it simple. If the area above the fireplace is simple, you can change the mantle with each season.

Wacky Mommy said...

No ideas to share, but I've gotten some ideas since I've been here! And yes, I know what you mean about the "shabby by comparison" thing, sad to say.

chelle said...

Wow the remodel looks great!

PunditMom said...

That's beautiful. We've been draggin our feet on ther fireplace remodel, but I am newly inspired!

kailani said...

Love the new lighted mantle. Perfect for displaying photos!

Melissa R. Garrett said...

Oh, I like it! But seriously, the last thing you want is my advice on decorating. Considering I barely wear clothes that match, you can imagine how my house looks. Okay, so it's really not that bad.

I think I might leave the wall untouched and put some large, uniquely Alaskan artifacts on the mantle.

Corrie said...

How contemporary are we talking?

This may be too squarish and whimsical
http://tinyurl.com/36wyyf

Have you thought of a large clock?

Sandy said...

Beautiful!

How about a wrought/iron or silver candle holder like the ones you see at Party Lite parties (do you have those up in Alaska?)

The splash of color could come from the candles, plus you could change it out whenever...just a thought.

Christie O. said...

oh that's a beautiful new fireplace! funny thing is, looking at the picture of your old one, i thought somehow you snuck into my livingroom and took a picture of mine. we are fireplace twins! (well, we used to be.) anyway, looks great. some red would look great above the fireplace. for "ours" i did a giant oil painting with some really beautiful red flowers in it. a gorgeous flower arrangement would work too with some red flowers.and maybe some candlesticks.

Amber said...

This is why we flew Jamie's interior design sister out to decorate our home. I can buy the cute stuff but it takes real talent to display it.

P.S. VERY cool fireplace!

JaniceNW said...

What a fabulous makeover! What are you remodel next(tongue in cheek)?

Beckie said...

Isn't that the truth - you finish one room and the next room looks....bad.

Anonymous said...

WOW!! You have been busy. Very classy. I would extend the eye to the area beside the fireplace (planter,big Pier One stuff). I second the suggestion of an oval mirror with silver/red in the frame and changeable mantle "chatchkies" (sp?)repeating the red. Can you spell M-u-r-a-n-o? MOMM

Val said...

I thought the mirror was a plasma T.V.!

Mama Luxe said...

I'm a big fan right now of oil drum art:

http://www.indigoarts.com/gallery_haiti_varsculptor.html

These aren’t red, but if you get something similar (metal and sculptural) that has a reddish rust patina on it, would that work for you?

There's lots of great metal art out there.

Plenty of scrollwork if you want something more traditional.

Also, how about wood art? You could get something with a nice, deep red finish.

I would think you could find something with a local flair up where you are!

The material would give it a traditional feel, but it could be modern in style...a nice blend!

I couldn't find what I was looking for online, but I've seen TONS of it at crafts fairs in every size and style imaginable.

Also, Here's an overstock.com decor art link:

http://www.overstock.com/Worldstock/Wall-Decor/2058/cat.html

my4kids said...

The new fireplace and mantel look great. I do love the older mantles with the stone and such though as well.

JAM said...

That's really spiffy looking. I liked the old version, but the new one is sleek and stylish. You'll have to place an M&M pooping moose on the mantle there.

I've noticed on lots of those tv shows where they make over a room or redecorate, that the big flat tv goes above the fireplace now. I guess it's "in" but it seems to me too many major focal points together for my taste.

Alexandra said...

That's a difficult spot...I'd go with something oblong(widish), or even contemporary like an amoeba shape. Something asymetric.

If you got with oblong, I bet it would look nice with something busy around the edges for interest.

Also, maybe frame the fire place with tiles?

ciara said...

i think some pop of red accessories on the mantle instead of above the mantel would be nice. i'd keep the mirror simple.

Photo Frames said...

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Dave said...

Love the new fireplace, could do with some nice glass candles on the top though.