Isn’t this a dramatic fireplace re-do? To tell the truth, these clients hadn’t thought about re-doing their fireplace because they never really used it much….they never really saw how it was dragging the beauty of their room down. So, as we were remodeling their kitchen and replacing all of the flooring in the living areas and the flooring ran into the fireplace hearth, it became a great opportunity to dramatically change the look and feel of the entire living space.
Once the fireplace became part of the scope of work, I wanted to really change it up. Although the client’s home style is clean and modern and has a few Art Deco components, the existing fireplace was dark, ugly marble and old-fashioned brass. Another thing I noticed was that the firebox was not centered in the surround and there was a window on the adjacent wall that was just too close, making it all feel very crowded … like the window or the fireplace was just an afterthought.
Because the ceilings aren’t tall, I knew taking the fireplace surround up to the ceiling would give the illusion of more height. We also sliced off 4″ of the wall and surround on the right in order to properly center the firebox, thus giving the window more space on the adjoining wall. Then we removed the brass doors, painted the firebox black inside and out, and made the conversion to allow a more contemporary “fire & ice” presentation. Last, we built up the hearth at the bottom of the firebox to balance the height and to allow seating on colder days.
Above the firebox and up to the ceiling, we used huge 13″ x 40″ porcelain tiles, stacked to the ceiling, without any visible grout lines. These gorgeous tiles have a subtle horizontal “grain” in a soft, creamy metallic finish, which looks very rich and interesting. On the hearth and to the left and right of the 40″ wide tiles, we used a softly veined, creamy Silestone solid-surface manufactured quartz material. Using the solid-surface material floor-to-ceiling and wrapping the depth-wall on the right gives the fireplace a very dramatic and vertical presence, while the soft color palette keeps it from overwhelming the space.
The result here is a fireplace that is now the focal point of the living area (well, except for the killer ocean view outside!). It is all at once rich, subtle and dramatic….and the contemporary, clean lines relate better to the home’s modern style. Although the homeowners didn’t consider a fireplace re-do in the original scope of work, they are thrilled with the results and are actually now using the fireplace!
Lesson for you: Just because you don’t currently use your fireplace and as a result don’t really “see” it anymore, take another look at the space to determine if you might want to give it new life…. to either re-do the facade (and firebox if need be) so you WILL use it, or to remove the entire thing and do something more beautiful and useful for YOU and how you live.