Living Room Ideas: A Fireplace Makeover?

I have kind of a crazy idea.

Fireplace Faux Wood Stack Screen :

Redoing the face of this fireplace has been on our todo list since the beginning, but we’ve found bigger and more urgent projects to tackle over the past five and a half years so this guy has been on the ‘wouldn’t it be nice’ list for a while.

Before Shots of Our Home |

I added a very basic wood box mantel (basically a plywood box) three years ago and the wood stack facade last spring. The sunburst mirror was a diy project from about the same time.

We’ve thought about tearing out the brick (which is not original) to see if there might be a beautiful Spanish fireplace hiding underneath. But we’ve come to grips that, when torn off, the plaster holding the brick together will surely tear out any decorative stucco below.


So my new thought is to box the fireplace in with dry wall and tile it. Embrace the square shape and use it as the foundation for a brand new look.

The first little redo inspiration seed was planted when I was watching Secrets From a Stylist, season 1 (what happened to that wonderful show?) when Emily takes on a Spanish home and includes a fireplace makeover. I couldn’t find a straight on pic (and the ochre is not my favorite room color-wise), but that herringbone pattern totally knocked my socks off.

A Mantel Makeover? Ideas |

Two years later and ideas for the fireplace rise again when I spot a very beautiful marble makeover by Molly Wood in December 2013’s Better Homes & Gardens (I have also since subconsciously purchased a couple of those really cool gold wiry stars for our mantel only to come back to this picture and get why I was drawn to them).

A Mantel Makeover? Ideas | Molly Woods Fireplace, BHG |

How cool is that whole fireplace? The white/grey, the warm wood, the natural accents (even though it’s decorated for the holidays in the above).

So I’ve been playing around mixing those various elements with some quick photoshop mockups…

A Mantel Makeover? Ideas |

A marble herringbone tile with a grey quartz base (we have a chunk left over from our kitchen counters)? A new warmer wooden mantel?

A Mantel Makeover? Ideas |

I’m thinking that a marble slab may be out of the ballpark, but maybe a lighter grey quartz? Or perhaps we could find a stone yard remnant…

I don’t know though. The scale of the tile feels too small and the color too cool. Perhaps a lighter marble is out there (already on sheets) waiting to be discovered.

Or or or, how about white ceramic.

A Mantel Makeover? Ideas |

I love that.

Am I crazy for thinking chevron/herringbone here? Should we tear down the brick to see what’s really left of the original fireplace? Not touch it at all? Consider plastering it over (to look and feel more like a Spanish fireplace) or a different tile pattern altogether?

I’m so inspired and ready to go on this, but I also know that these ideas need to simmer a bit. Something else amazing might pop up instead.

PS a lighter marble fireplace inset (would be great if I could find that shade in herringbone sheets). More living room renovation posts here.

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  1. Judy Cox says

    Love the herringbone. Arts and Crafts reference to a tree. I loved Molly’s fireplace too and emailed her to learn more about the materials. On a good computor you can see the hearth is marble but the surround is actually a limestone that has some wood smoke on it. This is all about the wood. In a high resolution pic the wood is absolutely gorgeous with lots of beautiful variation. I sourced a western walnut and used limestone. It came out great!

  2. says

    I like the varied shades in the marble with the solid hearth. Maybe you could paint the brick a sort of faux marble on the surround, with a gray grout, then paint the hearth bricks a solid gray, just to get a visual of what the marble would look like in your space. That would help decide between a darker or lighter hearth. Maybe not for you, but I just get a better feel for something if I have an actual in the space visual rather than a virtual. Kind of like painting swatches on the wall.

  3. says

    I like it how it is too but I do like the addition of the lighter, warmer wood. Although, white ceramic is pretty amazing too!

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