Instead of trying to mask the space with paint and bad paneling, emphasize its best features to make it the centerpiece of the room.
by David E. Benner
For many people the old painted brick hearth and fireplace surround seem to be a solid and unchanging monument whose late sixties roots are forever on display. Not only is the fireplace usually lacking current design characteristics, but it is more than likely dominating one of the most important rooms in the house. Brick and mortar are, as we have learned from the three pigs, very strong and not easily disturbed. We can, however, take control of the painted brick with little or no need to tear into it.
A well-executed fireplace surround, hearth and mantle can bring an average room to life. Instead of trying to mask the space with paint and bad paneling, emphasize its best features to make it the centerpiece of the room. New cladding over the brick, a beautiful new mantel flanked by fully-functioning built-ins and strategically placed li! ghting are all cost-effective strategies that can bring drama to your living space.
The possibilities for revitalizing your fireplace hearth and surround are seemingly endless. Natural stone tile, quarried natural stone and simulated stone are just a few product-examples that can add color and texture to design applications. Framing the new veneer with built-ins and a strong mantel piece will give the fireplace wall new life. As a final layer, new light sources can be placed to bring even more attention to the newly highlighted space.
You needn’t be afraid of the brick and panels any longer. Take on the monolith in the room and welcome it into your home.