Nine Lives of a Fireplace


The Hearth Room Fireplace is really cool. It has some lovely shapes and architecture. It also has gas logs, and during the Winter, we use it nearly every weekend morning, as well as many evenings. It has gone through multiple transformations in three short years.

This is the Fireplace before we moved in, during the initial cleaning. My mother, always prepared, has her water bottles lined up as she took on the cleaning of this room, which includes the kitchen. (I'll have to ask her to guest blog about that adventure one day soon!) Also, notice that the floors have not been redone yet. One thing you can't see is that the metal trim around the fireplace glass was painted with fleck stone paint over brass and it was flaking off in huge chunks.

Here, the floors have been redone, but we haven't moved in. (Wow! I almost forgot how many nights and weekends we spent at the house prior to the move. We got the house on August 15th, and moved in on November 28th.) Notice the light above the fireplace. It was supposed to point to the fireplace, shining light on it, but my mom broke it cleaning it! That still makes me laugh. At this time I had also taken the glass doors off, scraped off the fleck stone and repainted with high heat black paint--like you would use for a BBQ grill.

Next, we decide to paint the wall and the trim around the fireplace. The mantle was enameled wood, but, aside from the tile, everything else was wall. I sanded the mantle, primed everything and then painted it all Bulldog Black. I struggled with whether or not I should paint the baseboard and crown moldings black, or leave them white. In the first go round, I left them white, knowing I could always paint them later. We also replaced the floor's plain vent covers with some decorative and sturdier ones from Lowe's.

When we redid the kitchen and added the Bar/Entertainment Center, we also had the fireplace re tiled. We used 1x1 polished Emperador Dark tile, which matches the mosaic work behind the cook top. The polished catches the light in the most interesting ways--so sparkly! I also went back and did the baseboards and the crown in black...MUCH better.

We chose to have the floor tile replaced with hardwood. (Not a big deal, as we had moved the appliances, which caused some necessary repatching in the kitchen proper.) ***UPDATE*** The decision to put the wood in on the diagonal was RYAN'S! Thanks, mom! the Hardwood Floor Guys did an excellent job executing, but the idea goes to Ryan***Our Hardwood Floor Guys suggested putting the wood in at a diagonal into the already existing square surround. This simple change also makes the space feel bigger. When pushing your chair out from the table, you don't 'bump' onto the tile, but the hearth is still implied.

We replaced the white wood blinds with 2" stained wood that matches some of our kitchen cabinets from and purchased and hung a different light over the table. We discussed moving the box to center it, but ultimately decided that swagging the chain was acceptable. (I don't even notice it any more.)

We thought we were done. Then summer came.

The rear of our house faces Southwest and during the hot summer months, the sun came BLARING through the transoms, especially that one over the door to the deck. We tried heat film on it, which did help, but the kitchen could be as much as 10 degrees warmer than the rest of the house during the evening.

So, as much as I hated to cover up the windows, we purchased another set of blinds. After hanging them, you could immediately feel the difference. And I am pleased with the way they look.

Now, I just need some curtains, and this one room might actually be done. GASP!! However, that will be a very long time, as I have NO idea what kind of curtains would look good here. Any thoughts would be appreciated!

Linked to Metamorphosis Monday @betweennapsontheporch


  1. If my memory serves me right, it was your husband's idea to turn the wood for the hearth the way it is. I think my smart son-in-law should get the credit.
    Your Mother

  2. That looks great. I have been wanting to redo my fireplace too! I love the tile.