Mini Fireplace Makeover

June 7, 2013 · 16 comments

When we first moved to this house our fireplace was a hole in the wall which had previously housed a boiler and had just been boarded and papered over so it looked neat.  In fact in the early days it was so boring I shoved a mirror over it, and made this the dining room.  I can’t find any photos of it just as it was, this is as close as it gets.

mirror

Then eventually we realised this room was bigger than our lounge, which did back onto the garden but was tiny. So why were we using a small room, when we had a massive free room and a mad toddler running around?  Time to swap rooms!

This became the lounge, along with the dull fireplace.  Now to get the fireplace re-instated it was going to cost about 2k+ (re-build and brick it, hearth, re-plaster etc) which as much as I like a nice fire, frankly not enough to spend that amount of money  on it. Especially when Miss L was little and money was tight, you know a few candles in there can make you feel warm and cosy.

Not long after we moved rooms we were browsing in B&Q one day, where I spotted a fireplace surround…pine. It was nothing amazing but it WAS somewhere I could put candles and christmas cards and a few fairy lights.  And the cost? A whole £13, yes that’s right £13. Done deal!

However we are now eight years down the line, and once again I was growing bored with the fireplace. The rooms needs a re-paint because of the rewire and we’ve changed the sofa’s from beige to a sexy dark grey and the fireplace was looking well, a bit blah and dull.  Time to get my paint brush out!

photo 1

I initially bought a Habitat paint tester pot in black to paint it with and although you can’t really see it in the photos, it came out a weird blue/black and insanely shiny….blurgh! I lived with it for two weeks and it was just annoying me every time I looked at it.

fireplace2

However I was in my local hardware shop on Thursday and they have the full range of Farrow and Ball testers.  So I grabbed a ‘Off-Black’ tester post and repainted the fireplace last night. It’s came out MUCH better and it a grey/black and matt which is what I was originally thinking of and not shiny, shiny. All in all I spent about £6 on testers. I don’t think the brown beading quite works so I might paint over it?  But I’ll live with it for a couple of weeks and see how I feel.

photo 3

I’m really pleased with it and now I’m trying to decide what to do with the surround? A sharper white? Pale grey?  What do you guys think?

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Jean June 7, 2013 at 4:31 pm

Very nice, I love the way making small changes to a room can have a big impact. I’m not sure about the surround, it would depend on whether you had other similar colours in the room. I quite like it white, maybe just refresh it?
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Liz June 7, 2013 at 6:45 pm

To be honest the whole room needs repainting it’s a weird cream/white that doesn’t go with anything in the room anymore. So I think a white refresh of the fireplace would looks fab too :)
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The Fool June 7, 2013 at 8:07 pm

There is something so nice about having a fireplace, even one that isn’t used. I like the idea of painting it brighter white personally. Maybe with a grey tone on the walls?
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Anya from Older Single Mum and The Healer June 7, 2013 at 10:10 pm

I love more drama- perhaps one of those marble paint effects?
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Marianne June 8, 2013 at 4:43 am

The fireplace already looks much better. Using light grey on the wall and white on the surround would look lovely. I am really into grey since we did our new bathroom.
Have a nice weekend!
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Debs June 8, 2013 at 11:24 am

Looks great , like the step by step pics , I love fireplaces , and think they really make a room, we have flowers & candles in the 2 upstairs ….old pots in the dining room one and the front room ….well thats a real open fire ! We bought 2 new fire surrounds in Rye , which were gorgeous, but found the other 2 on skips :) and like you did a quick makeover …..perfect …

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Amanda June 8, 2013 at 11:57 am

I think it’s great. Love the lamp too. I revamped mine last year, by just changing what was on the shelf and fireplace. I collected lots of vintage glass candlesticks. I love it now :)
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Carina June 8, 2013 at 1:11 pm

Looks grate (get it?!), although I don’t need any more drama in my life ;) I love any excuse to get some new paint and change the decor (as you can tell from doing my website!) x

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Mum in Meltdown June 8, 2013 at 1:16 pm

A little paint can go a long way!!! It’s nice not to break the bank when we want to freshen up an area, it looks great now and I think a pale slate grey would be a fab contrast! We have just papered our chimney breast and wall at our sofa for a ‘feature wall’ and it makes such a difference without a huge costly makeover! :)
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Jen June 25, 2013 at 8:54 am

I love it with the black, definitely adds more drama! I’d go for a pale grey on the surround tbh, but everyone has different ideas and tastes and only you can know what will look good with the rest of the room. I’m a fan of F&B’s Elephant’s Breath – mainly because of the name!!
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Liz June 26, 2013 at 7:50 am

You know what I’ve never used Elephant’s Breath, which I agree is an awesome name! I have another pale grey from F&B at the moment, maybe I’ll use that? Thanks Jen x

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Mari June 25, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Love this idea, I have a horrible brown surround at the moment but painted I think it would have a new lease of life. I must look into what and how ;)
Thanks for the inspiration
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Liz June 26, 2013 at 7:48 am

Seriously give it a go, it’s only the cost of a tester pot! Would love to see it when it’s done x

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Lesley June 30, 2013 at 7:37 am

Paint it Downpipe – Farrow and Ball. Will be stunning.

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Liz July 1, 2013 at 10:06 am

Thanks Lesley! You’re tempting me :)

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