Sunday, February 22, 2009

Fireplace Makeover: Number Two...

When we moved into this house back in August of 2007, we were greeted with accents of mauve throughout the house (see here for a glimpse). The house was built in 1995 and while the house is great, the previous owner's obviously had a soft spot in their hearts for this particular color.
The living room had a big, beautiful fireplace as it's main focal point with a deep mantle, a giant mirror above it and flanked by tall windows and 10' ceilings. But front and center were large mauve tiles covering the face and the hearth. I lived with it for as long as I could, but, sooner than later, it had to go. And I had to figure out a way to do it without any major demolition. The only choice was to cover it up! Hide the mauve and create a clean, contemporary facade that would blend seamlessly with the rest of the house.

We had already tackled one fireplace makeover... there was no doubt we could do it again!

Here is a picture of the fireplace in all of it's mauve glory!

And here is a picture of it before we moved in!
(sorry for the grainy picture - it was scanned from the "For Sale" flyer)

We had been given some 12" slate tiles from my best friend who had recently done a huge kitchen renovation. She didn't need the remaining 8 tiles that she had, so being resourceful I took them off her hands knowing that we could definitely use them!

The first step was to break out the tiles that were acting as the hearth of the fireplace. This was the only "demo" that was done on the entire project. It was a bit messy, but it only spans about 5 feet, so it wasn't that bad.

After the tiles and mortar had been chipped away we laid the new slate tiles. We don't have a tile saw, so my husband took 3 of the tiles to Lowe's and had them make a few cuts for us. Super easy and FREE!
We then cut and nailed a thin strip of MDF around the existing mauve tiles. This would act as a frame that we could attach our facade to. You can see in this picture the newly laid tiles and the frame going up!

We then measured and cut a sheet of 3/4" MDF to completely cover the old mauve tiles.
Oh, Happy Day!!
The fireplace wasn't even pretty yet and I already felt better in the room!

We then marked the facade for where we wanted our decorative panels to go.

We cut out squares for each corner and rectangles for the top and sides to add a decorative flair to the fireplace. The sides of the square and rectangle panels were routered with a "Roman Ogee" bit to make them look similar to all of the existing trim and wainscoting throughout the house. We added decorative strips of MDF around the base to help it tie in with our existing base boards.

We spackled all of the cut edges of the MDF so that we could ensure a clean finish!

One coat of primer and several coats of semi-gloss paint later, we were nearly finished!

I decided that the mauve tiles weren't the only thing about the fireplace that needed some help. We have a HUGE mirror above the fireplace, but it was really lacking character and it didn't feel much like an asset at all. I needed a quick, easy, and most of all cheap way to make it a real focal point.

My idea: use fence paneling to create a frame and use spray stain to give it a dark finish.
(My husband thought I was crazy - seriously, fence paneling?)

I love the rustic nature of fence paneling. And I really love that it costs $1.50 per panel! That's right...$1.50! So I bought 4 fence panels and one can of spray stain for about $10. All told my frame cost about $16.00! Nice! Even my frugal husband couldn't say "no" to that!
Here are a couple of panels propped up on the mantle before the stain and cuts were made...

And here it is "after"...

The whole project took us about a day and a half to complete.
It was SO worth it! Since we got the tiles from a friend and used MDF instead of real wood, the cost was minimal.

And the best part?
No one has to know that the mauve tiles were ever even there!
It's our little secret!


Momovthree said...

Beautiful beautiful beautiful! Not much more to say than that! You did an amazing job. Now it really fits with your style and is such a focal point in the room.

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

Beautiful fireplace redo!

janet said...

oh your fireplace makeover is amazing and i love how you kept it simple in decor but still has a wow factor.

MeganSloan said...

BEAUTIFUL! I love it! I love the fence paneling and everything. I, too, love the dark woods. And I really like them paired with the bright white color of your fireplace and surrounding pieces. Great job! ... Can you come do my fireplace now? :)

mbkatc230 said...

Love this! You did an amazing job, the panels you built blend so nicely with the rest of the room. And the slate is beautiful on the hearth. Great job. Kathy

Shelia said...

Oh, Karla! The fireplace is beautiful! You really made a big difference!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Dallin said...

So I am going to start sending you pics of things around my house I want changed...and then you are going to tell me what to do...'k...or you could move here and do it all for me:) You little Swoveland's are amazing!

DesignTies said...

What a difference, Karla! Having done a few fireplace makeovers myself, I feel totally confident in saying "Bravo; You and your husband have done a wonderful job!!"
Victoria @ DesignTies

DesignTies said...

Love it!!! You and your hubby did a fantastic job!! And way to think outside the box for the mirror frame :-)

Kelly @ DesignTies

Kelly said...

WOW. Amazing. Beautiful! The fireplace and mirror look amazing, and I love your wall color!

Chandy said...

Gorgeous fireplace! I love that mirror!

Carolyn of What Now? Tablescapes (newbie)

~CC Catherine said...

Karla, What a tremendous example of how you can birth new life into a focal point in the room! The mantel/fireplace to me is always critical in my rooms. This is a super makeover and one extremely WELL DONE! I love the color of your room as well! ;) I'm featuring two rooms today on my Meta Monday, one is a mirrored wall which I loved doing. Take care....and stop over for a visit and a cup of virtual tea soon! ;) ~CC Catherine from "Catherine de th`e Cups"

Linda said...

That is a great fireplace redo. You have inspired me because I hate our 30 year old tile surround. So pretty what you have done. Linda

Angie Lessard said...

Wow, what a beautiful make-over! I love it. Thanks for showing step by step, also. We have a fireplace that intimidates me, so this helped so much. Especially knowing you did it in such short time!!! Really nice!

Maybe my fireplace will be on Susan's MM one day! Thanks for stopping by my blog and the kind words, too!

Have a great week!

Scribbler said...

You all did a wonderful refacing -- I think that this is far easier than ripping out a fireplace and starting over. Having done a few myself, I can honestly say that yours looks very professional.


xinex said...

Love it! It's gorgeous!...Christine

Sherri S said...

Awesome makeover! WOW! That is amazing that it took a little over a day and it looks fabulous. I love it.

Kathy's Red Door Welcome said...

Who would think that you could do all that in a day and a half. It's gorgeous. You must be so proud. This if my first met monday and it's really been fun to see so many creative projects.

Chloe's Couture said...

Wow! You have done so much since the "before" picture you scanned! The fireplace is so lovely!

Kara said...

Stunning and frugal-you are amazing! I'm so glad I found your blog!

jan said...

I love that soft color of blue on your walls. What is it? We will be moving soon enough and I have already cut out magazine clippings of what I want and that is the blue I found, but no info. on it. You've got great taste! I use to live in Portland and miss Miller Paints the Divine Paint. It went on like custard!

Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish said...

Love it! That is amazing and it looks great! The before picture was a lil scary - mauve tiles!!

Remodelaholic said...

Love this, I just hopped over from a party and have been snooping through your great transformations. I feature great design projects on my blog I would love to feature this if you are interested, let me know.


frontporchsanctuary said...

Clicked over from Remodelaholic - I'm *so* glad I saw this...especially the last pic...we're currently house hunting older homes (like 1920-1950s) and many that we've seen have had fireplace "updates" that are just awful. I wouldn't have known how simple it was to create something like this - and I wouldn't have guessed that MDF could be used with a working fireplace. It's rarely hot enough in our state for an actual fire in the fire place, LOL, but it's cool to know that this is a project doable enough for me to tackle. Thanks!