Before and After: Fireplaces
If your fireplace is in need of a facelift, find inspiration to get started from these remarkable makeovers, complete with new mantels, fabulous surrounds, and cozy hearths.
Everything In This Slideshow
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Before: Pretty Basic
A dated brass screen and a ho-hum surround left this fireplace looking dull and uninspiring.
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After: Classically Fresh
Paneled walls and a marble fireplace surround set a classic tone in the living room, but graphic fabrics -- including zebra-print bolsters on the slipper chairs -- keep the look fresh. A two-sided insert means the fireplace can now be enjoyed in the living room and family room.
See how a few simple but important changes completely transformed a dull and dated fireplace.
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Before: Blank Canvas
In a cottage that had fallen into disrepair, a fireplace makeover was on this living room's remodeling to-do list.
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After: Charmingly Eclectic
Fresh white paint and a new tile hearth refreshed the fireplace in this living room's makeover. The fireplace hosts a revolving collection of art prints and antiques store finds. A nonworking fireplace's hearth is a great place to splurge on tile that would be too costly for a larger installation.
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Before: Empty Space
With no mantel and a lackluster surround, this fireplace needed some attention, and the walls next to the fireplace were begging for a purpose.
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After: Storage Central
The walls around the fireplace were given purpose as much-needed storage space. New bookshelves provide opportunities to display collectibles and other decorative items. Cabinets below the shelves' built-in niches offer hideaway space for personal items.
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Before: Dark and EmptyShop decor finds under $25 now!
This living room was stuck in the 1950s with its yellowed plywood panel-lined walls. The combination of the outdated walls, the dark wood floors, and the burnt red brick fireplace made this space dark and uninviting.
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After: Bright and Open
The fireplace was spiced up with a new facade of faux stacked limestone. The material is ideal for an affordable fireplace revamp because it looks and feels like real stone but is less expensive, and because it's lightweight, it requires no additional floor support. The wall-length limestone fireplace complements the modern vibe and design of the room.
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After: Open Quarters
The homeowners removed the stones on the surround and added sleek, white pillars. Theses pillars transform the fireplace into an elegant focal point for the room and help the fireplace stand out in front of the shelves. This gives emphasis to the fireplace instead of the shelving. The white color adds to the coastal theme of the room, which was chosen to help play up the ocean view from this family room.
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After: Roomy and Darling
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After: A Gathering SpaceShop living room furniture on sale now!
A crisp, white paint job for the fireplace against a rustic wall clad with salvaged wood made the fireplace pop out. Gray and green tiling on the surround adds a wonderful accent color to the natural color scheme of the design and helps unite it with the pillows and rugs used in the room.
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After: Bold and Beautiful
A fresh coat of black paint on the wood mantel brought focus to the fireplace. The black and stone combination gives the fireplace an upscale look and feel. Two chairs flanking the fireplace sets up a cozy seating area that's perfect for a two-person conversation or a date with a cup of tea and a good book.
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Before: Unfinished Attic
This big, bright attic space was unfinished but filled with unlimited possibilities. When the homeowners decided to finish the room, they thought installing a fireplace between the two large windows would be a perfect addition to the room.
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After: Bright Family Room
The finished attic-turned-family room is bright and cheery. The colorful tile on the fireplace surround provides the main source of color in the room. By using tile with fun square patterns, the fireplace gets a young, fun vibe that is perfect for a kid's hangout, but the earthy green and orange palette adds a level of sophistication that makes the space adult-friendly, as well.
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After: Modern Fireplace
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After: Beautifully Complete
After cleaning up and renovating the entire room, the fireplace was restored to a stunning feature in this space. Using a distressed finish on the wooden fireplace, the damaged areas of the surround ended up being unique details for the beautiful design. The fireplace's style complements the rest of the space, which includes exposed wooden ceiling rafters and rustic doors and shelves.
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After: Sweet and Simple Fireplace
A few tweaks were all the fireplace needed to become a beautiful element in the room. The makeover was as simple as adding sleek, stone tiles on the surround of the fireplace and adding a few accessories to the mantel. The smooth stone pops against the white walls and molding because of the stark difference in texture and color between the two elements. Now that the fireplace is beautiful and appealing, the furniture surrounding it creates a cozy area to gather with family and friends.
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After: Light and Lively
Painting the brick facade white started the process of bringing this fireplace back to life. A wood surround enhances the look. Classic-lined built-ins integrate the fireplace, bookshelves, and an entertainment unit. The surround, built-ins, and walls were also painted white to brighten the room and layer on the cottage charm.
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Before: Muddled Media Room
With its poor design, bad acoustics, and lack of storage, this media room was more dysfunctional than family-friendly.
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After: Media Room Makeover
The much-needed makeover consisted of adding a curved ceiling to balance the room and improve acoustics and relocating the fireplace to be the focal point of the room. Custom-built cabinetry flanks the fireplace, keeping media equipment organized and out of sight. Sandstone adorns the surround and blends beautifully with the built-in cabinets. The new fireplace can now be seen from the adjacent dining and living room.
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Before: Lowly Lower Lever
A huge, ugly brick hearth and a rarely used wood-burning stove cast a dark, dreary presence over this lower level. This unattractive area -- along with dated wood paneling and cement flooring -- restricted the basement to a storage space rather than a living space.
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After: Lovely Lower Level
In order to create a better, brighter basement, the wood-burning stove gave way to an efficient gas fireplace. Plaster was applied to the brick wall and painted white. A limestone hearth and rustic wooden mantel complete the transformation. The new fireplace warms the room while providing a sweet, subtle focal point.
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Before: Boring Brick
Nestled between large, long windows and lacking a mantel, this brick fireplace struggled to stand out.
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After: Serene Stone
The new honed-marble fireplace provides subtle elegance to the living room. The tone and texture of marble was carefully selected to match bamboo flooring, natural stone, and maple built-ins seen throughout the home. This repetition of color and clean-lined materials gives the home a consistent, peaceful flow.
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Before: Stuck in the '80s
In a home filled with vintage character, this fireplace was lost and out of place. The mirrored wall above and the brass fireplace look like they belonged in the 1980s. Also, a long oak shelf gave the area a low-slung, horizontal look.
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After: Vintage AppealShop dining room furniture now!
The fresh fireplace area -- complete with built-in bookcases, trim, and an arched soffit -- give the room a been-there-forever look and feel to match the rest of the home. The old wood-burning fireplace was replaced with a convenient, energy-saving gas unit. Simple decorative moldings create the stately mantel and surround.
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Before: Dark and Dominating
This rustic faux-stone fireplace was undoubtedly handsome. However, it was completely out of scale with the room because it towered uninterrupted from the floor to the ceiling.
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After: Light and Cheerful
Instead of replacing the massive fireplace, the concrete stones were professionally cleaned and etched to lighten the color. With the lighter facade, the fireplace no longer dominates the room but instead sets the tone for a more cheerful family room. A wood mantel -- fashioned from an old decorative ceiling beam -- provides the perfect accent for the rustic surround.
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After: Simple yet Chic
The updated living room features clean, contemporary style. Because the fireplace and mantel were in good condition, all they needed was a fresh coat of white paint to blend with the style of the room. The brick on the fireplace provides subtle texture to the otherwise white room and furnishings.
Expert Tip: The easiest (and most inexpensive) way to revive a boring brick fireplace is with paint.
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Before: Dreary Facade
Dark red brick, a black-screen firebox, and flanking wood shelves gave this fireplace a dark, dated appearance.
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After: Fresh FacadeShop our favorite rugs now!
A fresh coat of white paint on the shelves and a coat of subtle beige for the bricks lend this facade fresh, cottage appeal. The former uninspired mantel was replaced with a shapely full-surround composed of crown molding and fluted pilasters. Crackle-finish shutters make for a charming new screen. The flanking shelves also received crown molding and new doors, and the bottom shelves were converted into charming storage benches.
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Before: Uninspiring Space
This boring, brand-new family room and fireplace had no built-ins, mantels, or interesting textures to give the room character. As a result, the room felt cold and unfriendly.
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After: Full of Character
A new family-friendly character was achieved with warm tones, texture, and built-ins. The Craftsman-style custom hand-fired ceramic tile and squared-off concrete slab hearth for sitting lend much-needed texture, color, and character to the fireplace. Built-in cabinetry -- also made from maple with a dark walnut stain -- flanks the fireplace, housing media equipment, games, fireplace accessories, and more.
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Before: Basic, Boring Design
This square living room and uninspired fireplace lacked architectural interest and design pizzazz.
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After: Charming, Classic Design
The now-striking fireplace surround boasts beautifully carved, white-painted moldings that frame the dark-painted fireplace bricks. The fireplace, perfectly proportioned crown moldings, white oak flooring, and a fresh, calming color palette fill the living room with charming, Cape Cod style.
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Before: Lackluster Performance
With no mantel, texture, and too small scale, this fireplace doesn't command attention or contribute any design interest to the space.
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After: Stunning in Slate
A new, taller surround made of rugged slate pairs with a white-painted wood surround that allows the texture and color of the slate to stand out. The updated fireplace also brings a warm, cozy look and feel to the soaring sitting area.