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Fireplace Makeover

See how this stuck-in-the-past fireplace became an up-to-date show-stopper with a few smart updates.

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A wood-paneled fireplace grabbed attention in all the wrong ways, but a total tear-out helped it gain stunning personality. Just a little paint or a new mantle would've been an improvement to the old façade but a full-scale takedown and rebuild offered more design flexibility. Stripping down to the plaster and framing out a new fireplace wall paved the way for a gas line and new insert. Fresh light fixtures illuminate the fireplace, thanks to new wiring. Smoky gray tile on the surround and a rustic mantle removed any trace of the 1970's and give the fireplace a fresh face. Hidden brackets offered the mantle a modern edge. A fresh coat of paint and cabinet doors beautifully update a simple built-in bookcase. With a fresh surround, a stylish mantle and lighting plus better built-ins, the new fireplace is a polished focal point with staying power.