Before and After: Fireplace Makeovers

living room fireplace star decoration
If your fireplace is in need of a facelift, find inspiration to get started. These remarkable fireplace makeovers and remodels feature new mantels, fabulous surrounds, fireplace tools, and cozy hearths.

Before: Pretty Basic

A dated brass screen and a ho-hum surround left this fireplace looking dull and uninspiring. An oversized hearth extension added unnecessary bulk. Plus, the feature was in major need of a fireplace mantel makeover—because there was no mantel at all!

Watch this gorgeous fireplace makeover come to life.

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 added during the fireplace remodel means the fireplace can now be enjoyed in the living room and family room.

See our most stylish fireplace design ideas.

Before: Blank Canvas

In a cottage that had fallen into disrepair, a fireplace renovation was on this living room's remodeling to-do list. An awkward design made it tricky to make use of the narrow living space on either side of the hearth. A dull color palette gave the fireplace little chance to stand out. 

After: Charmingly Eclectic

Fresh white paint and a new tile hearth refreshed the fireplace in this living room's makeover. The remodeled fireplace hosts a revolving collection of art prints and antiques store finds. A nonworking hearth is a great place to splurge on tile that would be too costly for refacing a larger fireplace.

Before: Empty Space

The walls next to this fireplace were begging for a purpose. They overshadowed the fire box and made it look awkwardly small. With no mantel and a lackluster surround, this hearth was in major need of a fireplace remodel. 

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.

Before: Dark and Empty

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 The combination of the outdated walls, the dark wood floors, and the burnt red brick fireplace made this space dark and uninviting. Plus, the soot-covered firebox was in major need of a cleaning and some fireplace brick paint. 

After: Bright and Open

The resurfaced fireplace was spiced up with a new facade of faux stacked limestone. The material is ideal for budget fireplace makeovers 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.

Learn how to give your mantel a quick makeover.

Before: Cramped Surroundings

Open shelving is normally a great way to open up a space, but that is not the case with this fireplace. The mantel got lost in all the bulky shelves that surrounded it. And with no practical reason for the excessive number of shelves, some drastic fireplace makeover ideas were necessary. 

After: Open Quarters

For this fireplace makeover, the homeowners removed the stones on the surround and added sleek white pillars. These pillars transform the fireplace into an elegant focal point for the room and help the fireplace stand out in front of the shelves. 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.

Before: Small and Dull

This modest-size living room had plenty of potential in the beginning, except for one major problem. The focal point in the room was a giant, lackluster fireplace. When the room underwent a fireplace makeover, giving the hearth a much-needed facelift was the first task. 

After: Roomy and Darling

With a fresh coat of white fireplace paint and colorful new tile, this hearth became bright and welcoming. The seafoam-green tile on the surround accents the room's color scheme. Using colored tile freshens up a fireplace and is a creative source of color for this cottage living room.

You have to see these simple fireplace renovations.

Before: A Neglected Space

In this narrow room, the fireplace was in the perfect position to be a beautiful feature element for the space. However, the cream color of the fireplace blended into the cream walls, leaving the fireplace bland and overlooked. Coupled with an intricate hearth, the room as a whole was too stuffy. 

After: A Gathering Space

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. Dual mirrors mounted above the mantel help the space feel bigger.

Learn how to tile a fireplace. 

Before: Washed Out and Plain

The color combination of cream-on-white left the fireplace washed out and boring. Neutral walls and lackluster molding removed any charm. Lacking any personality, this space needed some drastic fireplace makeover ideas.

After: Bold and Beautiful

A fresh coat of black fireplace paint on the wood mantel brought focus to the fireplace. The black and stone combination gives the fireplace refacing 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.

Must-see fabulous stone fireplaces.

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. A light color palette guarantees the room stays airy and fresh. 

After: Bright Family Room

The finished attic-turned-family room is bright and cheery. The colorful tile on the fireplace facade 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.

Must-know tips for placing a TV above a fireplace.

Before: Dark Ages Fireplace

This room's dreary decor carried over to its very boring fireplace. Wood panels and exposed brick were dark and dismal. The room was in desperate need of a redesign and fresh look, which was achieved by remodeling a fireplace.

After: Modern Fireplace

By balancing a full wood-paneled wall with bright white walls, the room became open and airy. The wood and white combo creates an updated rustic look. The black of the fireplace door pops against the wood wall, while also working well with the color scheme of the black furniture in the room.

Before: Broken to Bits

This entire living room was in shambles. And at the top of the to-do list was to refinish the fireplace. The wood on the fireplace was in bad shape, as was the brick fireplace surround, and the homeowners had to come up with a creative solution to turn something worn into something beautiful.

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 makeover style complements the rest of the space, which includes exposed wooden ceiling rafters and rustic doors and shelves.

Before: Bare and Basic Fireplace

Without a bit of color or emphasis to it, this fireplace almost blended into the wall. An ill-placed statue drew some attention to the space, but not in a good way. A touch of color and texture is what the fireplace needed to be a standout feature in this living room.

After: Sweet and Simple Fireplace

A few tweaks and fireplace remodeling ideas were all this feature needed to become a beautiful element in the room. The stone fireplace 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.

Before: Bland and Bulky

This living room was stuck in the 1970s thanks to dusty whites and tired brown tones. The bulky brown-brick fireplace did little to enhance the space, as it was placed asymmetrically on a long stretch of wall. The wood mantel looked out of place. 

After: Light and Lively

Using fireplace brick paint to turn the 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.

Before: Muddled Media Room

With its poor design, bad acoustics, and lack of storage, this media room was more dysfunctional than family-friendly. Too much furniture and a missing focal point gave the room little purpose. Designers realized that relocating the fireplace—and coming up with fireplace makeover ideas—would tie the room together.

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.

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. Major updates were needed to bring this dated space into the modern age. 

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 brick fireplace makeover warms the room while providing a sweet, subtle focal point.

Before: Boring Brick

Nestled between large, long windows and lacking a mantel, this brick fireplace struggled to stand out. It was situated in a good location, but the hearth as a whole needed some TLC. The fireplace required a little oomph to match the grandeur of the great outdoors. 

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.

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.

After: Vintage Appeal

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.

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. And the stone's dark complexion didn't match the rest of the room. 

After: Light and Cheerful

Instead of replacing the massive fireplace, the concrete stones were professionally cleaned and etched to lighten the color. By refacing 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.

Before: Much Too Busy

This fireplace didn't quite fit in with the rest of the living room. The many colors and designs of brick made the facade look busy and behind the times. A mantel laden with collectibles cheapened the look even further. 

After: Simple Yet Chic

The brick fireplace remodel 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.

Editor's Tip: The easiest (and most inexpensive) DIY fireplace makeover is to paint it.

Learn how to update a brick fireplace with paint this weekend.

Before: Dreary Facade

Dark red brick, a black-screen firebox, and flanking wood shelves gave this fireplace a dark, dated appearance. The cumbersome wall dominated the space. And the room as a whole was in major need of some lighter tones and new brick fireplace ideas. 

After: Fresh Facade

A fresh coat of white paint on the shelves and a coat of subtle beige for the bricks lend this fireplace 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.

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. There was a lot of great space, but it wasn't being used right. 

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 renovation. Built-in cabinetry—also made from maple with a dark walnut stain—flanks the fireplace, housing media equipment, games, fireplace tools, and more.

Before: Basic, Boring Design

This square living room and uninspired fireplace lacked architectural interest and design pizazz. Overscale bookshelves crowded the hearth. And a white color palette gave the fireplace little room to stand out. 

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.

Before: Lackluster Performance

With no mantel, texture, and a too-small scale, this fireplace doesn't command attention or contribute any design interest to the space. The gray tiles don't match the rest of the room. And a lack of a mantel makes it hard to incorporate the vertical space above the fireplace. 

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. A simple mantel displays collectibles and family mementos.

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