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Freshen up Your Fireplace

by Linda A. Cappello. Broker, GRI, ABR 04/07/2019

You've moved into your vintage home with grand plans to update it as you go. Some renovations must wait for your budget to improve. But here are some budget-wise ways to update the family room and move your home in the direction you want by giving your fireplace an update or upgrading your mantel.

Freshen the fireplace

Arguably the focal point of any living space, a complete fireplace renovation may be part of your overall plan, but meanwhile, give it a fresher look with one of these ideas.

  • Add a screen. Fireplace screens come in a plethora of styles, sizes, shapes, and metals. Dress up the room with a lattice-style or painted fan screen.
  • Change out the mantel. If you long for a more rustic look, replace your thinner mantel with a thick, rough-cut plank. Or, pick up a vintage mantel at your local antique store. For a truly updated look, go mantel-free and hang a substantial piece of art above.
  • Paint the brick and surround in contrasting colors. Make certain only to paint with heat-rated preparations near the firebox. Try gray walls, pewter on the brick with black on the surround. Or use various shades of warm taupe with bronze or copper. If the metal surround is removable, it’s easier to use spray paint for excellent results.
  • Resurface with tile. A fine herringbone or hexagon mosaic pattern adds interest, or hand-crafted or painted tiles create a distinctive focal point. For a very modern look, consider basket weave or vertical tiles. But, to give your home a historical aspect, consider narrow subway tiles with a subtle glaze.

Turn it into Art

If you don’t burn fires your fireplace, consider turning it into a display for your collection of brass candlesticks, a floral arrangement, or a grouping of urns and vases. Prepare the fireplace for non-use: To reduce heat loss, make sure to turn off the gas, then close the damper. Place a section of fiberglass or foam insulation the width and depth of the opening into the flue. Paint a piece of cardboard black and use it to wedge the insulation in place. Clean the firebricks with your favorite household cleaner and a stiff brush so that soot doesn’t damage your decorative items.If you’re thinking of removing your fireplace or permanently closing it up, take a moment to check with a local property professional to make certain it doesn’t reduce the value of your home.

About the Author

Author
Linda A. Cappello. Broker, GRI, ABR
Linda A. Cappello, Owner/Broker of Cappello Realty Shoreline Properties, a full service boutique Real Estate Brokerage specializing in Norwalk, servicing Fairfield County, CT.