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I’ve been looking forward to sharing our fireplace makeover with you for some time now. It seems like an eternity since we started this project, doesn’t it? I even joked way back in the summer about getting it done in time to hang our stockings for Christmas. Phew!
Thankfully, it’s been a mild fall and we really haven’t missed using our fireplace all that much. But, with the hefty dump of snow we got this week, the timing couldn’t be better to fire it back up. And, with its fresh new look, I simply cannot wait to decorate it all up for the holiday season!
When we started our main floor renovation, the plan was to update the fireplace using as much of the original structure as possible to keep costs down. We didn’t mind the existing mantel, but the texture, rounded corners and arch all had to go.
Most of the time, I keep our fireplace decor to a minimum. I usually start with a mirror, lean a piece of artwork in front and finish it off with a potted plant or candle. However, a few times a year, I do enjoy adding more layers, so a mantel on the generous side is the best way to go around here.
In order to get the depth we were looking for, we first had to push back the upper section of the old fireplace before the whole thing could be covered in drywall. That meant being left with gaping holes where the old framing was- ugh. We had no other choice but to build a new mantel.
Since we were planning on painting the entire fireplace white (I do love a white fireplace), we were able to keep costs down by using MDF and simple mouldings from Metrie to trim it out.
I came up with a rough plan and worked with our carpenter to get everything just right.
Our carpenter cut a sheet of 1/2″ MDF to finish off the top of the mantel (which fit like a glove I must add!) and used the same material to create the layers at the bottom for the baseboard. To finish it off, we applied MDF casing, door stop material and crown moulding. We wanted a clean look, but there are many trim styles to choose from if you’re looking for something with a little more detail.
All of the nail holes were filled and sanded, then everything was primed and sprayed in Benjamin Moore’s White Dove. Thanks to our painter, the finish turned out flawless!
While we were in the mess, we decided to scrape the popcorn ceiling and carried the same Fashion Forward crown moulding around the entire living room. It’s amazing how a simple detail like this can really elevate the look of a room.
Here’s how it looks now with the ceiling painted and recessed light fixtures installed. I can’t believe what a difference it made to the brightness of the living room.
For the fireplace surround and hearth, we selected marble subway tile. It’s the perfect combination of grey, taupe and white, which helps tie the colours of the entire main floor together while adding a bit of character to the space.
Because marble can vary so much in colour, it’s important to see how the sheets of tile look next to each other. After laying them all out, I had to exchange a few to get just the right balance. Some were considerably lighter or darker than the others.
Our carpenter accounted for the tile depth when attaching the trim, so our tile installer was able to slide the marble underneath for a seamless look.
We opted to go with white grout to match the fireplace and trim throughout the rest of the living room.
And, finally, to transition from the tile to the new hardwood we installed a picture frame. I love how it finishes off the whole look.
Here’s a look again at the builder’s basic fireplace we started with…
And this is what it looked like after a minor fix up with paint…
And now, with new trim, paint and marble subway tile…
White & Marble Fireplace Makeover
I’m so happy to have one more renovation project crossed off our list. Basically, our living room is done except for the decorating, which will happen as I find the pieces we’re looking for like an area rug, mirror, and artwork. It’s always a process!
Want to see our fireplace all decorated for the holidays? Go HERE!
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Disclosure: A big thank you to Metrie for collaborating with us on our fireplace makeover. As always, opinions are 100% my own.