How to redesign, decorate this ugly fireplace

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We just bought this house, and love everything about it but this fireplace. We took the TV out, and that leaves a second big opening, the third opening is the fireplace, of course. Any suggestions?
q how to redesign decorate this ugly fireplace, fireplace makeovers, fireplaces mantels, home decor, living room ideas
  34 answers
  • Gill Moreton Gill Moreton on Nov 20, 2015
    I see your problem! That's one big 'feature'! I don't know if it's feasible to remove it but that's what I'd do. Your room would look bigger and more modern. If it's too big a job to remove I'd board it over with Sheetrock or whitewashed wood. I'd remove the sticky-out bit at the bottom altogether. Good luck with it.
    • See 1 previous
    • Danielle Danielle on Nov 21, 2015
      I'm in complete agreement with Gill. My first thought looking at the picture was "I'd redesign that thing with a sledgehammer." IMHO it absolutely overpowers anything else you could ever do in the room, and I doubt it would cost much at all to patch the wall and paint if you hire it done but do the demolition yourself.
  • Lagree Wyndham Lagree Wyndham on Nov 20, 2015
    I agree with Gil Moreton. If its an option Id take whole thing down, but that would involve replacing carpet and such, but if its an option take whole thing down and either not reinstall or reinstall a size appropriate gas fireplace...what there is way out of proportion to room. I'm assuming what there is a gas unit...you may be able to reuse that with a nice mantle.
  • Katrina Warren Katrina Warren on Nov 20, 2015
    I would love the have a fireplace like that, & find suitable art pieces to go in the shelf spaces above. Or if you can find matching stone, close up those spaces if you don't want them there.... They could be a little awkward to fill. :)
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Nov 20, 2015
    Personally I would look into some matching stone to fill the gap from the tv. I do not know if this is possible .Maybe there are some pieces laying around where you can take them for a match.
  • PainterNoni PainterNoni on Nov 20, 2015
    This can be wonderful........the curtains are certainly awkward........You could remove the fireplace, but then you would have a basic blah room. Don't do anything for a while. Look on Pinterest for interesting fireplaces redos. the stone is quite lovely. The doors at the bottom to do not suit.
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Nov 20, 2015
    Just realized the curtains that is certainly not helping the situation. Maybe start from there with a nice long roman shade you would be a way to go and then see how that will change the appearance of the room then continue to seek other ideas.
  • Funnygirl Funnygirl on Nov 20, 2015
    I would not mess with a lot of construction or demolition.Instead,I would find a large picture or mirror for the center space,and lean it or secure it so it doesn't fall forward.The top space,I would look for a nice sculpture,(look in a garden shop),or place a large floral arrangement on the top.If you don't like flowers,get one with big grasses instead.
  • Jo Ann Chewning Tomes Jo Ann Chewning Tomes on Nov 20, 2015
    Ceramic tile, even a mosaic design would work great and doesn't cost much.
  • Minky Minky on Nov 21, 2015
    I would install a mantle above the fireplace, and enclose the remainder with drywall, then paint the drywall of course :). That would give a beautiful space to hang a nice mirror or piece of artwork, and also to create a pretty vignette on the mantle.
  • Country Design Home Country Design Home on Nov 21, 2015
    Hi Debbie- that certainly is a wow feature! Since you're asking, I would just say, even without seeing the rest of the space, that it is just too overwhelming for the room. I would build a mantel above the actual firebox- something substantial to balance out the stone size. Leave the first opening to use as a display niche, then drywall or ship lap plank up from there. Paint that the same color as the wall, then add crown or cornices across the tops of the two windows. Also, the curtains need to be raised to the height of the top of the windows. Good luck- this is quite an undertaking!
  • Grace Grieco Grace Grieco on Nov 21, 2015
    That is a very beautiful and unique fireplace. There is a lot going on around it, in my opinion that looks too busy. I would remove the drapes, and put privacy film on windows. i would get rid of the hearth and cupboards, and assuming there's drywall behind, put the same brick flush against the wall. I would move the tv, it stands out and is too wide for there, remove the ceiling fan. Some simple art, or mirror in the niche. If you dont have extra brick, Home depot sales beautiful faux brick wall panelling, match it as close as possible for the bottom. That is not an ugly fireplace. I love it,
  • Carole Bisby Carole Bisby on Nov 21, 2015
    Wow never seen a fireplace like this, very different. I do agree with a lot of the women that have put in there advice. Yes, i would put a large vase in the top space maybe with some greens or a shorter one with branches from a tree and some added color. I would have a large mirror over the smaller opening and definitely a mantel over the fireplace. The cabinet at the lower bottom I would take out and put a black metal grate that holds fireplace wood and set logs on it that fill up the space. I agree those drapes have to go, I would put blinds there and a cornice board at the top in a color that would match maybe your sofa or your sofa pillows. I would love to see a pic after you decide what you are going to do with this, very interesting!!! Good luck!
  • Susan Bartenfeld Susan Bartenfeld on Nov 21, 2015
    WOW! What a big fireplace to deal with! I really think it needs a few things. first, a dark wood (block, like a slab of a tree look) mantel. Places right above the fireplace proper. The windows add NOTHING to the space with those curtains. They really need to go!! LOL Something much simpler needs to be on the windows. But, add some color there too. The upper space in the wall could be used for pics by adding a small shelf into the space. Or something like a model boat in the space. If it's a workable wood burning fireplace put split wood in the space just above the firebox. The space just need some simple defining. To add more dimension to the space you could paint the cubby wholes a lively color you both love. Give that wall some POP. Just thinking out loud as I go!! LOL
  • Chris Chris on Nov 21, 2015
    If removing the stone, which is a bit overbearing, is NOT an option, what about putting in rustic looking doors in all the openings. Something made of pallet wood or rustic boards in a medium dark stain to go with the stone. Also, the curtains don't work. Wooden shutters or wooden roman's in a similar color as the doors would be cleaner and less fussy. Larger mouldings around the windows, especially at the top of the window, would be a better balance for the fireplace.
  • Pjakin61 Pjakin61 on Nov 21, 2015
    I would take out the doors and match the stone, or if you can't match it try Airstone from Lowes and replace that lower section. Does the tv have to be there? The niche it is in is not the right shape or size for it. Or put a larger tv to cover niche. Agree with Susan....needs dark mantel and remove the drapes. Huge floral in top niche. Good luck and whatever you love will be the right thing to do.
  • Kathy Bitzan Kathy Bitzan on Nov 21, 2015
    Great display area for something fantastic and colorful.. I agree the drapes have to go. TV also and use it for display or art or colored vases , maybe a statue, the rustic idea for the doors would also be good for some contrast. I 'd change out that wall color also something is what ever your favorite color is but bold.
  • Cecilia Cataldo Cecilia Cataldo on Nov 21, 2015
    First thing I would raise the curtain rods to ceiling with an angled or bowed rod . Make the stonework th focal point. It would look like a Tourett , like a tour ,find 🎭 to match your decor place them in the arch niche .beeing that you have placed your TV it would give a theater look . Again I'm not sure about colors .i would use a sheer in neutral hues , and a heavier fabric tied back to one side, toward or from the stone wall, your choice . Eather way it should work , let the heavier drape start parting just below the top of window giving the impression that window is ceiling high .
  • Cecilia Cataldo Cecilia Cataldo on Nov 21, 2015
    How about a large wall Mirrow over the bottom cabinet exposed brushed nickel stem Wine glass rack , and wine bottle rack in wood on sides , temperature controlled wine cabinet at bottom is a must!
  • Lori Rodriguez Lori Rodriguez on Nov 21, 2015
    If the fireplace is wood burning, you need to put a substantial mantle up under the TV so that it blocks smoke. If not, a thinner, but wider mantle in keeping with the size of the fireplace. The majority of it looks like cosmetic add ons? I would change the colors of the nooks, and add shelving to the top one, if it can't be removed, it's pretty massive for the size of the room, even though it has great height, it sticks out a lot. If possible, remove the hearth. It sticks out into the room decreasing the footprint, and is awkward by the stairs. Try to save the stones if possible, to put on the lower wall area when the hearth is gone. Put in a new hearth at floor level by purchasing a granite remnant. The actual fireplace is very cool. If you can only do one thing to it, remove the hearth. :)
  • Lisa House Lisa House on Nov 21, 2015
    If it were my house: pull up the carpet, install a dark hardwood. Either lower fireplace to window height or raise Windows to ceiling height. Trim out the windows, maybe widen the windows. Install one piece window treatments, such as long drapes in a medium weight material. Paint the fireplace wall a dark neutral color, maybe use a small overall stencil pattern. My furniture would be patterned in neutral colors with a bit of teal. The remaining walls would be painted a lighter shade of the color used on the fireplace wall. I would use brushed nickel light fixtures throughout the room. If I keep the full fireplace I would put a mirror on the back wall of the top cubby and display an over sized art feature...a dragon with his wings extended that my daughter would create for the area. The lower cubby would hold a TV that fit the area properly. I would remove the hearth and install marble in a color similar to the stone currently there, the hearth would no longer be raised. I would convert to a wood burning fireplace. Well, that's what I think I would do for starters. Enjoy your home, have fun making your changes and decorating!
  • Sassy Sassy on Nov 21, 2015
    Check out these ways to hide the TV over the fireplace...I think the third one down would solve your problem with fireplace as well. http://www.houzz.com/Hide-tv-over-fireplace
  • Carrie Hawk Carrie Hawk on Nov 21, 2015
    Make a faux firewood piece to insert into the tv opening. You can slice pieces of tree limbs into 1" slices and glue them onto a piece of black board. Then place in opening. For the arched opening, either add a piece of sculpture or a vase with colorful flowers (dried or silk), tall-ish. Oh, also, hang curtains like suggested in first response. You could also paint the fireplace to change the color or make the curtains a little more interesting.
  • Robyn Mills Robyn Mills on Nov 21, 2015
    I love the fireplace..you should see mine. I am glad to have it though, many do not.
  • Michelle Harbee Michelle Harbee on Nov 22, 2015
    Love the fireplace but not feeling the open arch feature. I would either fill it in by trying to get bricks that match or ideally I would create some kind of rustic, possibly wooden door to close off the space. It's hard to described what I'm imagining but I picture a stained, possibly reclaimed wood door that has a barn door or wine cellar door effect. I know it's high up but you could add a couple shelves and store items in there that you only need to access maybe once or twice a year. As far as the opening where the TV is, I would just fill that sucker in with similar bricks.
  • Julies1949 Julies1949 on Nov 22, 2015
    I would remove the hearth portion then simply reface the whole fireplace. There are numerous products you can use to go straight over the openings and modernize the look http://www.houzz.com/fireplace-reface
  • Sarah A. Victory Sarah A. Victory on Nov 23, 2015
    Well--I would definitely raise the drapes to above the top of the window frame for some balance. I like the stone--you could add a white wooden mantle the width of the stone. One can always set some collectibles, etc inside the cubby holes. I would utilize the top one w/the light for something special. Best of luck!
  • The drapes must be hung at least 6 inches above the window casing. They will be too short them, but that can be fixed. Buy a coordinating fabric and sew a band on the bottom, It needs to be long enough for the window treatment to be about 1 inch off the floor. This is really good looking. Are you going to keep your TV in the same space? If so paint that area and the arched cove flat black. Place a nice statue or picture on an easel in the cove. Make sure it is big enough to fill the space nicely. I would pick out a paint color that goes with the stone well and paint the 2 doors at the bottom. The stone is pretty abd expensive and these changes will make a big difference and update the space. The color of the walls do not look very complimentary to the stone. Look like maybe a light gray would look better and be a good neutral color that would go with anything. Let me know what you decide to do.
  • Johnchip Johnchip on Nov 28, 2015
    Paint the whole thing to match walls, and get rid of the tv or get a bigger one to completely cover the middle hole. Find some nice neutral floral/twig arrangement for top alcove.
  • Veronica Roach Veronica Roach on Nov 28, 2015
    How about : a) Facing in the 'niches' in the wall so they disappear - and/or- b) Cover beige doors in base with a matching removable panel of stone - and/or- c) Painting the 'niches' in a contrast color and putting feature pieces of art or large dried flower arrangements in there ( no tv of course) - and/or- With these high ceilings and/or huge rooms you really need large furniture and dramatic designs to go with all that space ! Personally I wonder just how many years it will be before these high ceilings are considered 'out' - we are already seeing granite going the way of the dodo ! I have a 'cathedral' ceiling in a 'great room' in my A-frame home and I often sit and look at the area over my head and imagine a ceiling installed and storage above - whose daft idea WAS this ceiling - my practical mind at work !!
    • Debby Debby on Nov 28, 2015
      Thank you so much for taking the time to offer your suggestions! I like them-I know what you mean about the tall ceilings... Geesh! :-)
  • Joanne Couturier Joanne Couturier on Nov 29, 2015
    I would add wide layered crown molding across the top, under that I would add fake window boxes on each side shaped in rectangles with wide trim, under that I would add a wide shelf about 10 inches deep, up and down, then raise the drapes up to the bottom of the shelf to give everything prospective and depth .....you can use same drapes or purchase longer ones....or add top and bottom panels to drape in almost same color but different texture...
  • Joanne Couturier Joanne Couturier on Nov 29, 2015
    As for the hearth, I would pull it out straight across the room to the left side for seating...make it off center....leave the other side angles, and add texture in the arch at the top instead of painted walls....molding would look good in this to follow the arch...and give it some depth...good luck...
  • Lori Lori on Nov 29, 2015
    I don't know the measurements from the bottom of the second niche to the top of the top one, but if it's doable what about a canvas? Just pulling measurments from my head, say two feet by five or three by six, but one solid creamy coloured maybe abstract art piece to cover in everything but the fireplace. If you want to make a statement, make it wild and colourful otherwise, soft to blend in with the soft colours you have. As for a mantle, run it at the bottom of the middle niche for the art piece to sit on. I can see it in my head, hope you can see what I mean. Good luck.
  • Susan Rawlings Susan Rawlings on Jan 13, 2016
    Wow, talk about a fireplace that does it all. You could change the materials on the exterior, there are lots of stunning stone and tile treatments you could try. The way it stands out, I think it could be a real showpiece, with the right materials. It has a LOT of potential.
  • Kcd11201533 Kcd11201533 on Feb 18, 2017
    I would shiplap the upper half and cover up the cubby.