Asked on Aug 12, 2013

I need to update my fireplace area. Any ideas?

Pamela LangoneKayo FrazierCornelia Schott


My room is traditional and this area is used but outdated?
Corner fireplace needs updating.
23 answers
  • Maria Elena Armijo
    on Aug 12, 2013

    I'm a little bit minimalist, so I suggest you to left just de "fire thing" beside. Flowers and greeners will be nice just in summertime. Depending on your natural light in your room I will try other colour in walls, in order to show up the fire place. A lime yellow if you need more light, an apple green if you have natural light enough. Colours in walls will show up other furnitures or personal devices like a "passpartout". Get lucky

  • Karen Kelso
    on Aug 12, 2013

    There is NO natural light in this room! I have double patio doors 12ft from the fireplace to the left and they are under covered patio. I like the painting the room brighter but have always been afraid to paint the fireplace because it's so permanent.

    • Carol
      on Aug 14, 2013

      @Sia@South 47th I agree with this... first de-clutter the area and find some lighter colored accessories. A newer, updated mantle would be good, as well as something a bit more modern than the mirror. If you like a mirror there, shop for a newer styled one.

  • Kimberly Barney
    on Aug 12, 2013

    I must agree with Maria that the fireplace area seems to have too much going on for my taste. However, your question is how to update the fireplace. I do not like painting brick. As you say, it is so permanent and your brick has some wonderful colors. I think the brick going all the way to the ceiling dates the corner fireplace as well as the small mantel. Chucky mantels are in these days and that would be an easy change. As for the brick going up to the ceiling, removing brick could be a dirty job. As an alternative to removing the brick, I would suggest that you apply the moulding across the brick top to match the remainder of the room, raise the mirror so as to give you enough room to place a mat behind the mirror showing equally on all four sides providing coverage for some of the brick while bringing another color into the corner.

    • Karen Kelso
      on Aug 12, 2013

      @Kimberly Barney It's so dark in that corner, that it seems to be a "catch all". A mat around it sounds great! and it would pull a brighter color to the corner. Thanks, I think I'll try that!

  • Karen Kelso
    on Aug 12, 2013

    Thanks I love the suggestions.....I hate painting the's so permanent!

    • Z
      on Aug 13, 2013

      @Karen, my first thought is to remove the current mantel and add a full surround covering close to half of the brick. You could even do an over mantel if you want to cover more of the brick. That would leave only the brick exposed around the firebox and the hearth.

  • Tanya Peterson Felsheim
    on Aug 13, 2013

    I was thinking the same thing as @Z I have seen some really wonderful simple successful cover-ups with some wallboard, You can keep the bulky mantle or go with something lighter and simpler. The Lower part you can also cover pretty inexpensively with some sort of light marble tile, etc. Tearing out brick is a huge hassle.

  • Shabby Paints
    on Aug 13, 2013 I know you don't like the idea of painting your brick and we had the plan of doing some stone work but I love it is warm and inviting. Easy one coat and done.

    q i need to update my fireplace area any ideas, fireplaces mantels, home decor, living room ideasq i need to update my fireplace area any ideas, fireplaces mantels, home decor, living room ideas
  • Z
    on Aug 13, 2013

    I was thinking of using real wood so it could have been stained. Something along the lines of this only not quite as ornate. Ofcourse that's personal preference. The couple at the Lettered Cottage used MDF and pine so they painted theirs. You can see the process here:

  • Seabreezn
    on Aug 13, 2013

    Hi Karen - It's tough when you have a dark room however , the possibilituies are endless ! Covering the exsisting frame with wood panels and embossing them with wood appliques - or with shells / satinglass is gorg when applied to white paintd wood panels as the white under the glass brings out the color & texture of the glass which could be intermixed with keepsakes - and the best part = all removeable ! Good Luck ! MD

  • Laura S.
    on Aug 13, 2013

    There are some brick stains that you might like I love your clocks btw I would say you could use a lil more balance your very square on the outer right side while being very round in the hanging plaques and perhaps switch out some of your darker pieces for some lighter things for example I really like your mirror and its a great idea for the fireplace but if the frame were a lighter color it would brighten up the space

  • Ricky Eaton
    on Aug 14, 2013

    Some simple and inexpensive fixes would be to paint the mantle a white or off white color...that would give it some pop...also declutter and add some newer/fresher accessories with color would also liven it up...most of your accessories on the fireplace are all in the same dark tones...brighter more colorful ones would brighten the area up as well. One last suggestion would be to also clean the brick. My fireplace brick was dark also from the smoke from when the fireplace was used...I sprayed it down with some mean green and used a stiff brush and it brightened it up tremendously

  • Marcia Maddie
    on Aug 14, 2013

    I would paint the whole thing and get rid of the clutter add some trim around then fire box .I did this to mine a few years back and many of my friends did their fire place the same way.It will change the look of the whole room ....I used a cream color flat finish .....Good luck

  • Jo Goughnour Roof
    on Aug 14, 2013

    You can cover the brick with drywall and then redesign the whole fireplace. You could tile, slate, anything that might be your taste. I am sure you could tile right over the brick hearth. Just use light colors and anything that will reflect the light that you do get in that room. I would also suggest a larger mantel.

  • I like your clock collection and think that if you love it then you should do that around your fireplace and keep the accessories simpler. I also think that if you would add some wrought iron to fireplace maybe even some scrollwork that can be found at Hobby Lobby or other stores attached each of side of opening would look great. Painting your room a rich color even if it is light would also help. since your trim is white (at least I see the crown is) then you need the walls to have just enough color to pop out the trim. The mirror is also what dates the fireplace~it is a very traditional piece and maybe you could put that in another room and get something a bit more contemporary or modern and make it round. Everything in your room is square! A mirror needs to reflect something beautiful~that is the key to using mirrors. Do not just hang a mirror make sure to stand at different angles to see what it reflects! These two round circles hanging on the wall I would move somewhere because they are lost just hanging out by themselves. Or to add punch of color spray paint them and hang them high up on the mantle. You need a tall buffet lamp for the fireplace too that you can leave on during the evening to have some accent lighting. I would run the cord neatly along the brick and wall. Your accessories are nice and traditional but you could add some color in the color. Choose one bold color throughout the room on pillows and other decor to pop. I think the biggest problem is the lack of luster on the walls. Now if you want to cover the brick, then think about some beautiful granite or marble tile. But before you cover or paint the brick, find a color that brings back some life to the room and change the accessories and see if that excites you. Have fun with some spray paint.

  • Donna
    on Aug 14, 2013

    Yes, paint is permanent but I don't think you would regret it. I would use a white paint and dry brush the paint on so that some of the brick color still shows through but it will be much lighter. It will look more like this.

  • Ro schae
    on Aug 14, 2013

    I did this..put tile right on top of the brick. You could use pavers as welll for that more modern look. I did this like 6 years ago and the tiles are still perfect ;)

  • Julie
    on Aug 14, 2013

    You could frame the opening in marble, use ceramic tile (or again, marble) on the base, and install decorative molding along the outside and crown molding on top. Use beadboard above the mantle and paint the brick below the mantle white.

  • Diana Walters
    on Aug 15, 2013

    First of all.... MOBILE, ALABAMA!!!! YAY! Me too! I couldn't believe it when I saw your city, as I don't believe I've ever seen anyone else here, Pinterest or the blogs I follow from Mobile! Craaaazy! Now, on to the important stuff! I am going to fall in the paint category. Actually, the whitewash category (like 3 cups water to one cup white paint). It will change the cover of the brick without completely covering it, added bonus, it's less labor intensive. I would also put a thrifted/salvaged wood mantle/surround and remove the mantle that's in place now. I've no doubt whatever you do will be gorgeous. I am now following in hopes of seeing pics of what you do choose! Best of luck.

  • Dayle
    on Nov 26, 2014

    I just painted mine - despite my husband's BIG objections. It looks great ( off white). Nice brick texture, but looks much better now.........he loves it too......totally changes the room...

  • Cornelia Schott
    on Dec 19, 2014

    Do you have additional bricks in the same shade as your fireplace? I would paint a few of those bricks making sure I like the result before painting the fireplace. There are many different stones that can go right over your current brick. The mason we used to repair our chimney told us about that.

  • Kayo Frazier
    on Jan 14, 2015

    Ok, Here's my 2 cents...I would spackle roughly over the bricks leaving some of the brick exposed, then paint it white w/ some dry brushing over the brick. Then I would change out the mantel w/ something smooth, but thicker in a dark stain or painted black. I'd trade out the large mirror for smaller mirrors in ornate frames. I'd edit some of the clocks take out 2-3 & place it somewhere else. Hope this helps.

  • Pamela Langone
    on Aug 17, 2015

    I really think its up to you how much you want to spend. You could drywall the top and paint and do a more modern surround with a tile material of your choice. Or if your watching your pennies as I was you could paint the brick white. I did this in one of my homes. And change the mantel out to a reclaimed beam or something fun like that. I did my most recent fireplace in pennies and bought a traditional mantel. There is many things you can do. Its really up to your taste and money you wan to spend

Your comment...