Advice on updating my free standing fireplace

Angie Maguire
by Angie Maguire
I'm moving to a new house in the country with the above mentioned (photo attached). Any advice as to how I can update it.
I'm not a huge fan of the raised fireplace with brick. I was thinking of white washing the brick, but that's as far as I've got. I'm again, not a huge fan of blonde wood either, but as it's a country home, the theme of blonde wood has already been established. The wood is high end with beautiful knots, so I will not be changing that (in the near future anyway).
We plan to remove the carpet (to tile that looks like wood). I love rustic with modern elements thrown in. Eclectic is how I describe my style.
I've also added an example of the wood floor (which again, is actual ceramic).
TYIA! Angie
  13 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jun 03, 2016
    Personally I do not think white washing the fireplace would be a good choice against that beautiful wood. I Would look into possibly the same color that is on the wall or if you are going to paint that over and I would use the same paint on the fireplace.
  • MN Mom MN Mom on Jun 03, 2016
    What a beautiful room! I think what might be throwing you off is that the brick butts right up to your pretty wood paneling and creates such a defined space. Instead of painting the brick, which sometimes ends up looking like you painted it to disguise it, why not embrace that corner and make it the focal point? As much as you love the wood, if you're going to place furniture against those walls and cover it, you could consider painting it to match the wall. Doing that would make that part of the room appear larger. You can also make or purchase comfy floor cushions and pillows to stack and use by the fireplace and stage the raised hearth when the fireplace is not in use.
  • Bobbie Littlefield Bobbie Littlefield on Jun 03, 2016
    How about covering the brick with ceramic tiles? They have some that would probably match the wood. I personally would redo the entire focal area (and probably extend it) with the stacked stone facade look that has the "sparkly" granite look in white. White would deliver a visual punch and light to that end of the room....
  • William William on Jun 03, 2016
    You have what is known as a Frankiln stove! The brick is needed as a fire barrier. Painting it may not be the best idea. You could dry brush it with a lighter color and keep it as a focal point. You could also dry brush the wood paneling rather than just paint over it and covering up the details. The tile in the photo would be too dark for a large room as you have. It would make the room look small.
    • Sue c. Sue c. on Jun 06, 2016
      @William Hi William! Good decorating advice but that is not a Franklin stove, which is an insert into a fireplace box. Rather it is a free standing stove. The brick surrounding it can best be painted with high temperature engine paint which (thankfully!) comes in a variety of colors. The stove, if it is bare metal can also be painted with that paint opening a whole variety of accent color choices. I really recommend the dry brush painting on paneling. It works great. I hope you show us pics of how you decorate this room.
  • Angie Maguire Angie Maguire on Jun 04, 2016
    Wow! I'm impressed with this site and with all your answers. A lot to consider. It's a shame it's not a centered focal point where I could have a lot more choices. However, it is what it is (an expression I don't use often, and because my boss uses it on a regular basis, I despise. LOL), I'm going to have to use whatever is the cheapest and due to it being a real log burning fireplace, keep to code. I like the idea of muting the brick to a colour similar to the painted wall. I would also like to add some decor and make the decor more of a focal point rather than the fireplace itself. Again thank you! I'm delighted with your answers. Anyone else with suggestions, I'm up for anything as it's a learning curve for me. Angie
  • Barbara Pfister Barbara Pfister on Jun 04, 2016
    Wood can be painted, and so can the brick. Personally, I'd paint both out in white. A little more of an elegant country look!
  • Cindy Hagemann Cindy Hagemann on Jun 04, 2016
    I agree with Barbara - paint both and it will completely change the look of the room and soften the brick. We recently painted a brick wall in our house, primed it with Kilz and sponge-painted each brick chalk paint. Made a huge difference!
  • Jane Jane on Jun 05, 2016
    White paint may be too shabby chic with the wood in the room. Perhaps an ivory tone would ease the brick monster into something more pleasing to the eye.
  • Annie Doherty Annie Doherty on Jun 06, 2016
    I agree with William I would use a light warm grey or heritage green or a grey/blue and defintely paint both the brick and the wood with a lighter shade of chosen colour above the woodwork, Scandinavian style. It will look so good.
  • Annie Doherty Annie Doherty on Jun 07, 2016
    Hi Angus the colour you have on your walls looks very pretty why not consider painting the brickwork behind your fire and perhaps a slightly darker tone of the same colour for your woodwork. A fire/fireplace is always a focal point anyway. Once painted this fireplace would look totally different. You could consider making the window treatment very special as it looks like you have a very large window/doors this would lead the eye to your garden/exterior. Use some of the fabric for cushions or soft furnishing a large mirror and some artwork will give your room a totally different look, perhaps?
  • Annie Doherty Annie Doherty on Jun 07, 2016
    Sorry of course I meant Angie I'm not great with predictive text.
  • Teresa Teresa on Jun 16, 2016
    Have you ever though of painting the fireplace stove it's self? I know that there are paints that take the heat and you have some color choices too. Then you may want to rethink the color of the brick to fit a style. Like if you matched the stove to the floor then full white brick would look more modern. Just a thought hope this helps Teresa
    • Angie Maguire Angie Maguire on Jun 16, 2016
      Thank You Mechcraft5 I like this idea! I will look in to it. I can't paint the wainscotting as suggested by others as the house has this wood throughout. Maybe one day.
  • Bob Bob on Oct 09, 2016
    This is not an answer to your question ,but a question about your fire itself. Have you actually tried to have the fire in operation? The reason I ask this is in the picture your fire flue does not go straight up which could effect the draw effect needed to ensure no backdraft from the flue.