Need update ideas for Bedford stone fireplace

Sue Wagner
by Sue Wagner
Just bought this house. It's got great bones but needs updates everywhere. That means the budget is tight. I need ideas to update this fireplace. It is boring and stale looking. I'm going with a country casual look. I want calm comfy welcoming. Ideas....PLEASE!!!!
It's in the main room as you come in. Going to paint with some light shades of green, pretty pale. White crown moulding is going to go up. I plan to frame the TV. Fireplace is focal point of the room
  20 answers
  • Z Z on Sep 16, 2015
    I bet a nice, yet simple, fireplace surround and boxed wood mantel would update it quite well. If you have, or can get, a head on shot of it I'll do a virtual for you, if you think this could work.
    • See 1 previous
    • Z Z on Sep 16, 2015
      @Sue, I'll see what I can do. It's about time to get our grandson to bed, but I should have time to do something before I head to bed too. Thanks for the head on picture.
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Sep 16, 2015
    There is nothing wrong with the fireplace just add your style of decorating
  • Trixie63 Trixie63 on Sep 16, 2015
    Sue, my Bedford stone fireplace is just like yours except it's floor to ceiling along an entire 23 foot wall! Janet is right, just when I think its stake looking I paint the walls or change the mantle and it looks great again. Most often a couple times a year I give it all a good sweep and wasahsfd and that always helps a things too
  • Z Z on Sep 16, 2015
    Here you go Sue. I noticed your baseboard was white so I manipulated some white shaker style kitchen cabinet pictures for the surround. Painted the walls and changed the flooring just so to fill in since the picture wasn't from far enough back to take in the surround I "built". Though I also edited the color of the photo in hopes of getting it closer to the color in the first photo you shared, I'm sure the color of the stone is still off. I hope it helps give you a visual. The sides of the surround could possibly be made with just 1x2's in primed MDF as it's much more cost effective when on a budget. Also painting the walls inside them instead of using sheet lumber will cut the costs too. It all depends on the depth of the stone what size of lumber is needed of course. You'll want to to be at the very least flush with the front of the stone face. As for the actual mantel, that could also be built from primed MDF lumber. If you have any questions, just let me know. I'll be happy to help you.
    • See 1 previous
    • Z Z on Sep 17, 2015
      @Sue, I'm happy you like it. For built ins you could incorporate flat packaged shelving units from IKEA or other retailer near you. Paint them all the same color and your set.
  • Colorado Colorado on Sep 16, 2015
    old tall columns/ fat moulding weathered ? chaulk paint?, beef up mantel just crown moulding, search for some funky pieces from goodwill or some thrift shop for mantel, maybe some cool brighter glass tile over existing ceramic are lucky you live where you are with all the interesting barn sales.....I can't spell tonight! lol
  • Barbara Valenti Barbara Valenti on Sep 17, 2015
    Why not just do what you said to your walls first then come back and maybe whitewash your fireplace? Really just clean it up! Especially if funds are tight!
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Sep 17, 2015
    Like the fireplace as is. Would put TV somewhere else since the fireplace is the focal. Would add a large piece of art to your decor style over it.
  • Robbie Horn Robbie Horn on Sep 17, 2015
    do all your other changes first. Your accessories can set the stage. Change out or paint the tile on the floor. I think the tile floor is the problem.
  • Robbie Horn Robbie Horn on Sep 17, 2015
    Also you could make a coverup for the mantle. That would soften the feel. Leave stone alone.
  • Cheryl Cheryl on Sep 17, 2015
    Could make a plywood box around fireplace & update with some clean sleek marble look tiles... or if you're handy with a paint brush... you could do a faux stone look on it. But as previous commenter says, wait until you finish the room & see how you like the fireplace then!!! Best Wishes!
  • Bro2338735 Bro2338735 on Sep 17, 2015
    The stone is nice. The tile hearth is a problem. You can find a stone (granite or other) slab in any number of places to replace the tile. Get the TV and the clutter off the mantel and add a large statement piece of artwork above - use something a little wider than the firebox, but not high. The other problem is lack of contrast between the color of the stone and the wall. When you get some color on the wall it will look better.
  • C C on Sep 17, 2015
    Love the stone, please don’t cover or paint it. Accent the mantel by darkening it with dark paint, or paint it white to tie in with the crown molding. It needs to stand out from the color of the stone. A thin slab of marble/granite or even a wooden base over the dated hearth tile. Love the andirons but they are usually inside the fireplace opening. Perhaps you could use them on the outside by placing them on each end of the hearth tile and placing a wood plank on top/between them and adding tile to the top of this plank (adding a front plank as well to cover the front opening), so it looks like the andirons are cornering the built in tiled hearth step. Your trim around the fireplace opening is dated as well, so either paint it or replace it. Your fireplace tools could become more fun if you paint the tools a flat black with a speckled gold accent on the top grip part of each tool. Wrap the stand in jute. Paint the stand base black. Wrap the middle of each tool with a small section of jute (glue in place) to accent each one and tie into the jute on the stand. If you truly want the fireplace to be the focal point, move the tv off the mantel. Plus you get a better picture at eye level and it’s easier on the neck. There are so many beautiful things to do with mantel décor, even a nice mirror and a couple candle sticks can make all the difference. TV’s are for function not beauty and your mantel can be the showcase of your room if you let it. Fill your basket sitting there with pine cones and leaves and you have a warm welcome to any room.
  • CB CB on Sep 17, 2015
    I would paint the stone with a metallic paint ie. brushed nickle .
  • Lse1312439 Lse1312439 on Sep 17, 2015
    Go online and check out a product called Brick Anew. I redid mine and it looks like sandstone. Does take a little bit of creativity. But all the instructions and ease are there for you to make it happen. Also a lot of consumer remarks that are all positive. Go check it out you will be surprised.
    • See 1 previous
    • Jeannie Jeannie on Jul 15, 2016
      It is a great product. It will give you that comfy feeling. Because it layers several colors/shades along with a glaze...I am sure you will get the affect you are looking for.
  • on Sep 17, 2015
    We think you'll find these fireplace makeover ideas very inspiring:
  • Judy Judy on Sep 18, 2015
    Agree with Brookstone111 in addition to the hearth you can add a nice fireplace screen. If you must keep the TV in that area center it and place on the wall not the mantle, hide the wires, and keep decorations to a minimum. The second option would be what Iseamoon suggested. BUT NO PAINT you will regret it latter.
  • Barbara Barbara on Sep 18, 2015
    I agree with Iseamoon. I have used the Brick Anew and it does take some work, but it makes a remarkable difference in the way the fireplace looks. My mother made the mistake of painting over her used brick fireplace and has regretted it ever since. In addtion, getting the paint off of brick or masonry might require sandblasting that could damage the surface.
  • J J on Oct 05, 2015
    The fireplace is a beautiful focal piece. I would not paint the stone. it is a classic look and you will never be happy with trying to conceal it. If you can, think about lowering it. I would suggest finding a reputable mason for this job! Find out if it is possible to take off the top two courses of the stone without destroying the mantel? Then reinstall the mantel. The fireplace seems to tower over the room. Also, think about adding depth and beauty to the tiles in front of the hearth. And lastly, I can't see the sides of the fireplace in your picture, but see if you can build out on the sides. Some cabinetry where the ghastly television can be hidden would be very attractive. Plus, the television will be easier to enjoy if you don't have to crane your neck to look up at it on the mantel. I hope I have been helpful, good luck on your project. JS
    • Deb Desiderio Deb Desiderio on Oct 20, 2016
      Agree. If anything I would paint the walls a deep color like teal or a deep golden color (think fall leaves). That screams comfy cosy.
  • Peggy Ravenscraft Peggy Ravenscraft on Oct 31, 2017

    Can you put tile on it

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Oct 30, 2023

    Quick upgrade would be to colour the Mantle shelf and supports in a dark colour, Maybe the colour of the hearth. or Box in the fire surround and hearth and tile over the lot or paint the stone or put in a new more substantial hearth.