Thursday, October 29, 2015

Add Industrial Style to Your Fireplace

Take a look at these amazing industrial style fireplace doors and accessories!  I love the look of the heavyweight traditional iron door against the rustic brick.  And the accessories compliment the doors perfectly.  These products,  crafted by the Stoll fireplace company, are some of the most high quality fireplace products I've seen.  Check them out at  

Monday, October 26, 2015

Decorate An Unused Fireplace With Pumpkins

I love this easy, creative idea to decorate an unused fireplace for Halloween.  Purchase enough pumpkins in various sizes to stack inside your firebox.  Be sure to get white as well as orange pumpkins.  Use black and orange paint to decorate some of the pumpkins with polka dots or stripes. With no carving, the pumpkins will last longer and there's no mess.  Add a few candles on the mantel and you have a fun, festive display!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Thanksgiving is Just Around the Corner...Is Your Fireplace Ready?

Yes, it's that time of year again.  The leaves are changing colors, the air is chilly, and Thanksgiving will be here before you know it.  As you think about entertaining family and friends in your home, what about your brick fireplace?  Is it outdated and drab?  Does it beckon everyone to gather around, relax, and visit for a while...or is is one big ugly eyesore?

Don't panic, it's not hopeless! First of all...clean out your firebox.  Vacuum all the soot and ashes out of your firebox and use a scrub brush and a bucket of soap and water to clean out any loose dust, dirt or soot.  After the firebox is dry, paint it with a high temperature black paint.  It will look brand new.

Next, order the Brick-Anew do-it-yourself fireplace brick paint kit at  It comes with all the tools and paint shades you need to do the project.  The end result is a fresh "new brick" look, not a flat, solid painted look.

How does your mantel look?  You might consider painting it with the base coat that comes in the kit if you're not crazy about the way it looks.  Take everything off your mantel and consider how a large mirror would look with a couple of candelabras or vases.  Or how about a simple wreath? Stand back and take a look and see what you think.

Whether you burn real wood, gas logs, or burn candles inside your firebox, the ambiance and beauty of your fireplace will be appreciated by your family and friends.  And I think you'll enjoy it too!

A Stunning Fireplace Design by House of J Interiors


Jennifer Woch with House of J interiors became interested in interior design as a child. Her family traveled to England where historical styles and beauty influenced her as she realized how much you surroundings affect the way you feel.

She describes the way she gets inspiration for a project from listening to her client's dreams and desires for a particular space. When dealing with a fireplace, she always treats it as a focal point for the room. Art, mirror, candles, and seasonal decor are all great ways to accessorize a fireplace. Jen starts a fireplace redesign by removing everything from the fireplace and putting items back piece by piece so she can try a few arrangements before deciding on a final look.

The fireplace in the picture here is one that Jen designed to compliment her client's new blinds. He had just purchased them and wanted to keep them in place. She didn't want to match them with the materials for the fireplace but wanted to choose something complimentary. Since her client liked earthy finishes, she decided on stacked slate with deep orange rust and dark grays. Jen decided to cover the entire wall which made a huge statement. The slate looked amazing with his hickory floors, maple cabinets, and quartz counter.

Jen advises homeowners to have a plan before starting a design project. Have all the materials you need on hand. If you decide to hire a designer or decorator, be ready to ask them anything. There are no "silly" questions.

She says to be sure you don't go for a magazine look unless it's truly your style. All spaces should be functional and practical for the way you live no matter what the trends are or what's in style at the moment. A well designed space will stand the test of time.

Check out House of J Interiors at

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Why Paint a Brick Fireplace?

Since it's fireplace season, getting your fireplace ready for friends and family to enjoy is probably something you have on your mind.  Check out one our most popular posts that gives some food for thought on painting your tired, outdated brick fireplace.

Imagine the ideal living room with the family gathered together around the fireplace. It’s brick, right? Traditional, attractive, natural. So why would someone paint over that brick?

Many people are opposed “on principle” to the idea of painting a brick fireplace. Of course personal preference is a factor in any remodeling decision. However, there are several circumstances where painting a brick fireplace might be your best option.

1. Ugly Bricks.

If all fireplaces were as beautiful as the one you imagined in your ideal living room, there might be no need to paint them. But in reality, many fireplaces look just plain ugly.

Styles change. Even high-quality bricks may look dated and out of style. Painting with the right technique can significantly improve the look of your brick fireplace and your entire living area. The right technique can make the difference between a flat, painted fireplace and “real-looking” brick. Try a pre-assembled fireplace paint kit to get all the tools and paint you need as well as instructions for painting brick with the correct technique.

2. Cover Repaired or Discolored Bricks.Some older fireplaces may have “bad spots” with replaced bricks or patched mortar. Repaired or replaced bricks may not match the look of the original bricks in your fireplace. Even if every effort was made to match the repaired brick with the original, the repair might still be visible and may have aged differently.

Even cleaning fireplace bricks can change how they look. Have you ever tried to remove soot, residue, or even crayon from a brick? It may take strong chemicals, harsh abrasives, or serious scrubbing to get stubborn stains off brick. This can remove the exposed outer layer of the brick, making the cleaned brick stand out from its more “weathered” neighbors.

Painting your fireplace covers over these “surface” differences in brick, giving your fireplace a new, unified appearance. As a bonus, a high-quality base coat of paint will seal the brick and protect it from further damage.

3. Cover or Improve an Existing Paint Job.

Removing paint from a brick fireplace may sound like “the right thing to do,” but once you get down to it the process is messy, expensive, tedious, and potentially dangerous. Solvents and chemicals are often toxic and usually include dangerous acids that can cause severe damage to humans and pets. Sandblasting is generally not recommended for indoor brick and in any case can leave brick damaged or with an “uneven” appearance that you might have to paint over anyway. Obsessively scrubbing bricks and mortar with a wire brush could take weeks or even months. And after all that paint removal work, you might very well find damaged or unsightly brick—the reason it was painted over in the first place.

Other methods of dealing with painted brick have their own drawbacks. Tearing out a brick fireplace to replace it can cost several thousand dollars while leaving you at the mercy of a contractor. And granite or marble can be even more expensive.

What Are Your Options?

Option 1: Painting your fireplace brick with a solid coat of paint.
  • Cost: $75 worth of paint and supplies should be enough for two coats of paint.
  • Advantages: If you do decide to paint your brick fireplace, you can pick the color to match your d├ęcor. This will give your fireplace a clean, uniform appearance in a solid color.
  • Drawbacks: Your fireplace will have an unmistakable “painted” look. Very difficult to remove paint from brick.
  • Estimated time: 3 to 4 hours

Option 2: Remodel your fireplace brick for a “real brick” look using a do-it-yourself paint kit.
  • Cost: $200 for an all-in-one kit with several colors of paint including a protective base coat/sealer, supplies, and instructions.
  • Advantages: Easy and affordable. Try a pre-assembled fireplace paint kit to give your ugly fireplace a rejuvenated “real brick” look.
  • Drawbacks: Very difficult to remove paint from brick.
  • Estimated time: 5 to 7 hours

Option 3: Tear out and totally remodel your fireplace in brick, stone, granite, or marble.
  • Cost: $3,000 to $8,000 to hire a contractor for complete demolition and replacement of the existing fireplace with a brand new one.
  • Advantages: You will end up with a brand new fireplace built to your specifications. This may sound like a daunting project, but the results can be spectacular.
  • Drawbacks: Expensive, time-consuming, messy, and you have to have a contractor do the heavy demolition and construction work.
  • Estimated time: 3 to 5 days

Although a completely new fireplace may be an “ideal” solution to an ugly fireplace, you may find that a newly painted fireplace can be a huge improvement—at a fraction of the cost. Painting a brick fireplace is an inexpensive upgrade that can make a world of difference in how your fireplace looks.

Especially at a time when everyone could use a little extra equity, painting your fireplace adds a great deal of value to your home. Giving your space a more modern look will help attract buyers, just ask many home flippers who have been using this secret themselves. Take a moment to consider all of the fireplace paint products available and decide what works best for your space's decor.

Related Links:

Painting a Brick Fireplace: Against the Rules?
Is painting brick a bad idea? This article lays out the pros and cons.

Can Mr. Fix-It Remodel the Fireplace Himself?
An inexpensive and practical DIY solution for a fireplace that needs remodeling.

5 Things to Consider Before Remodeling Your Fireplace

Practical questions to ask yourself about the remodeling project you are planning.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A French Country Fireplace

This room makes me smile.  The natural light from the windows brightens the entire space and the light colored stone enhances the French country style of the room.  The exposed wood beams on the ceiling draw the eye upward to the high ceiling, as does the simple chandelier.  The double sided-fireplace looks elegant and the curved arch of the firebox mimics the door frame to the left. White furniture gives the room a soft, relaxed feel and ornate accessories on the reclaimed wood mantel add interest.  A vase of colorful flowers and throw pillows were added for a pop of color. I love this style!


Two-Sided Warmth

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Don't Let A Stone Fireplace Weigh Down Your Room

A heavy looking stone fireplace can really weigh down a room...especially if you want a light, airy look.  Adding a white mantel or a light colored rustic mantel to lighten things up.

I love this picture by Better Homes and Gardens.  Notice how the acrylic accent table and the light blue vases give a modern look.  Bring in some nature with a couple of green trees and fresh flowers add a pop of color. Stack some firewood in the firebox to add interest and you've got a rustic fireplace with a modern flair!

What ideas do you have for keeping a room from being weighed down by a heavy looking stone fireplace?

Refine a Rustic Fireplace

Friday, February 27, 2015

Rustic Mantels Popular For Spring

Rustic Mantels have been gaining more and more popularity lately.  There's even a style I've come across recently called "farmhouse modern" where it's chic to mix elements of modern and rustic decor.  If you're thinking of adding a little rustic to your home, consider a new mantel.

Rustic generally means something that looks old, organic, or unfinished.  Basically it's the opposite of new and sleek.  Sometimes rustic items really are old such as mantels made from reclaimed barn wood.  But mantels can be new and made to look distressed and worn.  Pine and other types of solid wood make good rustic mantels.  Some companies offer a choice of stains and finishes so you can match the mantel to your home.  Be sure to measure your existing mantel, if you have one, so you can determine what size rustic mantel to purchase.  Use painter's tape to mark the space your new mantel will cover.  Plan to leave about a foot between the top of the firebox where you build the fire, and the bottom of the mantel.  A good rule of thumb for figuring out what length the mantel should be, double the firebox width.   Your city might have building codes so it would probably a good idea to check on those before installing your new mantel.

Pictured here is the Ridgewood Rustic Mantel available at  Check it out and let me know what you think!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Decorate A Mantel For Fall

Fall is finally here!  The air is getting a little chilly here in Atlanta and it's time to start thinking about making a few changes around the house.  Creating a colorful mantel display is a great place to begin! I mixed a few artificial and real pumpkins with some Indian corn and added a leaf garland to line the mantel.  Then I hung a simple grape vine wreath in the center with some burlap.  A pair black lanterns add the perfect touch on each end holding cream colored candles.  The light colored brick painted with Brick-Anew makes a nice neutral background for the colors to pop.  What are your fall mantel decorating ideas?

Check out these beautiful rustic mantels and more picture testimonials for the Brick Anew Paint Kit.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Painting A Mantel Black...And 5 Other Ways To Use This Dramatic Color In Your Home

Designers love black, whether it’s in clothing or home decor.  This classic color never seems to go out of style and is a staple of any wardrobe.  In home decorating, this bold color can be used in a number of ways to draw attention to details and accessories or add dramatic flair to walls to pieces of furniture.  Here are some ways to use black in your home:

-Paint a wall black and hang brightly colored prints, sculptures, or paintings.  Or paint a wall a light color and hang artwork in black frames for a uniform look.

-Decorate with black wrought iron such as a light fixture, railing for a staircase, or candlestick holders. Black wrought iron furniture looks beautiful on a screened porch or patio and it’s fun to accessorize with bright, cheerful colors.

-Paint your fireplace mantel black.  Whether you have a mantel shelf or a surround, a dramatic look can be created. This looks best if your fireplace is build out of a light colored material like marble or if your brick has been painted a light color.

--Paint end tables or a chair black.  Just a couple of black accents in a room should be enough to make a statement.  Remember, you can paint almost anything from an old brass lamp to a worn looking fireplace screen and get great results.

-Combine black with white for a classic look.  Black, white, and chrome make a timeless combination for a kitchen or bath.  Add a pop of color or just leave it alone.  Either way, it will make a statement.

-Fill a black cabinet with white dishes for a simple, sophisticated display.  

(Photo by Selamat Designs)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...