Looking for fireplace makeover ideas? See how this awkward glass fireplace was transformed into an elegant classic with antique brick, white molding, and a gas insert.
We actually completed this fireplace makeover a little over a year ago, but I regularly get questions regarding it, so I thought it might help if I put all the answers in one place. Plus, sometimes when something is right in front of you it can be hard to see the growth and changes. It takes a stepping back, if you will, to see just how far you’ve come… And I feel that is true about our living room.
Fireplace makeover: before and after
To fully appreciate the changes we’ve made in the last 2.5 years since we bought this house, you have to see where it all began. (Please excuse the Christmas decorations; this is just the closet image I had to the same angle.)
The only two things we did in the house before we moved in were to replace the floors and paint then entire downstairs in SW Agreeable Gray. The fireplace was a rather awkward little glass box that only semi-separated the two living spaces (and the gas insert didn’t work), but we wanted to take our time deciding on how to change it. We started with this DIY mantel and a little cosmetic fireplace makeover to help the space feel more like our style.
While it might sound nice to have the two rooms open to one another, the step down unfortunately made it difficult to use the spaces simultaneously, which led to them just feeling like they conflicted with one another. Plus, with so many windows (which I love! not complaining!!), furniture placement was really difficult. So after a year or so, we decided it was time to actually make some more significant changes.
Ideas for a dramatic fireplace makeover:
Place built-in bookcases beside the fireplace
We wanted the downstairs to still feel open while effectively separating the two spaces and providing some much-needed storage and wall space. So we enclosed one side of the fireplace with a double sided bookcase (see both sides below) and built a new (slightly wider) chase with a new fireplace with a gas insert.
Use antique brick to cover a new metal fireplace
We installed this two-sided fireplace and then dressed it up with a brick overlay. We used this brick (it’s not actually antique, but it definitely has that look) and had our tile guy cut the full-sized bricks into veneer-like tiles. The full sized bricks were used for the raised hearth on the lower level while the tiles were used to cover the metal face of the fireplace and the flat hearth. I asked that they all be installed with a rather messy white mortar to accentuate that aged feel.
Recess cabinetry beside a fireplace
The bookcase was custom built, but we opted for a very simple front (to match the shaker cabinets we put in our kitchen at the same time).
Cover the fireplace chase with white block paneling
The molding around the fireplace is my favorite, though. We used block paneling (which is similar to board and batten except the for the addition of an extra, more intricate trim piece to cover the seams) and had it all painted white to match the existing trim.
Create a custom mantel (for a small space!)
The actual mantel was a loooooonnnnng process of finding designs I liked and then making them into the dimensions we needed and trying to decide if I still liked them at that point. 😉 The tricky thing is that I really wanted legs so that it looked like a traditional white mantel, but the distance between the brick and the bookcase was not very far. I love what we ended up with, though, which was simply a creative mix of moldings and some small-ish box legs.
Consider asymmetrical fireplace design
I was actually worried that the lack of symmetry might drive me crazy, but we love it. The bookcases are pretty (and functional… we needed somewhere for books and that tv!), and the open side not only keeps the space from feeling closed off but also allows us to take in those gorgeous hill country views from both rooms.
Sources for this fireplace makeover:
This post contains affiliate links. Click here to read my full disclosure.
- fireplace: 36″ See-Through Radiant Wood Burning Fireplace by Majestic
- bookcase, block paneling, mantel: custom
- brick: Old San Luis by Old Texas Brick with messy white mortar
- mantel, paneling, and bookcase paint: SW Extra White
- wall color: SW Agreeable Gray
- flooring: engineered white oak
And because someone always asks 😉 here are the sources (or similar) for accessories and furniture that appeared in the above images:
I must say, I love the transformation. There’s nothing quite like having a vision and seeing it carried out, amIright? Tell me, would you have done the same thing?
Don’t forget to pin it!
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