Monday, October 1, 2007


We're refacing our fireplace. I'm not a fan of the red brick. Actually, I don't mind it usually, but in our case how our surround is positioned, our bricks look more like stripes of mortar.
So we're tiling over it. Tile-ing? Tiling looks funny.
Anyway, you know me and my indecisiveness. We're having trouble deciding what to do.
Here's a little background info...
Originally we didn't want to have to do anything with the mantle/surround. I don't love the color, but I didn't see painting it white (to match the baseboards and trim) working very well since all the other wood in the room is dark. We have the piano next to the fireplace and that is a medium walnut color, then the fireplace is a bit lighter, like a regular oak, and all the other wood is dark mahogany almost black. Even though I don't like the wood color of the fireplace, I thought white would look mismatched also.
I'm also going to spray paint the brass part of the glass doors black like the rest of the cover.

So. The tile.
Our contestants are... (you can click on the pictures to see them up close)

Option A:
Neutral tile, six inch squares on the face and 12 inch squares on the hearth. I like neutral. But when I look at this tile, which happens to be a pretty close match to our wall color, I think having the wall and the tile the same will make the mantle stand out. And I don't really want that. Unless maybe I paint it white to match the wall trim. That would probably look better than the wood if we wanted to go with the neutral tile.

Option B:
Same color scheme, but different shades of the neutral in two inch tiles. This way we have something a little more interesting than all one wall/tile color. It seems to me to tie the surround color in a little better so it wouldn't be so outstanding. We would do the 2 inch tile with the same larger 12 inch on the hearth as above.

Option C:
Slate. I'm not a fan of slate. I don't usually like the darkness and the greens and blues in the average slate. I do however, like these little multil-colored squares. I like that there are golds and browns and reds with the usual blues and the grays. I think this is my favorite, as it ties in the browns of the wall and the couches as well as the other colors in the room like the dark of the other wood furniture. But I don't think I like the slate with the surround color. There is none of that oak color in the slate whatsoever. But it doesn't seem like painting the surround white would go very well either. The thought crossed my mind to paint the surround the wall color, but is that dumb? If we went with the slate we would most like find a more solid color in bigger tiles to do the hearth, one of the reddish browns or a dark gray. But what to do with the surround?
So what do I do? Ryan says we should just paint the mantle/surround white (trim color), but I'm not convinced that that won't look odd when our tv armoire/shelves are the focal point of the next wall over and make up almost the same shape/size as the fireplace but in dark wood. Does that make any sense? Does any of this make any sense? Here's a bigger picture of the room for reference:I know it's hard without seeing it in person, but I'm sitting here looking at it and I'm at a loss here too.
Any ideas?


Nicole said...

Ok, here's my opinion. Its free, take it for what its worth.

My first opinion was that my LEAST favorite was the slate. Looks horrible with the honey colored surround (is that what you mean by surround... the wood thingy?). But then you brought up the idea of painting it. I think it'd look really weird if you painted it the wall color, but I really like the idea of painting it white like the trim. And, seeing a pic of the "whole room" with all the different color woods, I think painting it white might make your eyes dart a little less around to all the different wood colors, kwim? I mean, at this point you see the black frame, dark entertainment center, honey colored mantle and the mahogany colored coffee table and piano. BUT... now that I'm looking at it... what about painting it the color of your entertainment center.... bring more of the darks in from your frame and your entertainment center. I think that would look AWESOME with the slate.

If you keep the surround the same color that it is, I'd say go for the tan tiles with the mini ones... the second pic posted.

Nicole said...

ok, so I never clarified what my favorite was.

#1 choice: granite with mantle painted color of entertainment center.

#2 choice: granite with mantle painted white.

#3 choice: tan tile (multi sizes) with either white mantle or honey colored.

Mom said...

I do like the slate .I like the tones. The light tiles are too blah. Dad says paint the surround like the dark stuff. I say why not the color of the piano and coffee table.(Don't like the idea of the white.)

Anonymous said...

I like choice # 3 the best-it belnds in the darker entertainment center, frames, etc & leaves your options open for colors. We did something similar to ours when we remodeled our home. Knocked out a brick wall & stuccoed (sp?) & tiled around a wood burning fireplace that I wanted to add a gas burning insert into since we don't burn logs in it anymore. So when my hubby said no insert I yanked out all doors, etc & painted the inside a hammered copper. Good luck & post pics :)


MacKenzie Leigh said...

I think that all three tile choices would look great with the mantle/surround painted the same as the armoir. Painting it black would just tie all the main pieces of furniture together, right now I think the fireplace is really too noticeable (it's the first thing that caught my eye). I think the slate is gorgeous, but I'm a HUGE slate fan. And then the 2" slightly different beige tiles and bigger tiles for the bottom would be my second choice.

jessica said...

I like the slate the best, and I think you should paint the mantle dark like the entertainment center. That would look great.

Gabe & Heidi's P.A.D. said...

I personally love slate and am in agreement with everyone else.
I'm excited to see the finished product. I hope the project goes smoother than when we did mom and dad's fireplace...remember? The mantal still isn't attached! :)

heather said...

Why does everyone else think that making the mantle/surround dark to match the entertainment center is the best choice... while I am convinced that would be way too much dark??? It just seems like way too much dark "furniture" to me... wouldn't it make the room overwhelmingly black?
I'm scared.
But then again... I think white would look odd too... I wish I could put the piano someplace else. Will someone just come over and rearrange my living room correctly and make the right color choices for me? Please??!

jenny said...

i agree with nicole. my first thought once i saw the whole room was to paint it dark like the entertainment center. then you could go with the slate you like. it would tie it all together. i think the lighter tiles would get lost on the wall. if that makes sense? have fun with this project!

Katie said...

I like the slate also....I think it would bring some more color to the room. If you don't want to paint the fireplace as dark as the entertainment center (which I'm not sure if I would either) maybe you could stain the mantle a cherry or matching color to the piano or coffee table.?

I really like slate with dark (brazilian cherry...just an ex.)wood, I think it looks very rich.

Annie said...

My choices are (in order of preference)...
1st choice: B
2nd: A
3rd: C (I don't mind slate at all, I just don't really think the colors tie into the room as well as the other two).

LeeAnn said...

I know you don't want to hear this, but I think the surround should match your other dark woods, unless you go white, I think I would like that too. But it looks kinda odd with the different colors of wood. As far as the tile, if you do decide to change the color or your surround, then I like #3 the slate! If you don't change the surround, I like #1. its a little more simpler and not too busy with the surround being a different wood color.

Amie R said...

Okay. I choose Option B with the mantle painted white. Why? Because the rest of the woodwork in your house is white (besides your kitchen cabinets which seem to match the mantle). (I referenced your move-in pics...I don't have your house memorized promise.) I also like the small tiles on the sides of the fireplace to give it a little more texture.

I was going to say paint the trim in that room a few shades lighter than your wall color, but there would not be a place to stop. I love decorating and house stuff. Probably a little too much!

Christina said...

Heather, I know this is an old post, but I was looking back at it because I remembered that big frame with all the pictures on the wall next to your fireplace and liked it. John and I are wondering where you bought that (if you remember)? Thanks

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