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fireplaces part 2

Emily Oster

The two fireplaces I am working on are similar in the following ways:
- made of brick
- there is A LOT of brick

House A's fireplace is in the main living room, made of a white, gray brick and is double height so probably 20' high by 8' wide. The house is undergoing a complete remodel for a young family who want an open concept home that is a mix of modern and traditional. House B's fireplace is a pass through design placed between the formal dining room and the kitchen, painted a taupe color and is probably 10' high by 12' wide on both sides. This home is in an updating stage (changing paint colors, planning for a large kitchen remodel etc.). The couple who just happen to be my parents (hi mom) have always been unhappy with the fireplace - never the right color, barely used etc. I would describe the current decor of our family home as "traditional - comfy". My mom would like to start to move away from the traditional to more of a "transitional - comfy" style.

For House A, I am thinking that the fireplace should be more of a subtle statement. The shear surface area of the the brick is rather overwhelming and to make it a real statement piece would greatly restrict the design and selection of other elements in the room (furniture, lighting, flooring etc.). I like the idea of it blending in with the walls either by covering it with drywall or maybe just painting it a high gloss white. I also think moving the hearth off the floor could go a long way to update it. Sort of like these images:

1. East London fireplace of Abigail Ahern via SF Girl by Bay  2. Brick House by Clare Cousin Architects image by Shannon McGrath  3. Interior design by Studio Bakker  4. Karlavagen 76 (Oscar Properties) via Husligheter

1. East London fireplace of Abigail Ahern via SF Girl by Bay  2. Brick House by Clare Cousin Architects image by Shannon McGrath  3. Interior design by Studio Bakker  4. Karlavagen 76 (Oscar Properties) via Husligheter

For House B, I am less sure about what my parents are really looking for as the fireplace updating is part of a greater remodel that has not yet been totally worked out. One option would be to do stacked stone which I know my Mom really likes. For this approach, I would suggest keeping it to one color tone most likely a dark gray. Another option, would be to do a wood treatment like images 3 and 4 illustrate below. Lastly and most simply, the fireplace could be painted either white or a dark gray and a simple wood mantle could be added. I have also encouraged my parents to consider changing the form of the fireplace by either removing one side or face of the firebox (the one that faces the entry) to open it up a bit or even moving the whole firebox up so that it is roughly 4' off the ground. See below:

1. Open Mills Valley Home by Tineke Triggs image via Houzz  2. Fireplace design by Charles Rose Architects image via Houzz  3. Villa V by Paul de Ruiter Architects image via ArchDaily  4. Catherine Memmi Summer House image via Houzz  5. Image via New England Home  6. Portola Valley home by The Office of Charles de Lisle  7. Nicklas Rudfell via Apartment Therapy  8. Canadian House and Home  design by Sasha Seymour 

1. Open Mills Valley Home by Tineke Triggs image via Houzz  2. Fireplace design by Charles Rose Architects image via Houzz  3. Villa V by Paul de Ruiter Architects image via ArchDaily  4. Catherine Memmi Summer House image via Houzz  5. Image via New England Home  6. Portola Valley home by The Office of Charles de Lisle  7. Nicklas Rudfell via Apartment Therapy  8. Canadian House and Home  design by Sasha Seymour