Three Tips for Upgrading Your Fireplace

There’s nothing quite as memorable as family time around the fireplace during a New England winter.  When trees are snow-heavy and driveways are icy, you want to be nestled inside with a cup of hot cocoa, warming your toes in front of the fire.  But what if your fireplace is shabby and outdated?  Rock facades and yellow granite were popular in the eighties, but nowadays they will make your family room look old and out of style.  Remodeling this particular focal point of a room will make the entire space brighter and trendier.  Here are three tips for upgrading your fireplace.

1.Get creative with carpentry.

Don’t want to remove the original brick or stone around your fireplace?  Not to worry – you don’t have to touch a thing.  With the services of an expert carpenter, you can cover the original façade with cabinetry or molding, as we did in one of our client’s homes (see photo above).  Depending on your taste, you can choose sleek, modern lines, a more classic design, or even a rustic, farmhouse style.  With custom carpentry, you can change the look of your fireplace into anything you want.

2. Try a tile makeover.

Covering a fireplace surround with tile is becoming more and more popular, and we love this elegant trend.  Whether it’s subway tile, marble or ceramic, the variety of options out there will have your creative appetite piqued in no time.  Be sure to plan your layout ahead of time, with an eye for even spacing, and you might even want to create a cardboard template of your surround and lay the tile pattern out on the floor before installing it.

3. Paint is your friend.

Believe it or not, a simple paint job will do the trick on an outdated fireplace – if you do it right.  Light, cool colors – even whitewash – will turn those old, pock-marked bricks into a stylish surround, and it’ll brighten up the room, too.  Just be sure to clean the brick thoroughly (but gently!) before painting.

For most homeowners, the fireplace is one of the most important home amenities.  It is a place for the family to gather together for warmth and long-lasting memories.  With a small investment of time and money, you can upgrade your fireplace and make your family room unforgettable.

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