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Our Perfectly Fine Fireplace, What Would You Do?

With autumn’s arrival I always start thinking about my fireplace design again.
Our fireplace is FINE, I like it, and I love the storage from the built in cabinets.
If I were a normal person I would just leave it alone.
But all I do when I look at it is redesign it in my head.
When we bought this house, I was absolutely giddy about this fireplace and it’s built ins.
Oh the potential behind all that peach, burnt orange and orangey oak.
I couldn’t wait to break out the paint brush.
Painting it all white was a H-UGE improvement!!!!!
It’s fine, it’s great, but there are a couple of issues, 
plus the wanna-be carpenter in me can’t resist messing with a perfectly good thing.
First the pros:
The cabinets provide fabulous storage for all our school supplies, photo albums and fireplace paraphernalia like starter logs. Hidden storage for all our junk is a huge thumbs up. Also, there is an outlet in the mantle.
Now moving on to some of the issues…

The Big One…..
The location of the TV.
It’s presence in this room is a requirement. We are a TV-watching family, particularly when Gwen Stefani joins the Voice. And Tom Brady is on the field. Plus the TV is how we get our kids to hang out with us. Don’t judge. They’re teenagers and we’ll use whatever lure we can!
Our TV is currently on a stand Mark built when we were first married. Our TV console from our last house (that we spent a small fortune on) doesn’t fit in our family room so it is housing 47947 video games in the basement. That’s Murphy’s Law right there in action my friends.

When you enter our house from the garage, a half wall creates a little entry, and this is the view into the family room. Attractive, no?

The view from the kitchen – it is nice to be able to see the fireplace but the TV is mostly obscured. That pole has to go, but that’s a story for another day.

Because of the room layout with windows and doorways, mounting the TV over the fireplace makes the most sense although it wouldn’t be my first choice design-wise. Here is my mock-up with craft paper of the big huge black box over the mantle.

(Before I get hate mail:  I realize mounting the TV over the fireplace is controversial from both a design and electronics safety stand point. More on that later.)

Second issue:
The semi-gloss paint was a bad choice for me. It illuminates every nook and cranny of the brick.
Texture in a room = good, but shiny brick = bad.


Third issue:
those brick corbels and their gaps. Not a fan.

Okay friends.
I have a lot of thoughts on what to do with this fireplace of mine but first I’m curious to hear what you think! 
What you be so kind as to give me your opinion on my perfectly fine fireplace?
Tomorrow I’ll bombard you with fireplace makeover ideas, but today, the floor is yours. Thank you in advance!
Also a reminder – it’s time for Best of the Nest// September Edition this Friday!! We are looking forward to seeing your favorite project from the month, some come on back and link up!

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S Haines

Tuesday 30th of September 2014

My husband does AV design for a living and one thing I've seen him do for others which I think is a nice compromise is a mirror over the fireplace that "hides" the TV. When the tv is on, it shines right through the mirror but when it's off, it's just a normal (big) mirror.

That aside, one thing to also consider is the height at which the TV will be if you mount it above that fireplace....perhaps a bit high..but it was for us too and we live with it. :)


Thursday 25th of September 2014

You know how much I love a good fireplace dilemma. ;-) in our old house we had built-ins that flanked the fireplace, and we ended up taking one of the shelves out and building the tv into the built-ins in such a way that it could pull out and swivel to watch it, and then push it back, flush against the wall when you weren't. Could you extend the built-ins and incorporate something like that maybe? I can't wait to see what you do - the paint is already a big improvement!

Elizabeth @ The Little Black Door

Thursday 25th of September 2014

Woah mamma that paint made such a difference! I'd go over it with a coat of flat paint, which will take care of those nook and crannies. As for the TV, I don't know the layout of the whole room but I'm thinking over the fireplace is probably the top contender.

pam {simple details}

Thursday 25th of September 2014

Hmmm...still thinking, but I think the tv will look fine there. Crazy what a simple paint job will do!

Kris @ Driven by Décor

Thursday 25th of September 2014

It's so, so crazy what a difference the white paint made from when you first moved in! I would totally go with hanging your TV over the fireplace (on a swing mount so you could swing it towards the kitchen if needed!).