My newest clients came to me with a dilemma. They love the home they just purchased, but are not crazy about their off centered fireplace with the dated tile and visually unbalanced built in.
Can you fix it? they asked.
I must admit when I saw the pictures I was slightly horrified, and had to take a second to think about it. But soon the design wheels in my head began chugging to life, and the horror turned to excitement.
Of course! I said, and dove right in.
I knew from the start that they wanted to replace the tile with stone, so I began by searching for a stone veneer that would go with the new color scheme. I had already chosen a light greige color from Behr called Mineral for the walls, and wanted a stone that would complement it. When I found the Nantucket stacked stone from El Dorado I knew it would add the hints of gray I wanted, and not be too cool.
My clients are proactive and had already spoken with their contractor about moving the fireplace, so I knew I would be able to give them several options to choose from. If you're thinking about making structural changes during your reno, please talk to a qualified professional beforehand.
I decided to create two plans involving moving the fireplace, and two plans using the existing footprint. These homeowners are pretty handy so not moving the fireplace would give them the opportunity to do most of the work themselves, and save a lot of money.
Here's a breakdown of the four mock ups:
The first option centers the fireplace on the wall, and adds another built in for visual balance. I brought the stone to the ceiling, but left the built ins a little lower to save on construction costs. To fill the empty space above them I added these fun swing arm lamps.
Option two is one of my favorites. Again I centered the fireplace on the wall, but this room looks into their library which already has built ins so they really weren't necessary in this space. To dress up the surrounding walls I added beautiful shelving that they could use to display family photos or special finds from all of their travels.
Option three involves the least construction since it keeps what they already have. The only change here would be bringing the built in to the ceiling to create visual balance.
The last option is my favorite. It keeps the existing footprint (which keeps costs down), gets rid of the built in completely, and gives the homeowners a wall of beautiful stone to look at! The fireplace may still be off center, but by adding more stone and a longer mantle the eye is tricked into thinking there's symmetry.
An awkward fireplace doesn't have to ruin your space. With a little creativity and courage to take on a project, it can become a beautiful focal point.
Which design is your favorite? Comment below!
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