The Many Phases of the Fireplace

One of the unusual parts of our living room is the corner fireplace we have. We get mixed reviews on it, too. Some of our friends think it’s great, but we’re not always so sure. Our bungalow is very traditionally craftsman style in architecture, but the fireplace doesn’t seem to fit. It’s pretty ornate: the mantle’s covered in a grape vine motif, and there’s a giant shield (like a family crest) in the middle of it.

Here it is before we painted the room at all. We knew we wanted it to sort of blend in as it didn’t otherwise fit the style of the house or our personal style. So, we started out painting the top of it the wall color, and leaving the bottom half white.

Not bad, but we still felt like it was a little off. So, next we painted the white portion a semi-gloss white. The same as we painted the rest of the trim in the room. Still, we didn’t like how it seemed to stand out in the room.

You can see the shield thing a little more clearly in this picture. It still felt too white, though.

So, next, inspired by this picture from Apartment Therapy…

…we thought we’d try painting it all black.


So, finally we decided to leave only the interior and surround black and paint the columns, mantle, and top portion the wall color.

Here’s a picture of what we were left with (I’ll post a better picture soon):

Aaaah, much better!


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