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Home Improvement & Renovating
There’s nothing quite like snuggling with a warm blanket in front of the fireplace on a chilly night. While the wind howls outside, you’re warm and cozy inside. A fireplace brings people together and is often a focal point in space. Because you spend so much time around the fireplace, it’s a great spot to upgrade with some DIY makeover projects. Here are some ideas to inspire you.
Red brick surrounding the fireplace is a classic look. But when you’re ready to make a more modern change, one of the simplest upgrades you can make is painting it a different colour.
Painting the brick white gives your fireplace a clean look that will fit into any room, but any colour will do. Even if you have coloured walls and paint the bricks with the same colour, the texture and depth of the fireplace will still make it stand out.
Painting your fireplace brick and painting anything else is basically the same. If small pieces crumble easily off your brick, use a wire brush to scrape off the majority of those pieces first to prevent them from sticking to your paint roller or brush. Other than that, it’s just a matter of using your roller to cover the brick. You may need to do two or three coats to get the desired coverage. Paint rollers don’t always fit well into the grooves between the bricks, so if you find you’re having trouble, use an angled paint brush to paint those areas.
When you’re not gazing at the flames, you may be admiring the artwork or decorations on your fireplace mantel, which is another focal point of your fireplace that you can upgrade.
Adding a floating mantel to your fireplace isn’t a hard job. And since you’re adding it yourself, you can choose any type of material you’d like to use. This could be a raw, unfinished piece of wood or a smooth piece of MDF board.
Once you’ve decided on the material for your mantel, centre it on your fireplace and decide on the height. Then, use a masonry bit to drill holes in the brick large enough to install lag bolts. Drill matching holes into the mantel and slide it onto the lag bolts. For extra sturdiness, add Liquid Nails into the holes in the mantel before you slide them onto the bolts. Once you’re happy with the placement, caulk around the edges to close the seams.
Some fireplaces don’t have brick around them. Instead, they are built flat into a wall. These fireplaces can be upgraded by changing up the space around your fireplace.
Install barn boards vertically above and around your fireplace to give it a rustic look. This not only provides a visual highlight, but also adds texture to the previously smooth walls. Finding a piece of wood that matches the barn boards to build a mantel enhances the look even more and gives your fireplace extra functionality.
If wood isn’t the direction you want to take, you can add brick veneer or even a patterned vinyl to make your fireplace the focal point of your room. These options allow you to think outside the box and experiment with different textures, colours and patterns.
Adding functionality along with style is another great way to upgrade your fireplace. A fireplace doesn’t lend itself to a lot of storage so why not add some?
In the same vein as adding features around your fireplace, you can add built-in shelves around it. This is a bigger project, but the results are well worth it.
Shelves not only provide you with storage and functionality, they also act as a frame for your fireplace and expand the space. Shelves built around a fireplace on a wall makes the fireplace the focal point of an entire wall unit. Fill your fireplace shelves with books or collectibles, and make it your favourite new place to relax.
Your fireplace already provides you with warmth and light, but could be upgraded with different types of lights to give your space a unique look. When it comes to lighting around a fireplace, less is more. You want the light to accentuate certain features, not drown them out.
One way to add lighting to your fireplace, yet keeping it subtle, is to install LED strip lighting (similar to under-the-cabinet lighting) under your mantel where it will be hidden from sight.
Two great things about LED strip lights is that they can change to almost any colour you can imagine, and can be controlled by apps on your phone. With this combination of tools, you can set timers for your lights, set the colour based on mood, and adjust the brightness to exactly where you want it.
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