taming the elephant in the room

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Like most older houses that have had several owners, our new abode has seen its share of renovation attempts.  By assessing certain “clues” around the house, our best guess is that the room that is our dining area was once a den.  With a monstrous fireplace.  Its our elephant in the room.  We can’t exactly get rid of it easily since its a masonry fireplace.  In my design fantasies, I have marvelous plans for this elephant.  But, alas, after contemplating our options and our budget, we decided to just paint it for now.  Painting brick is always a controversial design topic, but its all that we could afford to do for now.  And, we are thinking that in the future we may even stucco over it instead.  Tile is also a nice option ( I’m swooning over some marble tiled fireplaces I’m seeing in hotel projects these days!) but really isn’t very timeless since styles in tile come and go.  And, truly, its amazing how paint can work small miracles!

This is what we did after removing the tacky brass doors:

1. scrubbed the brick with a mild detergent and water

2. wiped down the brick with water and a rag

3. covered the brick with a water based “brick and mortar”  primer (we used Kiltz Premium from Home Depot) using a very “thick” roller

4. painted with Behr “polished pearl” in an eggshell finish (we are highly unlikely to use the fireplace for a real fire, so we went with an ivory color to make the room seem larger and to help the fireplace to visually recede)

Below are our photos to show you how it all went down:

before
before
before
before
back during the summer, my wonderful FIL and husband opened up the wall
back during the summer, my wonderful FIL and husband opened up the wall
priming
priming
still priming....
still priming….
we found a rubber ducky in the ashes!
we found a rubber ducky in the ashes!
we got rid of the flesh colored walls as well...this is the table set up (with the extension leaf) for guests
we got rid of the flesh colored walls as well…this is the table set up (with the extension leaf) for guests
...and this is the table set for everyday use
…and this is the table set for everyday use

The room is by no means “finished”.  I’d like to spice it up eventually with some fun accent pieces when our budget allows for that.  And, at some point in time that ceiling fan has got to go.  The mismatched cabinets as well as the ho-hum shelving on the sides of the fireplace are also on my hit list.  In time, my friends.  In time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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