Thursday, May 21, 2009


I just had to share this. This is the fireplace in our basement when we first moved in. The picture makes it look bright down there, but the reality is that its dark and dreary. There's an insert in it that we can't replace at the moment. Its the dirty little secret in my house. Maybe its not that bad, but its bothered me for the last 5 years and I have never been able to figure out where to start with this.

One of my first blog posts was about my decision to whitewash it. I know a lot of people are anti-painted brick and I typically cringe at painted brick myself but in this case since its in the basement, the red brick did nothing to brighten things up. Other than a complete overhaul (and money I don't want to spend right now) I don't see another solution to brightening it up. Lightly brushing it with paint helped and wouldn't be a drastic change since the bricks appeared recycled anyway. Maybe someday I'll reface it but its not in the plan right now. (Don't mind the temporary gate and toy mess. Kids. Also, the strange bricks on the upper left corner? Not bricks. A faux panel that hides our electrical box!)

Now, I did think this helped some, but I still needed a lot more help. I asked for suggestions on a message board a couple of days ago and someone did this for me on Polyvore!

HUGE improvement, right??? The funny thing is that just a few months ago, I looked at a mantle just like that at a flea market, but when we measured, it was too small. Now, I'm going to be on a major hunt for a mantle!

I must be computer illiterate because I have never been able to figure out Polyvore. I'm so grateful for the help. Anyway, to everyone who offered help and especially the person that did this for me, a million thank-yous!


  1. The white wash definitely brightens the brick. Good call! And I can't wait to see the completed look! :)

  2. I'm not one who is opposed to brick being painted. Brick can be so "heavy" but whitewashing it seems to lighten it up without smothering it. kwim? I love the idea of a mantle and the polyvore suggestions are good ones too. I know I'd still go light with my accessories as well though. Bringing in some greenery/plants is always a good thing!

  3. That is really very nice! I like brightening it up! We have a stone one that I want to brighten and I am also stumped. I may have to go to polyvore too! Cindy

  4. Gosh - you did a nice job of changing the brick color:) I think I would add a mantle shelf on top of the fp opening (husbands know how to affix stuff like that!) and then to the right I would have a either a large tall bookcase or armoire. Then I would find a fairly large picture to place as a focal point above the mantle. A picture light is wonderful to incorporate as well - a real pretty glow in the evenings . . .OR you could make your mantle shelf the entire width of the fp and then add bookcases below the shelf on both sides.

  5. Hi there,
    I love the look- my friend just bought a house with a fireplace-wall that looks almost exactly the same - any hints you can give about how you did it ?
    she's likely going to hire someone to do it...)



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