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!