My favourite fireplace makeover – Old Mill

It’s amazing how little your dollar buys when choosing builder upgrades. My clients paid a small fortune to have a fireplace added to their condo living room and ended up with nothing more than a dry-walled box surrounding an electric insert.

The one positive here is that at least the insert is a Dimplex, which I have said before, is the only one to buy. EVER. They have the patent for the technology that launched the electric fireplace and their units have the most realistic looking flames, often being mistaken for gas.

The other positive is that I was afforded the opportunity to make over the box into something more aesthetically pleasing as part of the overall project. More on the rest of the condo in a future post.

Here is what the fireplace looked like before I started the makeover.

The first step was to install some tile around the insert. We chose a beautiful 3″ X 8″ limestone tile and installed it in a classic brick pattern.

The next step was to remove the baseboards around the fireplace and frame the surround with wood. I’ve used MDF, laminate shelving and oak in the past, but in this case I chose maple since the plan was to paint it white and I wanted a good solid straight wood.

Since the TV was going to be mounted above the fireplace and we didn’t want the wires and cords visible from the side, I built columns and a “bridge” on top of the fireplace. The bridge will ultimately be a shelf to display some decorative items.

Next I added some trim to make the whole thing a little more interesting and filled all the cracks and gaps.

The final step was sanding and a few coats of paint. The end result is one of the nicest fireplace makeovers I’ve ever done. It’s not too ornate so it suits the style of the space and the colour of the tiles ties in beautifully with the wall colour and area rug.

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