It is definitely the time of year to enjoy hearth and home. A roaring fire to warm your heart, a cozy throw to warm your toes, the scent of the holidays bringing comfort and joy...can you imagine! I hope you are able to do more than imagine. I hope you are able to truly experience these things. If not, is it because your fireplace is outdated or bland and boring? Redfin's blog has an article on budget-friendly fireplace remodel ideas. And guess who had the privilege to contribute a tip? Yours truly for Autumn Light Interiors! Read on as I share their article here.
Budget-Friendly Fireplace Remodel Ideas
By Mike Cahill
A warm hearth is the centerpiece of a cozy winter home - there’s just no better place to curl up with a good book or spend quality time with the family. If you put the time and effort in to give your fireplace the stylistic treatment it deserves, it’ll become the natural gathering space for your home year-round. To help get you started, we’ve tracked down a talented panel of fireplace and design professionals. Whether you’re in a cold climate like Hillsboro or a warmer one like Fresno, read on for advice and inspiration from expert craftsmen around the country.
Embrace your materials and create a focal point
We’ve been slowly renovating our 1945 Cape Cod style home in Portland, Oregon. Quite honestly, our fireplace is a project we have yet to tackle. We have plans to repoint the brick and replace the trim. However, in the interim, we have made this old, original fireplace an intentional fixture of our home by exposing its original state and curating a focal point through minimalist styling. My initial reaction was to cover the brick of our fireplace with paint or new stone. Once I embraced the original brick (and even exposed more of it!) I saw its simple, raw beauty as a characteristic of our 1945 home. Sometimes it’s less about adding and more about restoring. Keeping things simple, minimal, and a tribute to its history. – Pacific Cape Home
Consider using veneer panels to replicate real stone
An inexpensive fireplace refresh is Versetta Stone veneer panels. Versetta Stone veneer panels have the look and feel of real stone but don’t come with the expense, or time of hiring a professional mason. Each panel looks and feels like traditional stone, installing easily with just screws, and is a quick way to update and accent your fireplace. The best part of using Versetta Stone is how DIY friendly it is as the panels can be installed by the average homeowner. – Mainline Materials
Be bold and step out of your comfort zone
If you have a colorful personality, then create an unforgettable space that reflects all of the unique layers of your soul. Everyone deserves to live in a beautiful space that reflects who you are at your core. Whether you are simplistic, farmhouse, black & white, urban, or Hollywood glam, take that style to the very edge of your comfort zone and you will be blown away by how life-changing it feels to live in a space that truly reflects your sense of style. – Nicoli Alexander Studios
A relatively simple and super cost-effective trick is to add a little sparkle to your fireplace with glitter paint. Simply paint the surround and/or the wall behind it; you control the glitz by adding in more or less glitter to your paint. Choose a color to match your decor or go neutral with black or white. All you need is about a quart, and when the holidays are over, simply paint it back…or don’t and enjoy your new punch of posh! – Stage Coach
Consider simple paint products to add a fresh new look to your fireplace design, such as Portola Paint’s Roman Clay or Lime Wash products. You can achieve a faux texture look for a fraction of the cost of hiring a professional. These paint products can mimic the look of cement, which is very on-trend right now! If you want to modernize your fireplace, even more, consider removing a dated mantle for a minimalist design. – Modern Mountain Home
Incorporate fiber cement siding
Fiber cement siding (often known by the brand name HardiePanel) can refresh a fireplace surround without the expense of tile or new masonry. Combining non-flammable panels with aluminum channels, this modular system can be arranged to fit your space, and gives the fireplace a crisp, modern look. The siding can go directly over the existing masonry and can be painted either before or after installation. With the money you saved on the surround, consider splurging on a walnut or oak mantel, to ensure that the stockings are hung by the chimney with care. – Studio TJP
Bring new life to your brick
Does your fireplace look to be outdated and a bit of an eyesore? Here are a few quick and easy ways to make this home improvement project a centerpiece whenever someone walks in. If you have a brick surrounding, you can buy specialty-brick paint that will allow you to give new life to that dilapidated area. Once you have revamped those tired looking bricks, adding a mantle (if you do not already have one) will sure make this pop. Make sure once you have added the new mantle to not crowd it with so many knick-knacks. Less is more! – Booking Koala
If your brick fireplace is just the wrong color, try staining it. Stain, rather than paint, will preserve the texture of the original brick and look more natural (you can even stain a contrasting grout, plus it’s easy enough to DIY). Just make sure to use a stain with low VOC content. – Annabode Interior Design
Invest in a well-proportioned mirror
Think about the space you have to fill – both the height and width above your fireplace – and pick something that feels substantial so your mantle always looks finished even without seasonal decor items. Don’t be afraid to look at yard sales, estate sales, or thrift stores for old mirror frames that just need a new piece of glass cut. Often you’ll find something completely unique and you’ll have a fun story to share with visitors too! – The Lenten Rose Cottage
Get the fam involved
Bring renewed attention to your fireplace mantel while bringing encouragement to your family members. Set a predetermined length of time (a day or two, a week, etc.), and feature each family member, one at a time, by decorating fresh greenery and sparkling lights with a few of their favorite items, and maybe even include some original artwork! Make it a game for anyone who pops in for a visit by letting them guess which family member is being celebrated. – Rustic Red Door
Update the surrounding material
For a budget-friendly fireplace remodel we recommend a simple update to the surrounding material. Whether you have old tile or maybe some outdated brick, selecting a more up-to-date tile option is a quick and easy way to bring new life to your fireplace. And because it’s a relatively small area to tile, there are plenty of great options available that will make your fireplace look fresh and current without breaking the bank. – Chelius House of Design
Use items you already own
Giving new life to your fireplace can be as simple as changing the decor on your mantel with items you already own. Start with a favorite color or theme and collect objects from around your home to be the focal point of your mantel. Repurposing decorative and functional items from around the house is an excellent creative endeavor and will in turn, update the look in other areas of your home. If you’re ready to take your decorating to the next level, purchase a few key items that you love in a neutral color, placing them on your mantel and changing the items around them throughout the year. This constant rotation will help you provide a seasonal look to your home will and keep focus on the items that are truly cherished. – 328 Design Group
Don’t forget the all-important hearth!
A simple approach to bringing warmth, some holiday scents, and nature to your hearth is to add a few rolled wool throws (plaid, plain, and one with a nubby texture) to a picnic basket or other natural fiber container, pop some scented pine cones into a small galvanized bucket, and add a small artificial pine tree with the base wrapped in burlap and ribbon. – Autumn Light Interiors
Get a vented gas log set
Consider adding a good quality set of gas logs and embers to your fireplace this year. They can be stacked and arranged to look very realistic. Your fireplace will offer warmth and at the same time, improve the environment. You’ll also love not having to purchase, cut, haul or dry your wood logs! – Talianko Design Group
By Mike Cahill
Originally published on Redfin
I, Brenda Szarek, am the founder of Autumn Light Interiors. I have immersed myself in home design and problem solving for years and have creative solutions for all kinds of interior design dilemmas. I hope you enjoy my tips, tricks, trends, and inspiration to help you find your way to a well-designed, comfortable, and functional home you can be excited to live in and welcome others within.