August 23, 2010

Simple Changes: Before and After

our house has a large make that huge fireplace that has one opening in the living room with a separate spot to store firewood, another opening in the dining room and also serves as a wall in our entry way. it's entirely encased in dark red brick which would look cool in a loft or a wall in an old townhouse. but in my very un-loft-like home it looks totally 80s.

the entry side:

blurry "before" pic featuring previous owners' stuff

clearly not cool. one idea was to cover the whole thing with dry wall but that was a much larger project than i wanted to undertake, at least for now. ;)  so instead i opted for simpler changes. the entry was a pretty quick fix with a mirror, console, and some paint. here is the "after":

oh parquet floors, you are SO awesome. not. admittedly the decorating is so-so at the moment but my work is never done (cue simultaneous evil laugh from me and cross look from mr. r!) and those ballard antlers are on their way!

on to the living room side which measures 9 feet across. here is the "before":

"before" pic again with previous owners' stuff

the living room was a little more effort. i wanted a big mirror for the top half and also what most normal fireplaces have...a mantle. i scored the perfect mirror at restoration hardware on clearance for a ridiculously low price. then using samples of stock mouldings from my amazing contractor, i designed a simple mantle that he built and installed. here is the finished product:

again the mantle could use some enhanced decor/design, but these were a few fairly simple changes that in the end made the brick disappear somewhat and helped to modernize the 80s-ness! you may recognize the framed wallpaper from the inspiration board post.

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