Well, after another change I think I may really have the FINAL before and after of our fireplace!
Here is the true before. This was taken on the day we closed on our house – June 25, 2010. The baseboards that were two different colors, the pinky beige walls, the black outlets, the wood (oh, so much wood), the brass fireplace insert and the dirty red brick.
This was our first after. (sorry for the glare…my photography skills, yeah…) I was so excited when this all happened!! But then I realized I wasn’t completely satisfied. I wanted a pop and some more color in the bookcases to really make it all come together. I keep seeing deep and dark colors in bookcases and I love the look! I was ready to copy and imitate my favorites.
Here is our newest after and I’m in love! I painted the back of the bookcases the same color as our bedroom. (Grey Area by Behr) I tried painting it one color darker than our living room on the paint strip but it wasn’t really dark enough. I had some leftover from our bedroom, and it was perfect!
The contrast between the white sides and the dark grey back was exactly what I was after and was so fast – it only took me about 20 minutes per side, including the time to tape off the white part. I had books in our bookcases (I know, so weird) but didn’t like how crazy the colors were compared to the neutral and calm room I was after.
I got a canvas drop cloth from Wal-Mart (Only $7) and cut it up to cover the books. I finally remembered how I used to cover my books in school – remember doing that? After several tries, I remembered too! Once they were all covered, it looked so much better and more like I wanted. Since most of our focus in this area is either on the TV or fireplace, I wanted everything else to be calm and neutral.
The mantel is still one of my favorite parts of the fireplace. The old mantel was way too high and not bulky enough to support the visual weight our TV would have. Our contractor built a huge box and attached it (after he knocked off the old mantel) to the wall. I took a hammer and beat up the wood then stained it with several coats of dark wood stain. I sealed it with a little wax and love the result!
The best part of this whole project? Conner’s reaction. He wasn’t a huge fan when I started painting. When he saw how fast it was going though, he started to come around. When I took off the tape and put the shelves back together, I got to hear my favorite three words of all time: “You were right.” Hah! Victory was mine, people. Victory was mine.
For a quick refresher and what exactly happened in the previous months to this area, here are our the older posts on this fireplace: