Hiding the Fireplace - Juniper Home

Hiding the Fireplace

Living Room

Well, the walls and doors have all been painted! The workers finished over the weekend and we unpacked and did a few small projects. Mostly we recooped from a crazy couple weeks and enjoyed a little family time in our new neighborhood. It was a great couple days.

I really loved coming home to my new Cabbage White walls and Pitch Black doors.

Here are a couple before shots from the east side of the living room and with the old green accent wall. The room has a barely working fireplace. I guess it smokes like crazy even after having it professionally serviced?

Between that weird nook/mantle situation and the ugly hearth and box, I have no problem with putting a sofa in front of the smoking fireplace and totally making the whole thing disappear, but the mantle nook is proving to be a little more of a challenge. I was thinking about patching the hole myself with drywall, but I worried that the patching job will be pretty obvious.

This photo below is the closest to the in-real-life new wall color. To the far right you can see the old cream that was on all the walls (but the green accent wall). The beige-y cream made the whole house look dirty and tired.

Last week we filled the walls on either side of the fireplace with bookshelves (more on that soon!) and I’m thinking a big mirror in the center between the bookshelf walls would be really pretty. I came across this photo from Better Homes and Gardens and thoughts I could maybe do something with mirror tiles and do an antiquing process to each one. I would install the tiles on a large piece of plywood and then hang and trim out the board over the gapping mantel nook. I think it could look really good!

Or do you think I could patch the nook with drywall seamlessly and just hang a large antique mirror?

What did you think?
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64 thoughts on “Hiding the Fireplace

  1. Drywalling really isn't that hard. If I can do it and I'm not very handy or crafty at all, anyone can do it. I think you'd be able to do it and after a coat of paint, no one would ever be able to tell.

    Good luck!

  2. I think drywalling the nook will give you the most versatility down the road. By laying the new drywall into the inset at the proper depth then taping and texturing the surface carefully, it can be seamless…but probably cleaner to build the support frame flush with the existing surface and using one sheet of drywall over the entire face…no seems!!!

  3. I think drywalling the nook will give you the most versatility down the road. By laying the new drywall into the inset at the proper depth then taping and texturing the surface carefully, it can be seamless…but probably cleaner to build the support frame flush with the existing surface and using one sheet of drywall over the entire face…no seems!!!

  4. I rather like the nook and would choose to make it a feature over covering it. This vote is for the mirror tiles – I love aged mirror (although I really perfer one piece over tiles). I've researched the process of aging mirrors which isn't difficult but it does involves muric acid. I recently bought a piece of glass and when i picked it up, I found out that you can buy mirrored glass that is already aged. not sure how much more expensive it is, but it may be worth looking at it.

  5. How about wallpapering the inset area? A pretty long antique mirror on top of that, with pretty sconces on the sides. Then layer a few objects on the ledge??? We've spent a year trying to repair bad drywall in our new house. Such a pain. Skip it unless you feel really confident.

  6. How about wallpapering the inset area? A pretty long antique mirror on top of that, with pretty sconces on the sides. Then layer a few objects on the ledge??? We've spent a year trying to repair bad drywall in our new house. Such a pain. Skip it unless you feel really confident.

  7. How about wallpapering the inset area? A pretty long antique mirror on top of that, with pretty sconces on the sides. Then layer a few objects on the ledge??? We've spent a year trying to repair bad drywall in our new house. Such a pain. Skip it unless you feel really confident.

  8. Another vote for featuring that space, with a mirror, wallpaper or stenciled design, or combination. Though it would be easy to put shelves in that nook, a larger statement seems called for there than the smaller items you'd likely display on shelves, even with a grouping effect. Great colors, BTW!

  9. The nook feels too dated, I say cover it with drywall. Based on the other projects I've seen you accomplish I think drywall would be a piece of cake. I actually have fun using drywall mud. I also like the antique mirror tile idea. Trust your gut.

  10. I've never been a fan of insets like that, they seem awkward! You could drywall it, but would need to frame the area first and do a lot of coats of mud to hide the seams. It's time consuming and SO dusty, but will give you the look you want.

  11. If you're going to cover the smoking fireplace with a sofa (I would do the same!), I wouldn't make this wall a focal wall with a mirror. That weird nook is screaming for shelves. Why not continue your wall of shelves through the nook? Maybe you could mirror the section behind the shelves? Or wallpaper it? Or paint it another color? Can't wait to see what you decide!

  12. What a great inspiration image for your space! I love the look of antiqued tiles and I love what mirrors can do for a space even more! I can't wait to see this space come together! Thanks for sharing your progress!

    abodelove.com

  13. i love my nook – have the same kind at my townhome. I have a mirror that's not centered, then a white resin deer head/antlers to the right of it (and higher) and a pewter vase and silver antler leaning along bottom. the elements are fun and i am considering painting inside the nook an accent color, but so far i like the white background and display nook effect.

  14. We had to fix a wall with drywall due to a leak. It's a messy process, but looks brand new now. Plus it it a cheap fix! I know you can make either option beautiful…can't wait to see what you do!

  15. We had to fix a wall with drywall due to a leak. It's a messy process, but looks brand new now. Plus it it a cheap fix! I know you can make either option beautiful…can't wait to see what you do!

  16. I would stick a tall mirror in there, like the Songe mirror from Ikea. You could antique that to make it look less Ikea-ish and more "I found this in a French flea market."

  17. Keep the nook!! And TOTALLY do the antique'd mirror tiles! Yes yes yes!! ;) (I would LOVE the DIY-guide for that antique process as I'm doing a mirrored wall in my livingroom!) yaii from Denmark! ;) XO

  18. We drywalled the area above our fireplace when we moved in and I am so, so glad! Some people thought we were crazy and offered some great, creative alternative ideas – but I just like a nice flat wall to do whatever I want =)

  19. Do you have any tips for finding great vintage and antique mirrors? I've been looking for ages for one to put over my dresser and still come up empty handed. Thanks so much!

  20. Hi, I think drywalling the nook may be a good idea. If you are concerned about creating a seamless look, maybe frame up to the edge of the existing corners and then cover the entire front with a new sheet of gyp-board. This way you will avoid any settling cracks, shrinking and such.

    With one solid sheet of gyp-board, you would have a smooth surface to work with. Also if you think you will in the future hang a heavy mirror, add the extra blocking and reinforcement to the framing before you close in the nook. This way you are prepared for anything that you may come up with.

    Liz

  21. the mirror idea is cool…but def mount them to board first. I did something similar with the ikea mirror squares (I put nailhead at the points), but put them directly on the dry wall. Let me tell you, those things aren't coming off without taking the wall with them!! Ack…sorry future owners of my house! :/ And I need to check your wall color for my house…I'm looking for a clean, clear white with a touch of grey undertone

  22. I would go ahead and do the drywall, as I'm not a fan of nooks like that. They feel too limiting and dated. As far as the tiled mirror or antique one – either would be beautiful, but I would love to see you show us the project.

  23. I am so excited that these are the colors you chose. My house is painted in a similar color and I've loved it. However, I've debated painting my doors. I think I better do it. Can't wait to see how you decorate your new digs.

  24. I say drywall it in and put an antique mirror! Although your fireplace looks like an h… Hermes perhaps?:)

  25. Drywalling is relatively easy, but it will be very difficult to get the whole wall 100% seamless without floating paster over the entire thing after the drywall is up. No matter how smooth you patch, you'd see the bumps of the seams when light hits it at certain angles.

    I'd leave it! It's kind of cool, and I'm always afraid to make too many structure changes when I first move into a place. You can either hang a mirror in front of it that is large enough to cover the entire nook, or utalize it how it is with mirror/artwork/shelves. It's a detail that's unique to your place, why not use it as a positive?

  26. I would vote for drywalling over the entire chimney with one large sheet while providing blocking in the middle to allow for hanging something heavy. If you just fill the middle with drywall I think you will definitely end up with a recurring crack at the seams.

    Have you thought about a mantel? Something simple and clean or a beautiful piece of reclaimed wood(then you could stop the drywall at the mantel).

  27. I have to say, I looked right at that nook and thought it would be a gorgeous spot for a metallic wallpaper, like vintage mylar. I understand the desire to drywall, but I keep thinking it might present a great opportunity for something fun.

  28. I would definitely go with aged mirror tiles on plywood hung over the niche. Or hang a couple of pieces of art, one above the other. You could paint the niche a nice rich color if hanging art and even frame the niche for a more finished look. It would look like a shadow box!

  29. How about hanging DIY watercolored artwork with lighting over the top? I am also a fan of a large mirror!

  30. I agree with Heidi S's suggestion. It makes sense to build the whole wall rather than just the area in the center. I imagine that would be much easier too. Whatever you decide, I know it will be terrific!

  31. Where did you get the yellow rug above and the pink-patterned rug below your feet in the giveaway post? I love both! I've been searching Turkish kilim rugs on eBay and have yet to find one as perfect as these, in terms of coloring. Any tips on search terms?!

  32. I agree to what others have said about the nook looking dated. Dated in a 90's sort of way. :) Dry-wall is up baby! You can do it with all your handiness. Plus with something hanging over it anyway… no prob. Trust your designer instinct… you have good taste.

  33. I agree to what others have said about the nook looking dated. Dated in a 90's sort of way. :) Dry-wall is up baby! You can do it with all your handiness. Plus with something hanging over it anyway… no prob. Trust your designer instinct… you have good taste.

  34. Just throwing something out there, this smoking fireplace was tested in the winter, correct? Not to get all science-y but if you light a fireplace when the outside temp isn't low enough the smoke will come back down into the house, giving the illusion that the fireplace is broken but really it's just the temp outside.

    Just something to check out! :)

  35. I can see how the nook looks dated.

    However, if you're putting shelves in on either side of it, then it's going to end up changing the look. Depending on how full the book shelves are, it might be nice to have a recess for interest.

    So, I'd want to see how it looks with the shelves next to it before deciding. Somehow, covering it up with drywall feels so permanent. How likely are you to break down the wall if you someday want the nook back? (Or for that matter, would you ever consider taking out the mini walls above the fireplace on either side of the nook? I mean, are they acting as the chimney? are they structural? Can you remove them?)

    I second the recommendation to see how the fireplace operates in winter. It's been so hot recently that maybe it's not venting quite right at the moment.

  36. I say, EMBRACE THE NOOK!!!!

    I agree that shelves would look great, especially in rustic, salvaged wood. It would create a nice contrast.

    Other options would be a tall/narrow peace of art, or wallpapering the nook to bring attention to it. You could even use fabric for this. I think I read somewhere that you can use cornstarch and water instead of paste so it isn't as permanent and can be removed and cleaned further down the road. I don't know the exact formula, but I'm sure you could find more info via google.

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