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. Hey there,
    This is some great work here!!! :) I have the same dull green colored walls at my previous place! Your place has completely transformed! Its aesthetic! And be careful while placing a couch before the fireplace. It might get dirty.
    Architectural Rendering

  2. I like the nook. I imagine a tall glass vase/s in your favorite color or an art sculpture. With the proper light it could look magnificent. HI Jenny :)

  3. That nook above the frplce could be used LOTS of ways–don't patch it! A piece of framed art over it or IN it, a mirror, shelves… Heck, you could even frame the nook and do a 3D diarama :)

  4. Wow, so many great comments. You're brave to read, some are kinda bossy…but you're so humble. Creative as you, go with your gut! And when you hang your plywood mirror use the existing wall to screw so its secure. I also can imagine a gallery wall but you prob already have another wall for that.


  5. What about antique mirror tiling the nook and then displaying art in front of the mirror? One big sculptural piece, perhaps even a no cost piece of driftwood, mounted so it looks like it's floating. You could apply mirror to a piece of plywood, as you suggested, and do the same thing to the bottom and sides with smaller pieces of plywood and mirror then use very plain molding (perhaps a bold 3/4 round) on the outer edges to hold everything in place – no glue, the sides hold the back in place and the molding holds the sides in place. As for the firebox, a table, dresser or settee can cover it.

    Those brownstone fireplaces were originally meant for coal, not wood. There would be a small ornamental coal stove set on the hearth and the smoke pipe would go through a hole in a fancy metal grill plate to exhaust the smoke up the chimney. City dwellers did not have access to enough wood to keep warm, not when EVERYONE'S home was heated this way. This explains why some people were glad to rip the mantels out when central heating came in – they felt absolutely no nostalgia for the fireplace…

  6. Just my two cents; but before giving up on that wall entirely is it possible to turn it into the focal point of the room? A smashing old oak fireplace mantel and renovate that fireplace into a useful accessory or decorate it in a fake fireplace fashion. Then the niche above could be livened up and decorated to bring some beauty to the space. This link of ideas could help; Houzz website is full of ideas. I searched "fireplace wall" and "niche"; I personally like the look of the horizontal board planks in a natural finish, but a whitewashed or cottage finish could look equally as charming. Good luck

  7. My thought for the nook above the fireplace is to take your idea of antiquing the mirror tiles and placing them all the way up and down the space to make it look like bricks of a chimney, but a stylish one; then to add extra drama paint the sides of the nook a deep, dark color, like navy or black. This will frame the mirrors, plus giving contrast so they and the fireplace are your focal point. Happy decorating – looks like so much fun and a great space! I'm jealous = )

  8. Sorry, but other thoughts to make the look cohesive to other areas of the apt. is to attach a piece of oak wood to the wall as a mantle. The kind I'm thinking of is just a slice of the tree, untouched by sandpaper, etc., but polyed to bring out the golden hues of the flooring and kitchen cabinets. Then paint the floor bricks the same dark color of the nook, only in glossy. The look is so urban modern glam, but a touch earthy too. Very ironic so as to catch the eye.

  9. Keep the nook. Hang a rug or tapestry up there. Change it out from time to time with a handmade sign. Or find one of those antique long skinny mirrors. New York apartments are tricky. Some are just plaster. Very few have drywall. I would prop an antique ladder up there, or an antique flag.

  10. I am looking forward to seeing what you do with that nook. Lots of great ideas in the comments. Recently, I bought a townhome with a 24"d x 34" square nook for a tv. It does not work with my flat screen and I hate it. Temporarily, I have hung a large painting over it. You wouldn't even know there was a hole back there. So now I have an extra storage space!


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