How Can I Make My Fireplace Pop?


How Can I Make My Fireplace Pop?

My builder installed fireplace is so boring! My brick fireplace is dated.  What can I do to make it stunning ? These are questions I get asked frequently.  The fireplace is a focal point in any room. It’s what people see when they walk into the room. You want it to make a powerful impact. Whether you have a builder type of fireplace or inherited an old brick fireplace when you purchased your home, there are a lot of options open that can transform your eyesore into a focal point that will “wow” your friends when they walk into the room. As with any reno, before you start hacking away at the stone or brick that you want to replace, you need to come up with a plan and ask yourself some questions. Do you have a natural wood fireplace?  Is it working? Do you want to keep it? Or do you want to convert it into gas or electric?


What Is Your Style?

What is your style?  Do you like traditional looking fireplaces?  Transitional?  Perhaps the trendy new long rectangular gas fireplaces are more your style.  What your fireplace currently looks like will have some influence in the new style, unless you completely have your current one removed for a newer look.  Take a look on Pinterest and Houzz for ideas.

What Is Your Budget?

What is your budget? Do you have enough for a major overhaul?  Do you need one?  Will changing the stones be the “pop” it needs?  Maybe a new coat of paint will do the trick.  This is where it pays to do your research FIRST before you dive into your project.

Fireplace Makeovers


This fireplace faded into the background with all that white.  It was not a focal point at all.

fireplace, before, too much white











After:  A simple change in stone around the fireplace transformed formed it from boring to make a statement.  Note how much the picture and accessories help make this fireplace transformation stand out.

fireplace, after, new stone and accent pieces














This fireplace was dark, dull, dreary and big.

fireplace, before, big and dark












Instead of ripping out the old fireplace, the homeowners had it professionally cleaned and etched a lighter color.  The result:  stunning !  Notice how the paint color, furniture and accessories complete the look.

fireplace, after, concrete stones, professionally cleaned and etched to lighten color















Another boring basic builder fireplace.

fireplace, before, builder stone












Stunning !!!  A new taller surround of slate was installed with a white mantel.

fireplace, after, rugged slate, taller mantel













Another boring basic builder fireplace.

before, boring brick blah











Just stunning !!!  Marble replaced the old brick to give this a renovation that just not only made this room a knock out, this added value to their home.

fireplace, after, new marble fireplace, natural stone, maple built-ins











This rarely used pot belly fireplace with the huge brick surround made this room shout 70’s.

before, ugly brick hearth and wood burning stove












The old stove & surrounding brick was replaced by a new gas fireplace brick & hearth for a warm & inviting family room.  The trendy mantle is reclaimed wood.

DESIGN TIP:  If you plan on putting in a trendy reclaimed wood mantle above a wood burning fireplace, check  your local building code to see how high the mantle needs to be above the fire place.

fireplace, after, plaster to brick wall, painted white, gas fireplace, limestone hearth













Dated fireplace

fireplace, before, dated tile and mantel












The old brick was replaced by new stone and the fireplace received a fresh coat of black paint to make a stunning new focal point in the room.  A relatively low cost renovation that increased the value of the home.

fireplace, after, new stone and painted mantel











Another !!! boring builder fireplace.

fireplace, before, boring builder












In this case, the fireplace was fine.  It was just plain Jane fireplace without anything around it.  White build-in bookcase, and a fresh new coat of paint on the walls transformed plain Jane into “here I am – pay attention to me!”

fireplace, after, new bookshelves












A dated brick fireplace

fireplace, before, boring brick












A fresh coat of paint transformed this dated fireplace into a warm & inviting space.  Notice again, how the furniture & accessories contribute to the warmth of the room.

fireplace, after, brick painted white
















A dated old brick fireplace complete with the log holder (lol)

fireplace, before, dated brick












It’s hard to believe that this is the same fireplace in the above picture.  This fireplace received a much needed cleaning and a few cans of white paint.  The mantel was enhanced, built-in bookshelf was added and the dated log hole was covered up with a cupboard. Not only does the fireplace need to be updated, but what’s around the fireplace quite often needs an update as well to complete the look.


fireplace, after, new coat of paint
After – An inviting fireplace place that is now the stunning focal point in the room.











DESIGN TIP:  There are building codes associated with fireplaces for obvious reasons so before you do a major overhaul yourself, find out what the codes are.  If you’re not sure, it’s best to hire a professional.  This is one area of your home where it doesn’t pay to cut corners.  The results could be disastrous.

ALL pictures are courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens. 

Are you encouraged ?  What is your favorite makeover ?



Debi Collinson is a  Designer, Stager and Renovator. For over 10 years she has been helping clients make their home stunning. She has staged over 75  homes helping clients make money beyond their expectations. She has bought several “fixer uppers” and either flipped them for a healthy profit or turned them into profitable rental properties. Come follow Debi as she share here tips & secrets.


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