Fireplace Renovation With a New Custom Cabinet and Floating Shelves: Before and After

My client’s family room had a red brick fireplace that dominated the space and she wanted a change. Because of the odd size and the lack of a mantel, the fireplace seemed out of place and unfinished. And since the client wanted to upgrade to a remote-controlled energy-efficient gas insert, this was the perfect time to redesign the fireplace surround. A full fireplace renovation was in order. In the end, she wanted her fireplace to complement the look and feel of the rest of her home that we had updated and transformed over the years.

Custom cabinet and floating shelves with new fireplace surround

After

Fireplace Renovation With a New Custom Cabinet and Floating Shelves: Before

Here’s the before:

red brick fireplace surround before renovation

Before

full wall view with red brick fireplace

Fireplace wall before

A fireplace is always a focal point in any space. When choosing fireplace design materials, there are a few considerations: the overall aesthetic that the client preferred, the style of the home, and proper scale of the surround. What will hang above it (if anything) is an additional consideration, whether it’s a TV or decorative objects such as a mirror or artwork.

Fireplace Renovation With a New Custom Cabinet and Floating Shelves: After

For the fireplace surround, we decided on a light, neutral tone ledgestone tile from Julian Tile. The contractor, Vaile Long from All the Right Angles, did a fabulous job rebuilding the fireplace frame and tiling the surround.

fireplace ledgestone tile with wood mantel

I suggested that we create a built-in cabinet on one or both sides of the fireplace surround and the client opted to go with a built-in on the left side only since she already had a freestanding sideboard on the right side.

We talked about our options for the wall above the cabinet and whether we should design a full height box with shelves, have floating shelves or leave the space open for a large piece of art. In the end, we decided on floating shelves so my client could use the space to display photos, art, accessories and books.

pictures and vases on floating shelves

Floating shelves styled with personal items

The custom cabinets were built and installed by troico, based out of Coquitlam, BC. They really did an excellent job with the finishing of the cabinet and shelves. The client especially appreciated that they scribed the cabinet to the ledgestone tile of the fireplace surround.

built-in white cabinet with wood top next to fireplace

Cabinet built by troico

To keep the wood tones similar, we specified a close match of the wood stain colour for the mantel and the cabinet top from the client’s sideboard, and from the wood flooring. Years ago we had selected the wall colour, Dry Sage by Benjamin Moore, and the client still loved it so we left it as it.

We wanted the space to feel fresh and up-to-date while maintaining the style of the finishes to have a subtle nod to traditional roots. The medley of the white painted wood, the rich wood tones, and a classic stone finish accomplish just that.

Brown chair and new fireplace

Speaking of renovations, you’ll also want to check out how we transformed our outdated bathroom into a modern spa.

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Styling an Autumn-Themed Fireplace Mantel

This seasonal home décor project is how to style an autumn-themed fireplace mantel with seasonal items.

For me, fall decorating is all about bringing in natural materials and using found objects from in and around your home to create your seasonal decor displays.

Before

The mantle that I want to style is only 5 1/8″ deep, which makes styling it a bit of a challenge because the decor items all have to work in a linear arrangement.

Create interest by adjusting the heights of the various items as well as using objects with a variety of shapes and sizes.

I started with collecting all the items that I may or may not use and put them together on the coffee table. This makes it easier to see the various shapes and sizes of the objects, and from here I can pick and choose what I want to try out.

(Mmm…. I forgot to remove the seasonal cupcakes that I was using as motivation before I took this photo lol)

So I started with placing two stacked books on the mantel to be a pedestal for the glass bottle with the maple branch cutting on the the right side. Then I filled the apothecary jar with the potpourri (which I purchased only for the colour) and placed that next to the books.

When you have two items that are the same material but different sizes, you can make them seem the same size by how you stage them. By elevating the smaller glass vessel and having the large maple branch overhanging the larger glass vessel, you create the illusion of visual balance.

I added glass pillar candle holders to the left side.

Autumn mantle in progress

I wanted to have an art piece in the middle of the display, but I couldn’t find a piece that I owned that worked, so I used a window-like framed mirror instead. I added the small pumpkins and the dark brown vase to the left side.

But after taking the photos, I found that the overall look with the dark vase wasn’t working for me, so I changed it out for a cream coloured vase.

Autumn mantle

Autumn mantle

All photos by Nancy DeVries

And there it is!

Feel free to share if you have been inspired to create your own autumn decor display!

 

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