Fireplace, Pt. 2… and finished?

Nearly a year ago, I wrote this post about my fireplace conundrum. To sum it up, I hated it and couldn’t decide what to do with it. Paint some of it? Paint all of it? Cover it up? I allowed myself to stew in my obsession and ended up making the best move, which was no move at all.

First, here’s a look back on the desperate lives of my fireplace.

09.2009: The fireplace during our first viewing of the house. Its previous owner didn’t fare much better.

12.2009: Christmas time and I was desperately trying to make this focal wall work. Duct tape is a difficult finish to match.


 11.2010: The wood floor is installed. The fireplace looks better, but still desperate.

12.2010: Christmas time again. The furniture is improving and the first good move was made with the fireplace: relocating the round mirror to another area.


 2.2011: I saw the light and the biggest improvement was made for the fireplace: roller shades were installed on the two adjacent windows. The light balanced out the darkness of the fireplace and its next of kin, the bookcase.

And now the fireplace’s current state. Not desperate. Simple.

The moral of the blog post is that sometimes, oftentimes, less is more.

I will check back once we have used the fireplace, hopefully with no flaming cat stories to tell.


12 Comments to “Fireplace, Pt. 2… and finished?”

  1. You’re right about the impact of the roller shades. I will say however, that though I prefer the current incarnation of the bookcase and the scale of the urn-like piece by the tv in the most recent pic, I rather like the three echoes of yellow that dominate the left side of pics four and five.

  2. I like the balance that these white shadowboxes give. It’s like “Ahhhh…” No competition, very complementary. And you’re right, less is more, except in Tuttle. (Ask your dad.)(But then again he may not remember.)

  3. I like it Tay, it looks happy and open. That window seat seems super cozy. Now if I could improve my own fireplace, ugh. Hope to bump into you soon!

  4. Taylor,

    By any chance, did you de-saturate the last image? Looks like it was taken under significantly different lighting conditions at least. I’m wondering if the richness of the color all over isn’t part of what I was picking up on in pics 4 and 5. Look, e.g., at the cactus and the wooden lamps on the sofa table. I think, at least in part, my first reaction was influenced by the subtleties of the photography, because I agree in every way the changes are formal/aesthetic upgrades.

    • The new coffee table is also well-chosen, btw, just to credit one more improvement. The darker wood is a nice anchor in the rug’s sea of white.

      • I completely agree. I had been debating between a white finish and a wood finish prior to the purchase of the first coffee table (which was a white glass and steel number from IKEA that now resides at the fireplace end of the sofa). As soon as I had the first coffee table in place, I knew it needed to be wood. I am in love with the new, current coffee table for many reasons. It was cheap, used, and practical in many ways. I just had to make a road trip to get it.

    • Mark, I didn’t desaturate the image. I normally reserve that for pictures taken in rooms with a heavy dose of incandescent lighting, which, thankfully, the living room does not have. There is a good chance that the pictures were taken during significantly different times of day or at different ISO settings causing a slight overexposure. If I were a better blogger, I would have set times during the day when I take pictures.

      • You guys get a few pictures closer to the fireplace with the lamb more identifiable and maybe they can go on Wisteria’s new blog, Vine. We’re trying to post occasional employee homes with our products. I don’t have that much, but I think you’d count. Also, anything else you have that could make for a nice picture would work (you got some baskets, right?). I’ll just submit them and see if they’re accepted. We might even mention Penny Lane.

      • Thanks, Dad! I’ll work on getting you some good photos.

  5. Hi Guys, I found Your Blog by searching for Design ideas. You have done a great work, congratulatin. I have a short question. Where are the 3d walldecoration from? Regards from Munich Germany.

  6. Thank You so much for Your respond. My wife tried out to do copy Your idea for the Wall Art successfully and it looks great, too. I love Your house – it looks so beautiful and homely. Regards from Munich / Germany Alex

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