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Giving An Old Fireplace New Life - A Fireplace Face Lift!

From sad to stunning, a re-vamped mantel and fireplace is now the main attraction in one 1905-era home.

To keep or not to keep; that was the question Robin Davis had to consider many times in his 1905 home. The vacant house was set to be bulldozed when Robin stepped in. As a general contractor, he recognized the beauty of the 12-foot-tall pine ceilings and hardwood floors and the potential for a stellar fireplace.

Saving and Improving
Robin ripped out the wall surrounding two coal-burning brick fireplaces in the center of the house. He then removed the wall between the fireboxes to create an open fireplace. The extra-tall chimney was in good shape, so Robin, with wife Kat's input, sketched a design that would box in the brick structure. The plan allowed for significant airspace between the brick and new fireplace. "We wanted it to be larger than the original chimney and fireplace, but not so massive that it would look out of place in the room," says Robin. It was framed with gypsum drywall, and new mantels and trimwork were added.

Finishing to Perfection
Working with interior designer Connie Crosby, Kat took the improved fireplace and surrounding areas to the next level. They chose a warm khaki for the walls and fireplace with white trim that pops against the pine ceilings and floors. A large gold mirror and tall branches nestled in black vases adorn one of the mantels, emphasizing the chimney's height. Now wood-burning, the fireplace glows in the living and dining areas.

Copyright Southern Progress Corporation Nov 2005
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