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What To Do With Large Brick Fireplace

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I need to know what to do with my very large fireplace. It is bricked from ceiling to floor, 10 ft. wide. There is a wood box built in. Bricks cover almost the whole wall. I have read somewhere that stainless steel was used to cover the bricks and then painted? Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks.

Doris from Glen Allen, VA

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By Darlene Boone11/05/2007

My house was originally built by a brickmason as his personal residence. He went all out with the fireplace so I know what you mean. The fireplace is huge. It is natural brick. I wanted to paint it a light off white to brighten the room but my husband freaked. So it is natural brick. I did have a brass and glass folding firescreen installed and it seems to draw your eye to that area and not so much to all that brick. I redid the mantle to a more attractive one and use a large framed mirror placed in the center of the mantle to make the room look larger and reflect whatever is there - flowers, Christmas greenery etc. It does take your eye away from all that brick. A nice set of firetools displayed on the hearth works well also. We have also used large wrought iron candlesticks, but you have to be conscious of what the heat does to the candles. These are cosmetic changes but they do take your eye away from that expanse of brick. One summer I took a large tangle of grapevines and threaded white lights and sprigs of silk ivey through them and it was quite pretty. I hung them on the brick and it looked like a fancy cafe setting and wasn't very expensive.

By roger [6]11/05/2007

Sometimes a large amount of brick can overwhelm a space. I have seen people enclose the part above a mantel with plywood, and paint the plywood. That is much preferable to me rather than painting brick. The wood can be taken down in the future if someone wants to.

By Marty Dick [133]11/05/2007

From what you have said it sounds like something I would love to have. Why do you need to change it? Sounds beautiful!

By Bill Jackson11/04/2007

We probably need more detail. Of the 10 ft width, how much do you want to cover? Do you want to still use the fireplace but be less overwhelmed by brickwork? Do you want to cover one side, or do you want to leave the fireplace and woodbox but cover the upper half of the wall?

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