Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Glowing Style


Fireplaces not only can provide cozy spots to warm up chilly nights, but they also are musthave design elements in living and great rooms, and even bedrooms and kitchens. If a hearth in your home needs a style update, try sprucing it up with a new mantel.Whether your taste is traditional or contemporary, the two examples here will spark your interest.

Classic Approach

In more spacious areas, a large fireplace with a raised hearth can become the focal point for a cozy gathering. Here, a new full-surround mantel frames a gas firebox. The mantel’s mission style is timeless, and the ivory color enhances its design. You can paint a mantel in any shade that coordinates with your decor.

1. Use classic tumbled-stone tiles to frame the firebox and to create a welcoming raised hearth.

2. Add a glaze, such as the light chocolate used here, to give the white paint a warm glow and to draw attention to the craftsmanship of the mantel.

3. Continue the mission style above the hearth by adding decorative moulding. Ours received the same treatment as the mantel—white paint topped with a chocolate-colored glaze—for a seamless look.

Play It Safe

Don’t forget these helpful tips from the Home Safety Council to keep everyone safe around
your home’s fireplace.

Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and a carbon monoxide detector in at least one area. Test these devices once a month.
Open the flue completely before building a fire.
Store matches and lighters in a locked cabinet out of children’s reach.
Use a screen over the fireplace opening to prevent hot ash and sparks from escaping.
If you have a wood-burning fireplace, use only dry, seasoned wood.
Keep decorations and accessories that could ignite far away from the fireplace.
Never leave a fire unattended.
Create a home escape plan, and be sure everyone knows what to do in an emergency.

• full-surround mantel (Foster, Franklin, Model W41P, special order)
• hearth and surround tile (4-inch, Rialto white, #115512)
• mantel paint (American Tradition by Valspar, Sawyer White #7002-16, semi-gloss)
• glaze (American Tradition by Valspar, mocha, #94825)
• ventless firebox (26-inch, Brookhill Natural Gas, #44471*) or liquid propane firebox (#44676*)
• 3 (8-foot-long) pieces of 1/4- x 3/4-inch screen moulding (#96377)
• 2 (8-foot-long) pieces of 5/8- x 31/4-inch fluted casing (#160965**)
• 1 (48-inch-square) sheet of 1/4-inch-thick birch plywood†
• 1 box 6d finishing nails
• 1 box (#17 x 1-inch) wire brads
• white grout

Make It Modern

This project is perfect for a renovation in a smaller space, such as a loft or a condo. With a contemporary look, the mantel reflects an urban lifestyle while featuring space-saving design elements, including a flat, sleek hearth.

1. This shelf is a simple, practical piece that easily can adapt with your room’s decor. Here, the copper fenceposts are used as accents that coordinate with the black and copper surround tile.

2. This electrical outlet provides a convenient power source and reduces unsightly cords from lamps or decorations.

3. A bright cobalt-blue tile surround adds a stylish punch of color to the fireplace.

• 2 (6-foot-long) 1 x 2s, poplar
• 2 (6-foot-long) 1 x 6s, pine
• 1 (8-foot-long) 1 x 8, pine
• 2 (8-foot-long) 1 x 10s, pine
• 1 (24-inch-square) sheet of 1/4-inch-thick birch plywood

Materials and hardware
• hearth and surround tile (2-inch, cobalt blue mosaic, #7882)
• accent tile (Emsir, black and copper, special order)
• fencepost point caps (4-inch, copper, #74378)
• black grout
• shelf paint (American Tradition by Valspar, Lincoln Cottage Black #4009-2, semi-gloss)
• ventless firebox (32-inch, Classic Electric, #219619*)
• 1 box 6d finishing nails
• 1 box (#18 x 3/4-inch) wire brads
• stainable wood filler
• wood glue

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