For all of you who have ever moved into an older home and loved everything except the fireplace, this article is for you. There are few cases when you find your dream home and don’t want to change anything. And very often, the thing that people want to change is the fireplace.
Many fireplaces built in the 1970s were crafted using stone. However, this doesn’t fit in with the general aesthetic of many homes today and can make the room it’s in look outdated. Luckily, you don’t have to be stuck with this fireplace forever, and you can update it in several ways.
Keep reading for tips on turning your fireplace into a more modern sight for the eyes.
4 ways to update your fireplace
Once you’ve decided you want to update your old stone fireplace, you need to determine what method you wish to use to do so. Here are five of the most popular ways you can transform your fireplace and have it match the aesthetic of your room:
Paint over the stone
If you don’t mind the appearance of the stone but think the original color makes the area look older, you could simply just paint over it with your color of choice. However, if you don’t want just a solid painted look, the Brick-Anew Stone paint kit gives outdated stone a lighter, modern look that keeps the mottled look of natural stone.
Brick Anew Stone Fireplace Paint Kit
A versatile kit for painting stone fireplaces a fresh and modern look at economical prices
Money Back Guarantee
Replace with wooden paneling
Wood is one of the best materials to update your fireplace with, and that’s because it never seems to go out of date. It goes with so many different types of aesthetics, and you can decorate it to fit in with your room.
You can choose between different types of wood because the paneling can be painted before you apply it. There is a lot of variety, from white to the basic brown wooden finish.
Add color with tile
Tile isn’t just made for kitchens and bathrooms; it can also be a great way to update your stone fireplace with a wide range of different colors. The great part is, unlike paint and wood, you don’t have to opt for just one color; you can incorporate any type of pattern or design that you want into it.
You also don’t have to be a genius to install tile; it shouldn’t take too long on a small area like a fireplace. It’s also incredibly nice to deal with in the long run, as it is easy to maintain. Unlike stone, where you have to scrub and deep clean it regularly, tile can be wiped down and look good as new.
Update with stone veneer
Have you ever heard of stone veneer? If not, an excellent way to think of it is like when you get veneers on your teeth. You cover up your old, discolored teeth with a new set of sparkling white teeth, and you feel like new! The same applies to your 70s stone fireplace.
Stone veneers are lighter and cheaper versions of the stone built into your fireplace, meaning you don’t have to spend too much to update the overall look. You can choose different styles to get a more modern look, and they don’t take long to install either. It is one of the most perfect solutions.
Other things to consider
When updating your 1970s stone fireplace, you have to consider a few more things before you get started:
While most of the processes involved in updating your stone fireplace are straightforward, there are still some precautions you’ll need to put in place to ensure your safety. Without the proper installation, your fireplace can become a hazard in the long run.
Make sure you have cleaned out your fireplace before you get started in case there are any harmful fumes or bits of ash in the way. It is also always advised to wear some form of gloves and eye protection when installing new materials. If you’re unsure, consult with a professional before you get started.
Removing the stone
While many of the above methods for updating your fireplace simply involve covering up the old stone, you may want to remove it first. This is especially the case when you want to start entirely from scratch to ensure the safety of your fireplace in the long run.
Make sure you wear the right protection and use a chisel to remove the mantel if you have one. If there is mortar holding all the stones in place, use the same chisel to remove the mortar and hit the back of the stone with a mallet until you hear a crack. Continue to do this until all the stone and mortar have been removed.
The right products
We’ve already mentioned purchasing the right paint and kits for your stone fireplace, but once it’s updated, there are some other products you may want to get. First of all, a mantel is an important part of a fireplace that protects the above wall from heat while providing a decorative space for the room. Brick Anew offers a wide range of quality mantels you can browse here.
Similarly, you may also want to consider investing in one of Brick Anew’s fireplace doors. They keep the rest of your room safe from any popping embers as your fire dies down and they help keep out cold drafts when the fire isn’t burning.
What look are you going for?
Unsure of what color to update your fireplace with? Or what style will best match your aesthetic? Try considering one of the following styles:
All the ways we’ve mentioned you can update your fireplace will provide you with a more modern look. But the colors you use and how you style it will make or break the overall look. Typically, a modern fireplace will be a neutral shade like black, white, or tan.
If you’ve decided to use tile, a neutral shade with a pop of color can transform your entire room and give you a unique and modern look as well. If you already have vibrant colors in your room, ignore this and stick to all-over neutral shades.
A traditional or ‘classic’ look will depend on your own definition. However, we believe that paint, stone veneers, and concrete are the best methods to update your fireplace to gain a traditional style. You can update the 1970’s stone, but you still maintain some of the original look.
The best way to choose a color for this classic style is by choosing a shade that complements the furniture and decor in the room. Neutral colors work best since they go with practically any style of decor.
Warm and rustic is a beautiful feeling to walk into when you’re coming home. It makes you feel like it’s the fall season all year round and as though you’re living in your very own farmhouse. Due to this, we believe that if you want a rustic look for your fireplace, replace your stone with wooden paneling.
Typically, it’s best to stick to the original brown wooden color, but sometimes a grey or white can work as well, depending on the rest of the furniture and decor in your room. You’ll need to consider the color as soon as you decide you want wooden paneling because it’s not as easy to paint as other materials.
If you can’t decide which to go for, read our guide on how to choose between modern and rustic fireplace mantels here.
How can I decorate my mantel?
Once you’ve perfected your updated fireplace, it’s time to decorate your mantel to give your room an extra edge. Here are some ideas you may want to consider when decorating your mantel:
Stick to minimalism
When it comes to mantels, many people get very overexcited and want to add everything they can. However, adding too many objects to your mantel can make it appear cluttered and ruin your overall updated look. The best thing to do is stick to around five or six items in total and make sure they all match the overall color scheme and aesthetic of your room and fireplace.
Add some plants
Not everyone has a green thumb, but if you do, you’ll definitely want to add plants to your mantel. They look fresh and go with almost any aesthetic. If you aren’t great with plants or don’t want to take your time and effort caring for real ones, consider faux. There are so many choices that look realistic, you’ll be sure to find the perfect ones for your mantel.
Showcase your photos
We all know that mantels are made for showing off family members, loved ones, and treasured memories, so why not do it yourself? No matter the photo, they will most likely go with your chosen fireplace style and the rest of the furniture and decor in the room. The only thing you’ll need to consider is the style of the picture frames you’ll be using. Ensure the color matches the rest of the scheme you’ve already chosen.
Do I need to call a professional?
Not necessarily. Not everyone needs to hire a professional to update their 1970s stone fireplace, especially if all you’re doing is painting or applying some concrete. However, if you’ve never done any form of DIY yourself and you don’t know where to start, then you may want to call a professional, even if it’s just for a consultation.
Luckily, a fireplace update doesn’t normally cost too much money in labor if you’ve purchased the materials beforehand. If you want a quality job, then a professional will definitely get it done for you.
What are the latest trends in fireplaces?
There are a few different trends circulating the fireplace world at the moment:
Marble has become gradually more popular over the years, especially in kitchens and bathrooms. Therefore it’s no surprise that people are starting to incorporate marble into their fireplaces. If you want the ultimate modern look, you can choose a sleek piece of marble once you’ve removed your old stone fireplace. However, keep in mind that this isn’t the cheapest option around.
Many people opt for very basic and smooth looks for the fireplace, and they tie into rooms very well. Instead of fancy patterns on tile or hand-carved motifs above the fireplace, people opt for a plan and neutral color for the entire design. Most of the time, the fireplace will even blend into the wall surrounding it.
Have you considered getting a room divider but also want a fireplace? Then, you may want to have both in one! People are now building new walls in their homes that act as room dividers with the fireplace designed inside of them. You can now have a bedroom and separate home office or a living room and dining room while enjoying the heat of a beautiful fireplace.