Elana Safronsky, Managing Editor
Wednesday, December 2, 2009 1:32 PM EDT
Our Lovely Cheryl Torrenueva (Restaurant Makeover, Colin & Justin's Home Heist) has been travelling lately, and still she found time for us here on Style Sheet! Time shortage and internet issues are no thing, as our style steward tackles a large open room dominated by a stone fireplace set in a sea of pine. If Patti and Dennis of Lebret, Saskatchewan, take Cheryl’s advice, it looks like their great room is in for quite the transformation!
From Patti and Dennis of Lebret, Sask.:
Patti and Dennis' great room
"We have a very tall wall in my living room. Part of the wall has a wood burning stone fireplace; the other part is pine or cedar. I hate the look of the wall. We would love to mount the TV above the mantel but it’s too high – about six feet. I really do not like the stone or the cedar.
"I would love to have the look of built in cabinets in a cream or white but wouldn't have any idea where to begin. The fireplace should be our feature wall but we have placed our furniture facing the other wall so that we can watch TV.
"The room is about 20 x 22. Do you have any suggestions for a quick fix or otherwise? Thanks!"
Hi Patti and Dennis,
You've got a great space with lots of natural light – you just need an update for 2009! In this case, I would suggest investing in this renovation, as opposed to a quick fix.
Normally, I would be happy to suggest hanging the television over the fireplace but since it’s wood burning, you're better off keeping it away from high heat sources. And you’re right; the height of the viewing area would be way too high.
The Fireplace Wall
There really is no quick fix for the stone as it’s outdated and not really working with the space. I would invest some time and do the following:
- Drywall over the existing stone. Make sure you consult a professional and use fire-rated drywall
- Divide the length of the wall into 3 sections. The middle section with the fireplace should have a *** that continues all the way to the ceiling. Instead of a mantle I would highly recommend using Cultured Brick, Profit Alpine Ledgestone, Harvest 420114, to give it a modern updated feel. The warm natural colours will blend nicely with your floor and furnishings.
- Create two niches on either side of the fireplace *** for firewood. Above the niches, build shelves that go full height from the mantle to the ceiling (see sketch immediately above.)
- Paint all of the new shelving and the existing pine pure white to keep everything clean and airy. The cultured brick will now be the feature in the room and will emphasize the vaulted ceiling.
See how we created a fabulous focal point with stone, from the “Beach Bummer” episode of Home Heist (see above photo; left.)
Entire room plan
Since you have such a large room, it's best to have more than one focal point otherwise you are left wondering what to do with the rest of the space. Treat it as two areas; Fireplace/reading area and entertaining/television area (see floor plan).
- I would keep the TV on the same wall that you currently have it on and create built-in units (see above photo;right) with a combination of closed and open storage. This would be a great place to house collections of photos and other objects.
- One trick that we constantly use on Colin & Justin's Home Heist is to buy stock shelving units and add baseboard, trim and crown moulding to create a custom look.
- Even though you have two separate areas, one option to unify them is to have an area rug made to cover the entire room, leaving roughly a one foot gap from the wall on all sides. This will help ground the space and keep it open just in case you want to combine all of the furniture to create one large entertaining space!
Keep me posted as I would love
to see the final results!
Any thoughts? Got your own Design Dilemma?
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