My home was built in 1985 and the fireplace looks a bit dated with its white concrete stucco base. How can I give it a more modern appeal?
Chantal- Amos, Quebec
Though generally the dominant architectural feature of a room, the fireplace often gets overlooked when it comes time to redecorate. There are a surprising number of simple ways to update a fireplace decor that's been left behind.
The first step in any successful redecorating project is a fresh coat of paint. We know that the base is white stucco, but no mention is made of the materials around the firebox, mantle and on adjoining walls. A tone-on-tone, very neutral approach, will allow you to harmonize the textured finish of the stucco with the surrounding decor.
For a modern look, go with warm shades of grey such as those presented in the Rona 2013 Colour Trends guide. The different hues are extremely trendy yet also timeless.
The use of texture will be a popular trend in 2013. Natural or artificial stone, slate, ceramic tile, wood paneling, textured MDF, glass... each of these materials can add character and detail to a minimalist decor. The use of several textures will serve to orchestrate the stucco finish with other elements while also updating the overall look of your fireplace.
The key to integrating contemporary features is tone-on-tone decorating!
Modern decorative accents will also help to neutralize the vintage look of stucco. In keeping with a minimal concept, you can create a vignette on either the mantle or a nearby side table. Further rejuvenate the atmosphere with modern lighting and fixtures that don't give away the age of your home! These elements will shift attention away from a dated material and create a much more contemporary ambiance!
[Main photo via Architectural Design Magazine]