|Fireplace circa 1997|
|fireplace circa 2005|
|more cracked tiles|
|original tiles saved and stored safely|
I also decided to strip the black paint off of the surround and summer cover. I was inspired by the gorgeous fireplace in Emma's home from The Marion House Book. I realized later that her fireplace was actually spray painted gold, and that would have been a much easier choice to make, but oh well. Four cans of paint stripper and four full days later, it looks kinda OK. I thought that it was solid brass, duh, until I found out that if you put a magnet to it, if it was solid brass then the magnet wouldn't stick. Oh course the magnet stuck and it is in fact brass coated cast iron. But where the brass shows is really pretty, the only thing is, it's kind of patchy. Still it was a labour of love and you can now see more of the detail of the summer cover. I never knew it was of a lady standing on a stag with a bow and arrow. I think I avoided looking at it before because it was so dirty.
I love the clean look of carrera marble on fireplaces. I think it looks classy and elegant and somewhat timeless. It also goes with most everything else, unlike the green and brown tile which was hard to decorate around without clashing or looking too busy. I ummed and ahhed about what size of tile to use, and when Home Depot started carrying marble subway tile, my decision was made for me. It's not the best tile, but it is easily available and affordable. I could also buy it and try it relatively risk free because of the low cost. The second question was whether to carry the subway up the face. But I do have a thing for herringbone at the moment, so I bought some herringbone tile off the Internet and am probably going to go with that. If it looks too busy then I'll just go with the subway, but sometimes you have to take risks.
Anyway, without much further ado, here's some pictures of the work in progress. It probably won't be completed for at least another week or two, because I'm going to paint the room first and then tile. Plus I'm really slow when it comes to finishing things. I always have to ruminate over my decisions for days before I actually commit, so who knows the design may change between now and then.
I did toy with doing a herringbone pattern on the hearth, but I think it may be too busy. I'm currently leaning towards the plain subway tile on the bottom and the smaller herringbone subway tile on the face. Wish me luck!