Is it any surprise that one of my favorite features of our 1930's bungalow is the fireplace?
In case you missed the post from earlier in the week: Surprise, we bought a house!
The problem, however, is that the house hasn't been occupied in more than twenty years, so a whole lot of work must be done before my daydream of "sitting by the fire while eating fondue" can come true.
In the hierarchy of the one billion and one items that will have to be completely renovated in the house, the fireplace occupies the lowest level. With that in mind, I've compiled 15 budget-friendly, DIY fireplace ideas to begin brainstorming solutions to the nightmare below. My hope is that when time finally comes time to make a decision, I'll have an idea of what I actually want – because if the list below is any indication, I am all over the style spectrum.
Won't you please help me pick a favorite?
Add a Few Coats of Paint
Perhaps the easiest and most budget-friendly way to update a fireplace is to simply paint it. To add even more visual interest, paint the wall behind it in the same shade. Check out how Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse completely transformed her living room with a few (okay, fine – slightly more than a few) brush strokes!
Sharon from Lilikoi Joy renovated her traditional fireplace into this modern beauty using honed vein cut travertine tile for a warm and airy feel. What a breath of fresh air, especially compared to the heavy look before! She doesn't mention cost, but a quick Google search reveals about $4.00 per square foot.
Build a Mosaic of Reclaimed Wood
I fell in love with this reclaimed wood option the minute I laid my eyes on it. I'm usually not a fan of boho chic and personally prefer a more contemporary style, but the gorgeous, rich oak stain and rustic yet modern design has me dreaming of all sorts of spaces I can cover in reclaimed wood... Shannon from Shannon Berrey Design gives step-by-step instructions on achieving this DIY transformation in your own home. The best part? She scored the wood scraps for free!
Fit for a Queen
In theory, the idea of black marble doesn't appeal to me – I personally prefer airy and light spaces. Yet this oh-so-sophisticated combo has me reconsidering that notion. Granted, this elegant fireplace will likely look out of place in our small home, but perhaps a smaller, less elaborate version would infuse the space with just the right dose of glamour. Decisions, decisions!
Real Stone Veneer
I know a few of you were gasping in surprise at the mention of "faux." If that's the case, here's a more appropriate option: real stone veneer. At $3.98 for a 6x12" tile, the price tag isn't nearly as shocking as I would've imagined for stonework. Sarah from the Little Red Brick House chronicles her fireplace makeover journey with an entire series on her blog, starting with the planning stage all the way to the big reveal.
I am loving this painted wood surround and mantel! Granted, it isn't the most budget-friendly option and would likely require custom designed woodwork, but it's a perfect example of a luxe fireplace that won't look out of place in a smaller home.
Tile It Up
Stephanie from Swing 'N Cocoa brings us this next DIY fireplace makeover. She tackled brick demolition, tiling, rip cutting, bench planing, trim installation, new painting techniques and a whole lot of other terminology whose meaning is completely lost on me. But I'm sure I'll become oh-so-familiar with all of it oh-so-very-soon.
I knew immediately that Stephanie was a girl after my own heart when she mentioned scoring the tiles on Craigslist for a cool $15. The entire project cost less than $200, so if that isn't life-changing, then I don't know what is.
Marble Tile Herringbone Style
Sally from Love of Homes has a marble tile option, and this one just may be my favorite. I absolutely love the classy feel of a herringbone pattern – whether it's on a backsplash, hardware floors or, in this case, the fireplace facade. Granted, a classier look comes with a heftier price – $12.98 for a 13 x 13" tile – but what a lovely update to the room!
Luxe and Decadent
This next example is one that I imagine quickly being rejected in our house, due to the fact that such luxury simply wouldn't fit the size and style of our house, but I just had to share this beauty, designed by Catherine Kwong. The regal, layered mantle, gilded mirror paneling, the feminine details and minimal, sophisticated decor all come together to create what quite possibly could be my dream living room.
Here's another herringbone pattern combined with a gray mantel, courtesy of Sarah from Thrifty Decor Chick. The more DIY tutorials I see, the more I fall in love with the herringbone pattern, and the more I'm convinced that, as much as I like to think otherwise, I may not have enough DIY bones in my body to accomplish this on my own. We shall see.
Pop of Black
For so long white has been the go-to color option for anyone painting their fireplace. This dramatic black version, however, is a great way to draw attention to the main feature of the room.
When a complete renovation is out of the budget, simply adding an elaborate fireplace screen gives the place a totally new look. Total gems, like this vintage gold peacock-style screen, are super easy to find – I came across several on Craigslist!
So what do you think? Which ideas are your favorite, and which do you absolutely hate? I can't wait to hear your feedback!
To see the progress on our fireplace, check out:
- Tips for DIY Hardwood Floors Installation
- What to Expect When Refinishing Hardwood Floors: Before & After
- DIY Mirror Makeover: Stencil Your Favorite Quote on a Mirror
- Fireplace Makeover: Painting the Brick Fireplace White
See the newly renovated fireplace here: