Updated: Mar 11, 2021
Dear flock, I pondered over when would be the best time to tell you about a fireplace makeover, as admittedly after these few gorgeous springy days, I'm not sure a picture of a fireplace is exactly what you are all longing for (green pastures filled with daffodils and roaming lambs would be more like it!). But upon reflection, I thought if told you now about my little fireplace makeover from now, then you would have the whole of Spring and Summer to get on with your own!
Let's start with the beginning shall we? This is what the fireplace looked like when we first moved in! (queue the hysterical laugh)
Authentic 60's gas fireplace and yes an absolute #eyesore!
We very swiftly proceeded with having it removed and went back to the very bare bones!
Note: you need a gas safe engineer for that even if you've been told it doesn't work
During our renovation we didn't have endless supply of fundings (like most people) so I was always on the hunt for cost-savings solutions. I had spent time searching for Edwardian mantlepieces on Ebay as I was keen to bring back original fixtures into the house. I had been eyeing up a few but prices against priority in the great scheme of things meant I hadn't ordered any as yet.
I went for a run one morning with Fino (our whippet) and took a different route to discover our new area, when something caught the corner of my eye. I have a radar for anything like skips, house clearances, junk shop displays, my alarm bells start ringing and I quickly scan the goods for potential upcycling opportunities (see my upcycling projects here). I realise not one but TWO mantlepieces had been dumped on the pavement! I instantly can tell one of them features a classic Edwardian design. I was on speed dial to Mr Flamingo within the next second shouting: "Get in the car and come right away"!
It had been rain damaged but a little fix-up later and a generous coat of Farrow & Ball paint meant it now looked more pristine than ever!
So we got to that point where we had an elegant monochrome look going on and we decided to leave it there as we quite liked the contemporary look with the simple painted bare bricks ....but really we knew it was only a matter of time until the next designing stage happened :-)
I had looked into period-looking tiles for ages, scrolled up and down Ebay but never quite found something that met all my criterias:
- complemented the existing colour scheme
- large amount of tiles available (often with vintage the seller only has 5 or 6 of the same)
- the right size tile for the gaps
- an authentic period design that visually excited me
- a tile design that I could bear to stare at everyday (not the case with a lot of Victorian tile designs!)
if you've been following my blog you will know that I will always favour a hand-designed / handmade products, so when I stumbled upon the works of Ruth from Doodle Pippin I was stopped in my tracks. Ruth creates millefiori designs, an ancestral way of manipulating clay (or glass) to create intricate kaleidoscopic patterns. (this style was hugely popular in the victorian era so would give me that authentic look)
Watch the video on her website it's fascinating (link in the Credits at the bottom)
She rolls several batches of coloured clay into thin layers, she overlaps those thin layers and then rolls them together, into what is called a cane.
She then presses different slices of canes together to create these wonderful interlaced geometric patterns. The finished designs get applied to anything from fabric to glass or ceramic. (Find her online shop in the link at the bottom)
When I saw this "flourishing garden" tile design, I was charmed!
Step 1: Cleared out the whole area, carved out a bit of the plaster so the tiles would fit snug
Step2: stuck the tiles with tile adhesive paste following the edge of the fireplace. Placed little stoppers in between to keep them from sliding and have them evenly spaced.
Earlier this year, Annie Sloan has launched this FABULOUS new colour "Capri Pink", a vibrant hot pink inspired by the legendary fashion designs of Elsa Schiaparelli and reminiscent of Mexican and Asian cultures meaning it will lend itself to SO many looks, in our case it is the "Flamingo Pink" accent our living room so desperately needed!!!
TOP TIP: I went very slowly with the chalk paint, I say slowly as it is such a vibrant colour you really don't want to get any drips on anything around the area.
That is the point where all the long suffering partners and husbands hate me, "is this idea from that blog again?" I hear them murmur soundly. Yes it is my dear, but trust me it will work, that's what I tell long-suffering Mr Flamingo anyway. PINK!? Is what he said when he first saw the colour, "It is not just pink, it's Capri Pink" I claimed proudly!
This focal point is now truly pulling focus for all the right reasons. I particularly love how the chalk paint gives a rich velvety feel which really elevates the look.
TOP TIP: For best effect, use this shocking pink as an accent colour against a great contrasting opposite colour,
like here with these deep teal coloured walls.
TOP TIP: Bringing back original fixtures inside a period home brings back character but also can add value to your home.
For more pink interior inspo, head over to my post about the colour-tastic brand Lola & Mawu CLICK HERE!
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Stay tuned for my up-coming post on
"How I created a window seat in the bay window"!!
Tiles from Doodle Pippin
Pink Paint from Annie Sloan Chalk Paints in Capri Pink
Mantlepiece and mirror, find similar on Ebay
Mantlepiece and mirror paint colour, Farrow & Ball in downpipe
Hearth, slate slab from Slate Hub
Wood burning stove from Surrey Burners
Flamingo garden sculpture from Wayfair
Hello Calm scented candle from Seven Seventeen
Art Deco Blue vase from West Elm
Cranes and Wisteria at Sunrise print from Amanda West
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