Too Hot to Handle

It's hot. Like H-O-T hot. Which means the last few days have found me inside, reveling in the air-conditioning, pouring over my favorite design blogs and thinking to myself, "you're overdue for a blog post." And what stares back at me as I sit on our couch but our gaping dark hole of a fireplace. The red fireplace I've been threatening to paint for the last six months. It's the focal point of our living room and it's where light goes to die.

Don't get me wrong, it's leaps and bounds better than it was when Adam bought the house and the previous owner's passion for all things pink and mint green was still going strong...

If this were our forever home I think we'd sit down and brainstorm a plan to eventually reface this guy as there are no fewer than three different textures of manufactured stone going on here - from the Rockies to the plains to the beach after a rain storm - but we wanted to do this quickly and on a budget. In trying to keep with the traditional craftsman vibe we chose to paint the stone facade a deep brick red and at first we loved it because it was such an improvement. But eventually I began to feel like it was sucking all the light from the room, and being as our living room is in the northeast corner of our house with hedges outside the largest windows, we could use all the light love we can get. Then when we added the new reclaimed-wood mantle that Adam built it became a little too "cabin cozy" for me. The pine cones and the owl don't help, I know.

The built-ins flanking the fireplace are painted the same color as the trim throughout the better part of our house and I had most of a gallon left over from when we did the trim in our bedroom.

It took me two coats to complete and because of the "terrain" of some of the stones I had to apply my paint pretty thick to get into all the crevices, which led to some drips. I've learned that often times it's best to let a drip dry completely and pop it off with a straight blade later rather than to try and wipe it away, especially in hard-to-reach areas like under these bricks.

I'm in love! Friends, this thing literally bounces light back at you! I'm so happy with the result and I hope Adam is too (I pulled this off while he's been at work - danger.)

There's just something about the way the mantle pops off the white stone - it makes a bolder, cleaner statement. Now to scrub the hearth and update the decor up top.

We still have some trim work to iron out around the sides but for the time being the paint job cleans that area up substantially.
And in honor of #throwbackthursday...

What do you have in the way of throw back Thursday? Any awesome shots from your home before you started working on it? Or midway through a big project?

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