Monday, March 22, 2010

~ Building a Faux Fireplace - Revisting ....

Faux Fireplace
One of the topics that I often get emails about is the faux fireplace on the living room. As I was getting ready to re-post this, one as my blog friends, Kim of Twice Remembered Cottage, wrote about her one of her latest projects, a faux fireplace in her dining room. Be sure to check it out. She and her husband are redoing a house into a cottage-to-love. These two fireplaces are different ideas to spark your imagination if you are considering this.


I have a soft spot of Euro antiques. Usually they are not in my price range, but sometimes I get lucky.

The thought of something special traveling such a far distance from a European country and then somehow finding its way here to the states is always a tale that warms my heart. I understand those who prefer their treasures from the past from our country as well. It's just that I have a love for the ones from across the pond.

I only have a few... Irish, French, English & Italian treasures ... a couple of Minton tiles, some dishes, a chandelier, a table & cupboard, and this fireplace mantel that was destined to satisfied my longing for having a fireplace in the living room.

A fireplace is one of the most important design elements that you can add to a room for beauty and warmth. The architectural statement of a fireplace is loved and desired by most people when seeking a home. But there was no real need for a working fireplace in my living room. We have a nice large one in the family room where the television is. And it is fired up often from the time the temperature goes all the way down to about 50* for the first time each year until Spring when it warms up again.

I never lived in a house with a fireplace before this one, so I'm making up for lost time. If the rooms were larger, I would be tempted to have one in each bedroom or bathroom as well.

The antique insert was in excellent condition. The dealer had completely restored it. Although the gray was not what I needed, it was the perfect base to build on.

The first thing I did was paint most of it white, and part black to accentuate the half-round opening.

I probably had saved a hundred pictures of fireplaces and I could easily have 10 or so in one house just to implement the designs that I love. The look of French and Italian fireplaces still is the most beautiful to me, and I have never tired of this one. It makes me sad to image one day someone will move in my house and might want a mid century modern look, and rip it out.

I began the design around the antique piece we purchased at Renninger's, and all the dozens of pictures I had accumulated. If you are not very handy with miter cuts and measuring, you could have a trim carpenter (or a great husband) match pictures that you might be saving. Sweet Hubby did all the work for me. He not only did a beautiful job with it, but enjoyed it as well.

It is the mix of the details that exist on the original antique piece, the added plaster and resin elements and all the moldings that makes this so beautiful. We added moldings to blend all these different elements into one design.

He built a box above the mantel with angels to mimic the ones I found from France and Italy. In order to add to the realism, we made it so that it came out from the wall a little bit, although it would be more realistic if it was thicker. I just didn't have the floorspace to spare.

You can see that the top of the mantel is cut with a curved design.

The plywood above the fireplace was covered
with layers of drywall mud to give
a stucco/stone effect.
Then it was primed and
painted in a Faux Stone finish.

This is a close up of the
details on the original piece
where it is painted white
then antiqued.

The inside of the firebox is a small piece of plywood
painted like a gray brick.
I found a metal "scrollie thing" that I painted black
and used some "rub-n-buff on the details of it.
This was fitted on the inside of the opening.


The larger corbels are resin, again painted
to an aged, antiqued white look.


Detail shot of the bottom.
Shows the mix of wood moldings
wood boxes, and resin pieces.

The beautiful piece in the center is plaster.
Painted & Antiqued for an aged look.

Hope you enjoyed this one!
See Y'all Soon!!


  1. Lovely! I built a faux fireplace in my home too. I blogged about it not long ago and included links to two other fireplace redos that I knew about. I wish I'd known about your's, I would have included it too. I think I'll go back and add a link to your's in the old post.


  2. I do love your fireplace, Donna! It's a wonderful project that you collaborated on with your hubby! You both did a great job bringing this together.

  3. Hello my friend... most favorite fireplace of all times!!! I'm so glad that you posted about your fabulous fireplace again, my friend! It is simply breathtaking and such an inspiration to anyone who is considering doing a faux fireplace! Thank you for sharing it with us again!!!

    I found your blog when I was searching for ideas on this very subject! I completed the faux fireplace in our living room and I'm very pleased with it! Thank you for being such an inspiration!!!

    Warmest wishes,
    Chari @Happy To Design

  4. I love all the detailing on the fp! It's gorgeous. You and Hubby did a fine job!

  5. thanks for sharing, would love to put a floor to ceiling fireplace in my house

  6. Beautiful! I've always had fireplaces in living room and family room, but my dream is to have them n master bedroom, dining room and kitchen. Maybe in my NEXT house--- (which my husband says I'll be building with my NEXT husband!

  7. Beautiful , i love everything about it especially the middle black part. So french!

  8. Your blog ..... it's amazing and soooo inspiring. Nice to find you!

    A small footprint from Agneta & Sweden

    Ps. I have an ongoing jewelry contest on my blog. Welcome! Ds

  9. I tagged you on my blog!! You're a socialite. xoxo

  10. You do awesome work! I've always loved this fireplace.

  11. Your fireplace is without doubt the nicest one I have seen. The work your husband did on it is magnificent.
    Does he hire out? Just kidding.

    I too enjoy Renningers. I live in Mt. Dora and sually run over ever weekend especially to buy fruits and vegs. and just scout around. I assume you live somewhere in the area.




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