jeanzbeanz

Original fireplace - replace or keep?

Gina Anderson
2 years ago

We're part way through renovations of our 1930s house, and had originally planned to rip out this gas fireplace and put in an open fire with a white mantel. However... it's actually started to grow on me a bit - it does really suit the house, and I am all for keeping original character where possible. But it's definitely not my taste and the colour doesn't go at all with what I had planned for the room. (bluey walls, white woodwork, mixture of tan leather and burgundy velvet sofas).

What would you do? Tear out or work with it?

Comments (45)

  • Gina Anderson
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    This is what it looked like when we moved in - many layers of tile paint have been removed to reveal the original tile!

  • Gina Anderson
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    The attached images show the sort of colours and fireplace I had bookmarked for this room.

    Bedroom · More Info

    Our Favorite Customer Photos — STUDIO MCGEE · More Info

    10 Beautiful Rooms - Mad About The House · More Info

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  • Jane Robertson
    2 years ago
    Replace
  • Sonia
    2 years ago

    Get rid! It’s a monstrosity. I love original features too, but those 1930’s tiled fireplaces are plain ugly. I had two in my 1934 house but they had to go. We opened up our fireplace, scrubbed the bricks, laid a stone hearth and added a white painted fire surround, similar to your last image. Much nicer!

  • Jonathan
    2 years ago
    Skip
  • Sven
    2 years ago

    My initial thought was get rid but it is not as bad looking and brown as it first looks. As you have said it grows on you. The earthy colours work well with the blue that you have selected. Keeping it simple with an Art Deco clock in the middle, the pale blue and you have a great feature.

  • Gina Anderson
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    I'm so tempted to try and make it work - it's too easy to get rid of the "wrong" period features and replace them with what's trendy! Worst case scenario is that I replace it a few years down the line...
  • Alix W
    2 years ago
    Keep! It’s fab, I think it will (might?) work with the colours you had in mind and it’s period.
  • PRO
    colourhappy
    2 years ago

    It's all relative. I actually think the colour will go ok with your scheme, but as to if you should keep it or not, only you can decide.

  • Emily
    2 years ago
    I’d keep it too. When houses get renovated they often end up using a lot of the same ideas materials colours etc as everyone else renovating at that time and in ten or fifteen years time you can date when it was done. I prefer to see a mix in older homes where some of the original currently unfashionable things are kept and either an eclectic scheme evolves or a modern scheme with an unfashionable period element “juxtaposed” against it. And in the future the few remaining thirties fireplaces will be valued perhaps. There was a time when all the mid century stuff was skipped and now they’re desirable.
  • Lena
    2 years ago
    Is it really necessary to keep an ugly feature only because it is an original?
    It has nothing to do with trends.
  • Emily
    2 years ago
    Nothing’s necessary. Everyone’s got a choice. But the most interesting interiors to me often have something “ugly” about them. Personally I like that “ugly” fireplace
  • E D
    2 years ago

    It‘s quirky. I quite like its art Deco styling. I would probably keep it.


    It’s complete. It’s of the era.


    How does it sit in the room? Can you perhaps share a photo showing the entire room? Is it a bedroom?


    Funily enough I don't mind the painted version either which seems to match some of the reds in your example photo. Or was it brown rather than burgundy?

  • PRO
    User
    2 years ago

    I'm with forzitalia, get rid, some period features are great, but that's just not one of them.

  • nmlondon
    2 years ago
    art deco and arts&crafts always divide people. Personally I really like these and most likely your would work better with the rest of the house unless you are ripping all other 30s features too. I really dislike that last image, looks like a gaping mouth and is rather boring, and in my opinion, Victorian, Edwardian fireplaces don’t quite work in a typical 30s house. (I am a big Art Deco fan and live in a 1934 house with four fireplaces. Still, these fireplaces more “demanding” to tie in the rest of decor
  • smartypantsnancy
    2 years ago
    Love it, I think you could make it look spectacular
  • Jules Mc
    2 years ago

    After all the hard work you've done unstripping it I feel bad saying that I would definitely get rid. I'm usually a bit of a purist when it comes to period detail but some are just not attractive. It will certainly be a very dominant feature in your room so you've got to love it or lose it!

  • Bow Sward
    2 years ago
    Are you keeping the mouldings on the wall? I think the rectangle above the fireplace is the wrong shape and not helping the fireplace. If you decide to keep the fireplace ( I would try all other routes first but agree it’s not attractive in itself) and the moulding, see if it is improved by making the rectangle deeper so the bottom is closer to the fireplace (appreciating you will perhaps want to display stuff on the top of the fireplace) and perhaps even extend the sides to echo the shape of the fireplace.
  • Gina Anderson
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    I've made my mind up - the fireplace is staying!! It might even come back into fashion one day ;-)

    Spotted this painting today and thought the colours might work with the fireplace? I'll ditch my idea of burgundy sofas but probably keep the blue walls? The second picture shows what an awkward shaped room it is. It was originally a dining room and the fireplace was in the middle of the wall. It will be a sitting room for when we entertain (we have a separate living room).

  • Gina Anderson
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Attached shows rough floor plan. Fireplace is where the pink circle is. We'll probably put a built in bench in the nook at the bottom left to try and make it look a bit more intentional. We are going to keep the panels on the walls and add new ones on the new walls - and also replacing the coving with something more substantial (ceiling been over plastered so original coving is ruined!)

  • Emily
    2 years ago
    I like those colours with either of the paint samples. I know we all love Houzz but with those colours I think it would be worth looking on the house and gardens website for examples of how to combine multiple colours. It isn’t all Georgian townhouses or country pads, there are some great ideas on that site. Not suggesting this pic exactly just thought I’d include one pic.
  • Gina Anderson
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    Thanks so much for the recommendation Emily (and for articulating my thoughts on removing period features better than I could!!). I'll take a look at that website this evening :)
  • smartypantsnancy
    2 years ago
    Looks really good with the picture above Gina and in its position in the room. Love it !
  • Danielle H
    2 years ago

    I don't actually mind the surround but I hate the insert, I maybe feel that part isn't so original? Do you need a working fireplace? I think it might look nicer opened up with maybe just some logs in?

  • verdigrisjane
    2 years ago
    I think you may regret it if you get rid of your fireplace. We had an original 1930s tiled fireplace in our bedroom in our last house and I grew to be very fond of it. It is a question of looking at with a non judgemental eye.
  • PRO
    Sherborne Property Refurbishments
    2 years ago

    I think the surround could look fabulous, it is the insert fire that's throwing it. Mixing old styles with new can really give you a fantastic, unique style. Stop the predictable fire surround look and keep the feature. Embellish with a deco mirror or ornaments and check out the new de Nimes colour from Farrow and Ball, that kind of dirty, husky blue would really give some depth to your room.

  • nmlondon
    2 years ago
    https://www.ashpanworld.co.uk/frets-16-c.asp
    I ordered a fret for one of my Art Deco fireplaces from this site, they specialise in period fireplaces, tiles, frets, ash pans etc
    http://www.c20fireplaces.co.uk/rfpi
    some gorgeous art deco fireplaces there...
  • Jonathan
    2 years ago
    What’s happening with the coving in there?
  • chloeloves
    2 years ago
    Can I comment on the panelling - I’m sure this is not original it is probably someone’s idea of faux Georgian or Victorian panelling. I think it looks too fussy for the room and will highlight the odd shapes of the wall panels. I think it requires a picture rail and new coving if possible. Just my humble opinion of course!
  • Ribena Drinker
    2 years ago

    I kinda like the fireplace, I'm glad you're going with it. I think it will go well with what you plan and if you live with it for while and find you don't like it then you can make the decision then. I think folks are too quick to rip out original features and then sometimes regret it.

  • Gina Anderson
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    Chloeloves - you may be right that it isn't original but it does appear to be. The walls aren't in great condition so I'm keen to keep the paneling design as it will save a lot of patching!

    Jonathan - the original coving is plastered in so we couldn't remove it. We had to overboard and replaster the ceiling so will have to source and fit new coving on top of the old stuff.
  • Gina Anderson
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    We do intend to replace the insert, probably with an open fire (which I think it probably was originally)!
  • nmlondon
    2 years ago
    Gina Anderson, that’s how the walls of our 30s house look, I absolutely love the picture railings! The photos have been taken shortly after we bought the house, we will be re-decorating/rewiring, laying new floors etc and probably replacing the existing fireplaces with more aesthetically-pleasing art deco fireplaces, have four! (I like art deco fireplaces, but not the one in living room), when we move back to England.
  • Jonathan
    2 years ago
    Best of luck trying to patch in new coving.

    Personally I think your builder should have ripped out your coving - it wouldn’t have required much more over boarding and plastering than you had done anyway. And although you can match coving this is more time intensive so the labour cost is high. I think you should be costing up your coving options- I think that matching the coving later you have just put off a job and expense, and not saved any money- in fact it might still be worth going back, pulling the coving out and starting again. This way you would also be able to choose the coving- personally I think the proportions of this room deserve something a little bigger.

    Since matching in coving or replacing it means you will need to get a plasterer in I would also take off the panelling. I suspect you are again trying to save costs but you likely are not because all you are doing is pushing a problem to a different trade to deal with so their bill will be more.
  • Nick Rice
    2 years ago

    Good call keeping it, I'm a fan of these it's an absolute beast! In the same way people use to chuck out Victorian fireplaces in the 60s and 70s once its gone it's gone and replacing can be expensive and time consuming! Well done you for not being swayed by the majority.

  • chloeloves
    2 years ago
    Massive improvement! Blank canvas. What’s next?
  • Gina Anderson
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    Carpet goes down on Friday (!) so I have to choose a wall colour quick!! Half tempted to do white after all.. otherwise I'll stick with the bluey green I'd picked out. Off to get more testers tomorrow!
  • Sonia
    2 years ago

    Looks so much nicer without the panelling. Blue green sounds nice. I’ve got F&B Cromarty in my living room and I love it. Good luck with it all.

  • Emily
    2 years ago
    Looking at room freshly plastered I think the walls might look best a colour the same “strength” or depth of colour as the plaster if you know what I mean?? Whether it’s a peachy dirty pink or green or dusky blue??
    Looking forward to seeing how this room turns out :)
  • Gina Anderson
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    So here we have F&B Pale Blue, Oval Room Blue, and Pigeon. All looking a lot greener than I expected!

  • PRO
    Celery. Visualization, Rendering images
    2 years ago

    It was similar dilemma , I could not find it now.Here are my rendering






  • verdigrisjane
    2 years ago
    I like the one at the top best. Brighter and I think the colour would go well with your fireplace.

    I have Dix blue in my hall which is a mid colour and easy to live with, I’ve used pale blue before and found it looks dull on a full day.
  • PRO
  • Gina Anderson
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Oval room blue going on!

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