A Fireplace Makeover: A Small Before & After


The client had inherited a flush marble tile faced fireplace with no mantel. Stopgap measures included experimenting with a unique screen (didn't go too far!) and settling for hanging a couple of oil paintings from France over the opening and hoping it didn't attract too much attention to itself.

fireplace, afterwards

With tiny budget, we were able to create an elegant fireplace surround and mantel, and place a wonderful Empire style gilt mirror over the mantel. We bought the mirror at a local thrift store for $12.00, then with a few cents' worth of gesso and $9.00 in gold leaf from Michael's, we created a gorgeous gold-leafed mirror for $21.00. A friend arrived and guessed the mirror had cost $1200 so we knew we had succeeded!

The mantel was found at the local building materials salvage yard for $75.00. It was sanded and prepped for priming and painting, then mounted on the fireplace surround for a perfect fit and a wonderful nod to Louis XV in design.

Total cost: Mirror: $21.00, Mantel $75 plus paint and labor to attach to wall (about $125 here in the Bay Area) Total: $221. and change.

What do you think?

fireplace, before







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in 2010, it's:


Kit Golson Design

for elegant, sustainable and pragmatic

Chic Provence Interior Design


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