This week's Quick Fix: How to update a 1950's fireplace

My latest Quick Fix comes from a former client who is stumped about how to update a tired, 1950's corner, brick fireplace. When I first visited her soon-to-be new home, I was instantly drawn to this nook. There is so much charm and potential in this bright, sunny space. It just needs a little imagination and TLC to modernize it.

I feel like this little corner is a missed opportunity. It's screaming out for something to break up the sea of brick and needs some architectural detail and a hit of symmetry to shine.

Here are my suggestions to make it sing, without blowing the budget:

1. Paint the brick. Creamy white or a lovely gray will make this fireplace sing and coordinate well with the colors the homeowner has chosen for the house.

2. Fake it. Since the firebox doesn't actually continue around the corner, the focal point seems lost and the fireplace imbalanced. I'd recommend treating both walls as one and wrap the mantel around the bend. On the wall that's "fireless" I'd add some lanterns with candles in varying heights beneath the new mantel, in lieu of a firebox.

3. Beef up the mantel piece. The narrow shelf that's currently in use feels underscaled. Adding a thicker mantel will create a more distinct focal point.

Here's a moodboard I created to give you a visual (photos below are clockwise):

And last but not least

4. Accessorize. Add a basket for blankets, or a vessel to stack wood or some tools on the raised hearth. Decorate both mantels with simple, pretty frames, mirrors, plants, etc. Treat them the way you would one mantel with a vignette like these:

What Quick Fixes have you given to your old home to modernize it? Send me a picture! I'd love to share it here on the blog. Are you looking for a Quick Fix of your own? Be the first one to comment on Facebook with your design dilemma and I'll tackle your project and share it next week.

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Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Nicole of Bellmore, NY, this week's winner of the Quick Fix Giveaway! Like many of us, Nicole's television is the unofficial focal point in living room/dining room combo. In combined open spaces and solitary ones alike, how can we take the emphasis off the big black box and make it play more nicely with our surroundings?

1. If you can't hide it, embrace it! Including the television in a gallery wall can work wonders if you have the wall space.

image via  Apartment Therapy

2. Disguise it. Modern Farmhouse style is all the rage these days. This shuttered cabinet from Ballard Designs (it's on sale right now too!) is a great find for a wall mounted unit.

3. Surround it with simple shelves. If your budget is tight, you're fickle or you rent, this idea from Decorola is a great option.

Next week I'll be sharing Nicole's specific dilemma, her inspiration pictures, and my Quick Fix remedy. 

Until then, enjoy your weekend. Do you need a quick fix for your specific design dilemma? Stay tuned for your chance to win one next week or e-mail me today if you can't wait!




Summer Slow down, new services and a Giveaway!

Hello friends! I hope your summer has been full of long, lazy days, sunshine and adventure with the ones you love. I don't know about you, but I try to go off the grid a bit as the kiddos get out of school and the days grow warmer. This summer though, I've been busy with some new clients, and I'm happy to say, developing some new services for you.

In an effort to introduce you to them and to reignite my blog a bit, I'll be giving away my new Quick Fix service to a reader each week until Labor Day.

Here's how to win:

1) Check out the details of the service here. You don't need to live nearby to win this service!

2) If you haven't already done so, please drop by my FB page here and Like it or follow me on Instagram.

3) E-mail me with your specific design dilemma at .

The first reader to email me will receive a free Quick Fix design Consultation!

Thanks for visiting and good luck! I'll announce the winner here on Friday.