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A Dust Dilemma: What would you do about the fireplace?

RoseeaglerockbedroomAfter visiting Susan Rose at her 1933 Eagle Rock home, I wondered how I would have handled the dilemma she faced with her fireplace.

The problem stemmed from the fact that Susan wanted to add a new bedroom onto the side of the house where the fireplace already existed. (The other side of the living room faces gorgeous views of Eagle Rock.)

So she had to decide what to do: Remove the fireplace? (See how the fireplace looks from inside the living room.) Or incorporate the back of the fireplace (originally on the outside of the house) into her bedroom decorating scheme?

As you can see from this photo, Susan chose the latter, having the masonry of the fireplace covered with the same smooth-troweled plaster as her new bedroom, but in a contrasting color. The antique hutch and trailing houseplant add to the scene.

You’ll also notice that she settled for a step-down into the new bedroom, to save money, rather than raising the new floor up to the level of the house. Would you have done that?

How would you handle this design dilemma?

5 Comments on A Dust Dilemma: What would you do about the fireplace?

  1. lil_gaucha // March 5, 2008 at 9:52 am // Reply

    I really like it. The contrasting colors and the plants add a bit of whimsy. If the flooring is right (hard to tell) and there’s enough windows, this could really take on the feel of a garden room or sun room.
    I’d love to see more photos.’

  2. Kathy Price-Robinson // March 4, 2008 at 11:45 pm // Reply

    Thanks for the input. Great ideas!
    Hey, Sheila, I want to make a public request that you blog here about your project when you start it. I could see one or two posts a week, and then you’d have your own “bully pulpit” to make all the green points you care to make. How about it? Email me at podblog@aol.com.

  3. I also would’ve kept the brick and simply painted the brick.
    then, with the money saved by not plastering the brick, raise the floor and eliminate the step. Single steps tend to cause problems. Rule of Thumb: Either two steps minimum or no steps at all.
    BTW, no one uses the fireplace ash clean-outs anymore, so it OK to cover that over. I hope this clean-out was not the reason why the floor was lowered…

  4. not sure if it is possible, structurally, on her particular house, but a 2-sided fireplace would have been a WAAAYYY better idea than this one, which looks very hokey to me.
    i grew up in a step-down and don’t mind it a bit.

  5. Hate step downs — I would have spent the extra dough to make it level. Nothing screams addition like a step down.
    I’d probably have kept the fireplace but painted it the same color as the rest of the walls. I don’t like how it stands out.

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