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That is the question I’ve been asking myself lately.

Now that the upstairs flooring project is coming to a close, Scott and I will soon have to begin with the downstairs dining room. Which means moving EVERYthing in there, especially the boxes of flooring that currently take the place of what I hope someday will be a dining table.

The unused flooring will be moving into the kitchen, and furniture will be moved around to accommodate the ripping up of the old carpet and flooring prep. This includes our living room, which has led me to our fireplace, which Scott is already assuming will cause a lot of stressful griping because the stonework that surrounds the base.

My eye, however, is being drawn to the mantel. Until now, it’s simply been a giant hunk of wood surrounding the stone. But, what should we do? Do we paint it white to match the trim, or do we try to put in a new mantel? I found a very simliar fireplace to the one I have, and here is what it would look like white:

Hmmm. I’m not entirely sold. But how much of an effort do I really want to put into this? What would look “right” in here? I’m in need of some inspiration. What are your thoughts?

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  1. Hmmm, not sure. I think it depends on how your new flooring and furniture looks in the space. If it were me, I'd wait until all that goes in and then re-assess. Right now I like your darker color better…

    As for installing the laminate around the stones, have fun with that one! For us it was a total nightmare – although it looks like our stones are more rugged than yours – they really jut out alot in random places at the bottom, they're not as flat as yours. It took Tom 5 or 6 hours to custom cut every single piece of flooring to fit each and every rock and crevice… painstaking: yes. But it looks great now! :) I really hope you guys have a much easier time than we did!


  2. Personally, I think it would like nice having the fireplace mantle painted white. We painted ours white a few months back and it has made the room feel so much lighter: http://amyhogan.com/blog/renovation/?p=2544. It did take a lot of work though – several coats of primer and gloss, but definitely worth it! Good luck with whatever you choose!

  3. I have that same stone in a corner fireplace, and I feel like the whole thing is a black hole in our living room. However, with your coffee table, I think I like the dark mantle better. And Chelsea is right; wait until the floors are down.

  4. i personally think the dark is better – it DOES go with the coffee table and I think it has a sharper look than a white would. and you can always brighten it up by decorating it with fun items from southern living :)

  5. It's long overdue, but I'm just now reading (absorbing, writing notes, etc) your blog. I've seen pics of it with the new floor, and I think it makes the fireplace POP. The fireplace is supposed to be the focal point of a living room, and that dark wood, combined with the coffeetable, offset against the beauty of your floors and the paint, makes it a gorgeous living space. Don't change it!