Since the New Year I have been in a clean-up and clear-the-countertop mood… and not only the countertops, but the closets, drawers and cabinets!

Making changes here and there… fluffing and fussing!

One of the biggest changes I have made recently is my family room fireplace and mantle…

Here is a “before”… Christmas 2010 …
The “After”…. 
We FINALLY replaced the green tile fireplace surround with whitewashed brick…  very neutral and soft. This project has been on my radar for quite some time. It made a huge difference in the overall look of our family room!
We could not order a new glass door for the fireplace… so next week, I’m pulling off the brass and repainting it with an oil-rubbed bronze heat resistant spray paint…
The mirror over the mantle was replaced with a big clock I recently found on sale. That mirror has hung over the mantle for 18 years… “time” for a change!
The mirror will be hung in the living room I am working on.
The rest of the mantle was kept very simple… touches of white and browns… a soft almost bare look for winter.  Less is more with this big clock as the focal point.

The buffet lamps are the same ones in the “before” photo. A little paint and a linen lampshade gives them a new look!  Stop back for post about the lamp transformation tomorrow.

The next big project for this area is to knock out the windows and wall on the right side of our family room and replace them with a wall of french doors leading to the porch.  But that is down the road a bit!
But for now… I am happy with the new changes!


  1. says

    Great minds think alike! I also went to a white winter mantle after Christmas. I am going to decorate it for the girl’s 5th birthday this week, but then it is back to white. I love the clean look after all of the greenery and what not of the holidays. 😀

    I really love your lantern, I was thinking about hitting Old Time Pottery to find a similar one.

  2. Tammy says

    I love it. Funny, I was just asking my Brother in law about updating our fireplace and he suggested granite. Ours it black tile and has the gold trim as well so I will be looking forward to seeing how yours comes out and how you did it. Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. says

    very nice yvonne…i’m still ‘fluffing and fussing’ in my kitchen after christmas, just can’t quite get it right!

    a few years ago my husband suggested we take out a set of windows in our sunroom and replace them with french doors which lead to our outdoor porch area (which we had just installed)….it was his best idea yet! i love french doors, don’t you?

  4. says

    Hi Yvonne, I actually painted my shiny brass on my fireplace with heat resistent paint in black and it made such a difference. I think you’ll be surprised how much bang for the buck you get. Love the new look.
    Leslie (aka Gwen Moss)

  5. says

    Hope you are feeling better! I like the new, clean look for winter! I just today got my Christmas off the fireplace and mantle. ALMOST done!!!! It is very different in a new space!!! Love the clock. And the brick! Hope I get up there soon, and YOU get down HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XOXO

  6. says

    It looks so fresh and clean, Yvonne! I love the big clock for your focal point. The redo on the fireplace with the brick is gorgeous. I love seeing your changes and updates. Hope you’re feeling better.

  7. says

    Wow. I really like the new brighter look of your fireplace. The clock is beautiful and I like that you painted the lamps. Refinishing the fireplace with white bricks really updated the whole look of the room. Beautiful! Blessings, Pamela

  8. says

    Your mantel looks beautiful, Yvonne! The simple, neutral look is just perfect for winter. I love the big clock and the fireplace surround couldn’t have turned out better…it looks wonderful!

  9. says

    Yvonne, This looks beautiful.I was wondering if you would share where you found your clock? I was also wondering what color your walls are painted.I wish you were available to decorate my house.Your home is beautiful!!!

  10. says

    Amazing what one can do to change the entire look and feel of a space! I am so mad at myself for completely trashing our fireplace door a few years back rather than spray painting it. At that time I just didn’t know that was even possible. Live & learn, I suppose! The clock you have over the mantel looks great. I’m curious to see what will replace it!!!

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