White Fireplace + Gray Walls = Happiness!

We are finished painting the family room and if I do say so myself, it turned out great!  Here is a before shot:

As you can see, it’s quite BLAH in there.  And here is an after:

The after is much lighter and cooler and not as dated and drab as before.  The mantle is temporary as I got a huge piece of beautiful walnut that I’m going to stain and poly for the mantle.  More on that to come. But for now, I just painted the mantle white.  The color that I finally went with for the walls after much searching was “Revere Pewter” by Benjamin Moore.  I saw lots of examples of the paint color on Pinterest and thought I’d give it a try and it was perfect for what I was looking for.  The mantle color is “Antique White” by Glidden since I didn’t want something too stark white.

The paint job took just one day and with ceilings as high as ours, we needed help and that’s where the troops came in.  A couple that we know has a house that needs some rehab, so I came up with this idea to “project swap.”  It works like this: I need a project done at my house so my friends come over to help with whatever I need help with, in this case it was painting the family room.  Next time the project is at their house and I think they are picking their bathroom to remodel, so I’ll go over to their house and help with that.  It works well because we both have spouses who don’t like to do house projects (my hubby) or who are willing to help but whose skills are more limited (my friend’s wife).  So this way, we knock out projects that have been on our “to-do” list while getting willing help since we both know that next time it’s our houses’ turn for a makeover.  It’s especially fun to do projects with friends when beer and good food is involved as it always is :).  Here are the troops at work:

We even let the kids get involved to an extent.  Here’s another “after” shot:

We also got a new fireplace insert since the one that we had was old, gold, and ugly!  I was going to rehab our old one by painting it black, but it was so old that there was not much protection from the cold air that comes in from the fireplace flue.  The insert that I got retailed for $1,700 but since I got last year’s model on clearance at my local fireplace shop, I paid only $400, SCORE!  It’s still more than I thought an insert would cost but after doing some searching, it’s actually a really reasonable price.  The fireplace screens that I liked which are those tri-fold deals that you put up against the fireplace were $250-$400 and provided NO protection from the cold air and screens are not nearly as well made and long lasting as an insert.  So even though I like the look of a screen, the practicality of an insert was best for us.  Plus the price on this insert was the deal-maker!

Hopefully in my next post the mantle will be done because right now, I’m loving the room but hating the mantle!

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