Before and After: Fireplace Remodel

Make your focal point worth being the center of attention.

It never ceases to amaze me how many poorly designed fireplaces exist in the world. After we remodeled this one, our clients were able to enjoy the comfort — as well as function — the redo provided them.

We designed and installed a built-in bookcase to house multiple entertainment system components (with customized hidden wiring) as well as objets and books. Natural tile and stone were selected to seamlessly incorporate the fireplace.

Fireplace remodel BEFORE:

See the rest of the rooms in this Traditional Berkeley Townhome remodel, here. 

January 1st, 2011|Before and After, Living Room|


  1. Michael McCutcheon June 29, 2011 at 9:10 pm - Reply

    This is a beautiful, relaxing color scheme. I love it! And the fireplace is so much more in scale with the room than the dated original. This is a living room that is truly for relaxed living, whether curling up with a good book or sitting with good friends. Well done, Laura!

  2. Gail Moody July 2, 2011 at 4:31 pm - Reply

    This room is amazingly lush and warm after the transformation! How do you protect a TV over a fireplace-any tips? I have been told the mantel needs to be of a certain depth to protect the Electronics placed above. I placed a wall clock over my gas fireplace and disconnected the fireplace because I couldn’t get assurance the mantels I was considering would protect the clock – a Nelson Spindle Clock. Thanks!

    • Laura Martin Bovard July 3, 2011 at 9:55 pm - Reply

      Thank you Gail…Yes, the mantel needs to be deep enough to keep the heat from rising straight up and damaging whatever is hung above. It also depends on how much heat is pumping out of your particular fireplace, I think it would have to be pretty significant to damage a clock which I imagine would be mounted higher than a television. Different levels of heat can be generated depending on how many btu’s the gas burner is putting out. In most cases gas fireplaces are now covered with a glass door combined with a mantel. When we build a new fireplace and want to hang a television we consult our fireplace experts at O’Kell’s to ensure the design is safe and the client’s television is not at risk of being damaged.

  3. Barbara Cooney September 2, 2011 at 7:16 am - Reply

    I am researching a brick wall fireplace remodel and discovered your beautiful remodel. What’s especially interesting to me, is that you, too, had a hearth that spanned the wall. I cannot tell from the picture, but did you build the bookcases on top of the hearth? Can you post a photo with a view of the bottom of the bookcases?

    • Laura Martin Bovard September 3, 2011 at 6:56 pm - Reply

      Hi Barbara, thanks for your post. We actually built cabinets all the way to the floor flanking the hearth which house the electronics and the hearth was also brought to the floor with a slab of stone sunk into the hardwood to lower it. We did this so we could build the mantel low enough to place the flat screen above it. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures that show that detail, wish I did!

  4. Barbara Cooney September 9, 2011 at 12:55 pm - Reply

    OK. So, you removed the shelf. It might be a possibility. Not sure what that does to the integrity of the firebox. But yes, I’d like to have a mantle, but I don’t want the TV too high. Any more pics of this room would be so appreciated!

  5. Mary E Mitchell December 21, 2016 at 3:40 am - Reply

    Amazing post and I Love the photo updates and it looks just perfect. You’ve done a marvelous job.

  6. […] An updated gas fireplace replaced an inefficient, wood-burning version. Surrounded in glass tiles and framed in marble, the efficient gas burning fireplace and built-in bookshelves lessen the visual emphasis on the television — and promotes conversation around a fire. (For more details about the fireplace remodel, click here.) […]

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Laura Martin Bovard

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