Fireplace Refresh

Hey, you guys! After four (4) months, I am happy to say my fireplace is finished. My builder-grade house isn’t so builder-grade anymore. When I purchased my home, I notice that most, if not all, of the fireplaces in the community, shared the same design. My initial reaction was I wanted something else. During my build meeting, I asked for a different design but was told I couldn’t change the original design. I decided to add the fireplace to the list of many things I needed to change.

Changing the Look of the Fireplace

The overall design of the fireplace wasn’t bad or even horrible; it just didn’t fit the transitional style I was looking for. The trim detail implemented on the facing of the fireplace gave it a farmhouse look that I knew wouldn’t match my design plan but would look soon look dated.

Within the second month of being in the house, I hired Noe (His Instagram), my carpenter, to start the trim work. Let me just share that Noe isn’t just my personal carpenter, but since he’s been working with me on projects for the last five years, I’ve basically claimed him as mine (lol), but he’s available to work with anyone in the surrounding Savannah area. 

The project started off with me heading to Home Depot to purchase one sheet of plywood. Noe used the existing frame to build out the new look of the fireplace which included widening the surround, extending and widening the ledge, paneling the facing and replacing the 3.5-inch crown molding for 4.5-inch crown molding. I thought about removing the hearth but after speaking to the city/code, the best option was to leave it as is.   All the changes made a huge difference and Noe did an amazing job.

With the newly designed fireplace finished, the next step was to paint. I purchased four paint samples after narrowing down from a list of about eight. Of the samples, I fell in love with the color Dolphin Fin. It’s a beautiful greige; brown with a grey undertone.

I gave the fireplace a coat of white paint and allowed it to dry overnight. The next morning, I woke up excited at the thought of painting my fireplace. The first thing I did was spend thirty minutes sanding down the entire surface. The initial sanding before the first coat was ok but I find sanding after the first coat has dried helps to create a much smoother surface. Then, I measured my artwork where I wanted to place it on the wall. This was done to ensure any extra holes would be patched and I wouldn’t scratch the wall after the final coat. The last thing on the list was making sure I caulked everything. Once all the setup was completed, I began to paint. The color is Dolphin Fin, but I knockdown/drop/reduce the pigment by 49%. If you were to use this color, I would recommend knocking the color down by 30%.

Almost always when you have a fireplace, especially like the one in my home, it becomes the focal point in the room. The decorative elements around the fireplace work together to make the space more cohesive. This is just one of the fundamental elements in interior design. In my home, after the entryway and the pond view, the next place your eyes land is on the fireplace. I needed to emphasize the overall beauty of the wall which meant bye-bye builder grade. Not only did I simplify the fireplace, but I also made small adjustments to the bookcase that added another element of design. Overall, when I enter the room, it feels grand, but I’ll let you guys be the judge.

Change the look of your fireplace without spending a lot! Whatever your budget, these tips – some creativity and elbow grease – will get you the look you want.


  1. Paint: If you’re looking at you home and you want a quick fix for your red brick, I recommend painting it.
  2. Panel: Shiplap is popular right now, but I know it isn’t for everyone. Another idea is to carry your fireplace trim to the ceiling creating a stacked look
  3. Tile: Changing out your tile can enhance the look overall whether it’s mosaic tile or one solid piece of granite or marble.
  4. Mantle: You can add a mantel if you don’t already have one, or you can enlarge your existing mantel
  5. Style: Because the fireplace is the focal point in a room, I say go big or go home. The mantel can be styled by layering frames, large mirror/frame, or custom paint job. If framing a large print seems costly and difficult, you can purchase molding and install on your wall like a picture frame. Get creative with paint and you have a large, custom work of art.

There are ways around everything. You just have to think outside the box. Hope you guys enjoyed today’s post.  This project was well worth the wait. Now, as I wash the dishes, I have something pretty to look at.

Sources for the things you’ve seen in this post, I added links below. Let me know if you have any questions!

Material Sources:

21 thoughts on “Fireplace Refresh

  1. DONNICA SCOTT says:

    This turned out so beautiful. I love every single detail. You have truly opened my eyes to customizing my new home. I’m so excited. Thank you for being a beautiful inspiration 🙏🏽🙌🏾 #thebestisyettocome💜

  2. Cláudio says:

    WOW, Nadia!!! What a transformation … love the new look. I always look forward to your home videos, they are full of inspiration and wanting to do all of the projects that you too were doing. We have a builder grade house and I am starting to change a few things after 11 years (just from watching your videos on YouTube). I am starting slow as things add up fast. I guess Rome wasn’t built in one day!!! 🙂 I can’t wait to see what’s coming. Thank you for sharing your thought process and for inviting us in to your home. Thank You!!!

  3. EBONNE T DAVIS says:

    Gorgeous, I expected nothing less than absolutely gorgeous. Your patience and attention to detail is definitely something to be admired.


    It is absolutely beautiful. Thank you for the sharing. It’s a joy watching you make your house a home. I’m hoping to build up the courage….baby steps!! Lol

  5. Linda says:

    My honey bunches these photos are amazing so very proud of you and all the dream to come the work shows in everything your fireplace take center stage your eyes have get goodnesses of style and I’m here to say what a beautiful home 🏡 here is your journey and keep reaching higher well deserved and done thanks for Noel and amazing turnout on a job well Professional done always Linda💙 and Lanaiya 💜 🏡👏🏾🙋🏽‍♀️😍😘😊

  6. Esther Gonzalez says:

    Nadia, the fireplace looks so elegant and beautiful. It enhances the bookcases. I’m just loving everything about it. The wall art over the fireplace helps complete the look….😍😍😍

  7. Kristina Johnson says:

    Nadia you are gold! I don’t know how you do it but your designs are always timeless and refreshing. Love love love the fireplace!

  8. Angia A Smith says:

    Nadia, I’m so happy for you. I discovered your Youtube channel when you were looking for a new home. I am happy to see the custom work you have put in your new home and how beautiful it turned out. You seem much happier than before. Be blessed with all you do. Continue doing what you love and you will continue to have success.

  9. Tina Watson says:

    You have definitely upgrading your home from builder grade standard . It’s small changes you have made that is making your home the showplace of your neighborhood. I love it.

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