Strange things in our house #1: the red fireplace

January 30, 2014


Our new house is full of weird and wonderful things. The previous owner was a carpenter; in every place he could build some sort of cupboard or wooden structure, he did.

One of the strangest of these is the fireplace in our bedroom (not my toddler posing in it, who is clearly the best thing in the entire house). In case you *really* can’t tell from the photo, it’s a white wooden surround with glass tiles. And in case you were wondering, it never gets any easier on the eye. It’s so very 80’s,
and just so… red.

Eliza’s room still has the original, beautiful, cast iron fireplace. I can’t quite get my head around the fact that at some point someone decided to take a similar one out of our room and thought ‘I know! Let’s replace it with a glass tiled affair. In a really bold colour.’

The long-term plan is to put an original fireplace back in, but it falls pretty far down a to-do list that currently includes a new kitchen, new bathroom and an indoor play tent.

The red fireplace does have one fairly useful function though; a ledge on which we can put things.

So my question is this. Is it worth the effort of painting it over in a neutral colour, or should we just admit defeat and rip it out now? What does everyone think?

Still to come in this series: the massive brutalist wall unit and the double cupboard (a cupboard within a cupboard, no less).

(Also, doesn’t ‘The Red Fireplace’ sound quite like a Game of Thrones episode?)


  • Katie

    January 30, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    i am a bit of a fan of a proper old fireplace but it looks like ripping it out would be quite a bit of work so i may be tempted to leave it soon as its only in your bedroom. The lounge it would be no contest!

  • Ruth Davies Knowles (@rocknrollerbaby)

    January 30, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    Such a funny post! I kind of think just keep it for a bit until you can afford a real one… it does have a useful shelf after all! can’t wait to see the double cupboard! As someone who lives in a whole place without a single cupboard (bar the kitchen ones) this sounds super exciting!

  • Ruth Davies Knowles (@rocknrollerbaby)

    January 30, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    P.S it could be worse, my Mum’s house was previously owned by an artexer… he artexer it to within an inch all with different patterns, sometimes more than one in one room!

  • Heather

    January 31, 2014 at 7:21 am

    You can’t beat a built-in cupboard but I think I’d have to draw the line at this. Too red and loud for me!

  • Caroline

    January 31, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    I think I’d have trip that out ASAP. But then it depends how badly other things need the attention more!

    It’s odd how many people with extremely bad taste there are out there. Our immediate to do list when we moved in to our current house was painting over the pillar boxed kitchen. Why anyone would do that is beyond me! We also found a lot of “interesting” DIY from the electrician who used to live here!

  • Shirley

    February 22, 2014 at 11:10 am

    I would buy a cheap tin of glass paint to lessen the colour for the time being and get on with your desperate jobs, be careful not to fall into their trap of loving a colour on a paint tin only to find it is just as annoying once up on the wall.when you have a Beautiful new kitchen this will not annoy you so much.

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    July 2, 2014 at 10:34 am

    […] news, we also painted our awful red fireplace (it looks a million times better, will post a photo […]

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