‘Finding Home’ Fireplace Makeover With Brick-Anew

Meet Laura Putnam! Her blog is called Finding Home where she writes about her life in the Hudson Valley of New York where she lives with her husband and two daughters as they craft maple syrup, share home decor projects, and their ideas and inspiration. Her warm style has captured the attention of DIY enthusiasts for several years.

Laura used our Brick-Anew paint kit to change the look of her fireplace when she redecorated her living room and completed her fireplace makeover. What a huge difference painting the fireplace made in the room! Here’s what she had to say about her decorating style…

Brick-Anew: What aspects of being a designer/decorator do you enjoy most?

Laura:  I love being able to help someone create the home that they feel comfortable in and proud of.

Brick anew fireplace paint

Brick-Anew project, before and after.

Brick-Anew:  I love your mantel decor ideas! Where do you get your inspiration and what are your favorite ones?

Laura:  I usually start with one main idea and build around it from there. I think the one I love the most is my Christmas mantel from this past year. My style seems to be moving towards simpler style and I loved the colors.

Brick-Anew: What is the first thing you start with in a room you are about to decorate?

Laura:  it is never the same for any room. Each room has some pieces that “make or break” a room while some pieces can be interchangeable with different options.

Brick-Anew: Are there rules about color?

Laura:  my only rule is working with colors that you love.

Brick-Anew: What are some ways to freshen up your home using some things you already have without having to start all over?

Laura:  I am always moving things around from room to room or putting things away for a few months and then bringing them out “new” at another time. Of course, never overlook the power of a new paint color on walls or furniture.

Brick-Anew - I love your screened porch and pool (jealous!)! How did you come up with the themes/colors?

Laura: We built everything around the vintage furniture set we found. I knew I wanted the colors out there to be fun and bright so I built everything around a pretty loose color palette.

Brick-Anew: Your style seems to make a room cozy and homey. What are some tips you could give to personalize a home?

Laura: Never create a room that is just to look at. I believe investing in certain pieces but don’t spend a ton of money on a piece of furniture if you are going to be too uptight about people actually “living” in it.

Thanks so much and again it was so great to meet you!

Ask the Experts: Fireplace Decor

It’s that time of year again!  Cooler fall temperatures are slowly urging us to close windows, cover up with a blanket or throw, and maybe even throw a few logs on the fire.

The chilly weather  inspired us to ask three home decor enthusiasts and bloggers for a few tips on getting our fireplaces and hearths ready for fireplace season and the holidays.  Meet Brenda Bergman (diythomedecorblogs.com),Gina Tepper (youtube.com/giftdecorating), and Beth

Bryan (unskinnybop.com). Here’s what they had to say about getting your fireplace “holiday ready”:


christmas fireplace mantel

Christmas fireplace mantel

Brenda Bergman diyhomedecorblogs.com

What is your best advice for people interested in sprucing up their homes with a seasonal decor or theme?

Brenda: The best advice I can give people decorating for the holidays is pick your colors! Seriously look through lots of pictures and see what really speaks to you. Once you start with one color it’s really hard to switch it up without spending lots of money buying all new decorations and it really doesn’t look as nice if you start mixing different color themes. For example, if you’re decorating for Christmas there’s not just red and green. There’s bright red and almost neon green if you are into a more whimsical design. There’s dark red and dark green if you want a classier look. There’s country red and green, all white, all blue, all silver….I think I’ve even been seeing purple decorations for Christmas. So pick your colors and stick to them, that’s how you’ll be able to make a cohesive look.

Brick-Anew: What decorating tips can you share to help our audience create great-looking fireplaces and hearths for the upcoming holiday season?

Brenda: When you are decorating your fireplace for the holidays, remember scale. It’s hard to get a mantel with impact with a bunch of small little knick knacks. Pick your focal point first. That one large piece to give some height and width and pull in all your smaller decorations. I also like to make sure that everything is not the same height, it gives more visual interest.

decorating a mantel

Tip: Don’t overload your mantel with small decorative items

Brick-Anew: Do you have any ideas for achieving a memorable fireplace, hearth, or mantel that won’t break the bank?

Brenda: To create a memorable fireplace for the holidays….DIY it!! I think you should always have at least one handmade piece on your mantel. I mean, the holidays are about nostalgia right? What better way to create that than to make your own decorations. My current favorite for decorating the fireplace is making my own signs. It’s super cheap to buy a board and paint/stain it to match your décor and then paint your quote or picture on it. I’ve been using a Silhouette/Cricut to make stencils of the letters and pictures for my signs. I’ve made two signs so far but I plan to make one for all the holidays. I’ve also been on the lookout for a really cool old window, because I love the look of an old window with a wreath hanging over it.

Gina Tepper, ginatepper.com and youtube.com/giftdecorating

Brick-Anew: What is your best advice for people interested in sprucing up their
homes with a seasonal decor or theme?

Gina: I love beautiful, autumn inspired Thanksgiving decorations and accents. They are so easy to create with just a few inexpensive items and natural elements. I like to use amber and gold metallic tones mixed with the texture of things from nature.

Here are some of my ideas for creating an autumn inspired theme for your home:

Decorate Your Entry Way

Decorate your foyer with elements of the season. With a few things from natural such as seasonal corn, decorative grass and acorns, you can add a warm autumn touch to your entry way. Here I transformed an ordinary metal container into a festive Harvest display.

Thanksgiving decorations entry way

Thanksgiving entry way decor

You can also create a fun and festive Halloween theme using painted resin pumpkins, raffia and lights.

Table Top Decorations

I am a big fan of low centerpieces for a Thanksgiving table. It makes it so much easier to have a conversation with someone across the table when you are not trying to look around twigs and flowers.

Thanksgiving table top decor

Thanksgiving table top decor


Red Maple Centerpiece

Reproduce the gorgeous look of a red maple tree for a table centerpiece. Use red maple leaves on branches purchased from the store, fill a glass vase with rocks, bark and natural elements and arrange leaves and added branches to get this look.

Red Maple Thanksgiving centerpiece

Red Maple centerpiece


Brick-Anew: What decorating tips can you share to help our audience create
great-looking fireplaces and hearths for the upcoming holiday season?

Gina: I love the look of a decorated fireplace during the Holidays. It adds a warm and cozy charm to any room. To make your mantle become the focal point of the room you can follow these simple tips:

Choose a Color Theme

If you are decorating for autumn, pick colors that reflect the tones of the season like red, amber and bronze. For the winter holidays, choose metallic gold, silver, and vibrant colors.

Add Natural Elements

Use things from nature to create a seasonal look for your mantel. Using mini pumpkins, seasonal corn, branches and leaves and recreate the look of Fall on your mantel. For the winter holidays, gather pinecones, greenery and garland to bring your winter display to life.

Decorate with Lights and Candles

Battery operated and LED candles also add a nice touch. Place battery operated candles on the top of the mantel. Wrap ribbon around the candles and arrange natural elements around them. You also can place LED pillar candles inside the fireplace instead of logs to create a beautiful glow.

Fireplace decorating

Fireplace with lights and candles

Layer Accents

Arrange different seasonal decorations in different heights and on the mantel to make it more interesting. Add seasonal flowers and accents to fill in the gaps between the garland and decorations.

Add a Wreath

Place a beautiful wreath over your fireplace to draw attention to your beautifully decorated fireplace.

Brick-Anew: Do you have any ideas for achieving a memorable fireplace, hearth or
mantel that won’t break the bank?

Gina: You can create a beautiful, seasonal mantel without spending a lot of money by using natural elements found outside and things you may already have around your house. Add bows and seasonal accents to your vases, candles and picture frames to transform them into holiday décor. You can also buy seasonal items at the dollar store to incorporate into your holiday theme. Wrap empty boxes into beautiful presents, accented with family pictures or seasonal décor to add to your mantle or around your fireplace.

Beth Bryan, unskinnybop.com

Brick-Anew: What is your best advice for people interested in sprucing up their homes with a seasonal decor or theme?

Beth: Don’t go overboard.  Keeping the theme simple and weaving it into your existing decor is more beautiful and effective than covering every surface in seasonal related items.

Brick-Anew: What decorating tips can you share to help our audience create great-looking fireplaces and hearths for the upcoming holiday season?

Beth: Use groupings of three items on either side of the fireplace with a statement piece that is taller in the center.  This gives both height and fullness to your mantel without getting too cluttered.

rock fireplace

Courtesy: My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

Brick-Anew: Do you have any ideas for achieving a memorable fireplace, hearth or mantel that won’t break the bank?

Beth: Instead of buying new seasonal themed items each year, shop around your house for items that can be rearranged in a new way, or head outside and gather inspiration from nature to save money. When you do purchase new items, think of ways to incorporate it into your decor for each season. That way you get more mileage instead of stashing it in the attic for most months out of the year.

To find more of Beth’s fireplace mantel decorating ideas, go to http://unskinnyboppy.com/projects-mantels/.

We hope you enjoy our experts’ tips and ideas! We invite you to comment and share your ideas and tips in our comment section.

7 Fast Tips on How to Choose between Rustic vs. Modern Fireplace Mantels

Are you looking at mantels online, then looking up at your fireplace and you just can’t decide on which one to choose? When it comes to what to do with and around your fireplace, there are a lot of options! So how do you choose just one? Well there are a lot of ways we can help to narrow down your search, but the best thing we can offer you are a few tips to consider as you are finding that perfect fit for your fireplace!


1. Classic or Modern Fireplace Mantels with Full Surrounds are for Rooms with Clear decorative direction.

The first question you need to ask as you are considering replacing your mantel is, how do I want this room to feel? One of the greatest mistakes you can make is to put up a beautiful walnut fireplace mantel, when your the rest of your room is more eclectic and fun. The character of your mantel should reflect the ethos of your room. Just because you like how it looks online, doesn’t mean it will work next to your couch. So here are some questions to get you started: Do you want your mantel to be the centerpoint of the room, or something off to the side, working alongside the other decor? Will your mantel be full to the brim with decorations, or standing almost bare to show it’s natural beauty? Let questions like these inform your style choices.

shenandoah Pearl Mantel

2.Unless you desire a specific color, go with a stained wood look.

We can’t stress enough that painting your fireplace will probably turn out different than you want it to. Most people begin painting their contemporary fireplace shelf thinking that a yellow mantel will be perfect for their home, but when it’s all said and done, it’s hard to anticipate how that will really look. Our advice is that unless you can be sure that paint is what you want, you should always go with a stain. Stains can both accent the room, and blend in with it, that’s definitely something that you want in a room that’s so frequently used!


3. You can always stain it yourself.

Lots of times people see something they like on facebook or pinterest and they go looking for that exact rustic reclaimed walnut beam fireplace mantle instead of shopping the whole field. You’d be very surprised with what you can turn a relatively more economical unfinished mantel shelf into. With an affordable floating custom made real wood shelf, and a little stain, you will be the one putting pictures on Pinterest, not trying to copy them.

New Look of Fireplace3

4. Make sure to think through the size of your room.

Another big mistake people can make is to get a huge mantel for a small room, or a small mantel for a large room. Think through the size of your room, and measure your walls before you purchase a mantel. A lot of times, in a small room, a modern fireplace mantel shelf will work a lot better than a big full surround. Read how you can choose between a fireplace shelf and a mantel with a full surround.


5. Rustic vs. Modern: Just because you really like a mantel, doesn’t mean it’s going to fit your room.

Those real wood, natural log fireplace shelves look great online, but if you don’t have a scrap of wood in your modern living room, that might not be the best decision. The same goes for folks who try to put classical pieces in their log cabins or next to their wood paneling. Those kinds of decor weren’t meant for each other.

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6.Floating Mantel shelves are a great way to decorate your home at a lower cost

We all come to the table on decisions like this with expectations about what a mantel should look like, and for some shoppers, that means that the idea of having a mantel without a surround just seems a little crazy. The reality is, though, that a nice mantel shelf can still do something beautiful for your room with less material, and at just a fraction of the cost! Before you buy a bigger and more expensive piece, take time to consider what a real wood mantel shelf might do for your home.


7.Pay attention to the wood grain

For those who are first time shoppers, this may advice may be new to you. When considering what kinds of modern rustic fireplace mantels to buy, it’s important to consider the wood being used. Real hardwood fireplaces tend to stain very well. Here at Brick-Anew.com, we sell a lot of products made from natural hardwoods like Choi. These stain very well but tend to weigh a lot more and cost a little more as well. If you are looking for something simple and more economical, going with a veneer or a mantel made from durable MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) will get you a product that may not stain as well, but will look great in white or another pre-finished color.

We hope these tips help! Remember to shop well, look at the whole price, and stop by our store to check out some of what we have in stock. We only select the best products that we find on the market to sell to you! Check out some of our real wood fireplace mantels here and some of our more modern and rustic mantel shelves here!

Mantel Shelves Not Just For Fireplaces

618BlkBdrmGallery (1)When you think of a mantel, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Most people think of the fireplace. But don’t forget that mantel shelves can be hung on a wall to display family photos and accessories. Hang a group of three different sized mantel shelves to give a blank wall a boost. The Pemberton Mantel Shelf is perfect to hang over a bed, behind a desk, or or on an accent wall. If you’re like me, there’s never seems to be enough places in a room to display personal items without it feeling cluttered. Try these ideas with the Pemberton Mantel Shelf:

In a kids’ bedroom to display trophies and medals.
In a home office to display photos of family and friends.
In a kitchen to display dishes.
In a bathroom to stack hand towels.
In a guest bedroom to show off a favorite collection.

Consider your wall color before deciding what color your Mantel Shelf should be. Black makes a bold statement and looks great against a light colored wall. A white shelf looks pristine and feminine. Not a fan of black or white? You can always paint your shelf an accent color to complement your room’s decor.

Has anyone tried this?  Let us know what you think!

Rustic Mantels Are All The Rage

shenandoah Pearl MantelRustic Mantels are so in style right now. Almost every decorating magazine has pictures of rustic beams on the ceiling, rustic wood flooring and wall panels, and of course, rustic mantels. One of our most popular rustic mantels, the Ridgewood Mantel Shelf, is constructed from from pine wood and looks amazing on almost any fireplace. With a choice of lengths and stain colors, it’s easy to customize a mantel that’s just right for your fireplace. Installed with or without corbels, the Ridgewood adds a touch of rustic charm to your home. Check it out here: http://www.brick-anew.com/the-ridgewood-fireplace-shelf.html

The Brick-Anew Brick Paint Kit A “Wonderful Product”!

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“I just wanted to say thank you so very much for creating such a wonderful product. My husband was very reluctant of me making this change. I showed him the Before & After pictures on your website and he gave me the go ahead. I prayed the whole time this would work for us too. After the about the 3rd step I almost stopped because I was so pleased with the results but continued until the end. I’m telling all my friends and family about Brick-Anew!”

That’s what Merl and Nate, from Dover, Delaware, had to say about the Brick-Anew brick paint kit! Their dark brown brick fireplace competed with the light-colored surrounding stone and made it stick out like a sore thumb. What an eyesore!

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They painted their fireplace 20150212_124924 - Copy (2)brick using our twilight taupe paint kit and created a softer look that makes the fireplace blend in with the surrounding stone,  creating a space that’s calm and serene.  Here’s to a  great job taking dated “Brady Bunch” brick and turning it into a beautiful focal point for their room!

New York City Mayor Proposes Ban On New Wood Burning Fireplaces

Fireplace glass doors should always remain open while the fire is burning

(Note: Fireplace glass doors should always remain open while the fire is burning.)








The mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, says he wants to cut down on air pollution by placing a ban on all new wood burning fireplaces, according to the Washington Post.  The mayor wants new fireplaces to use alternative methods of fuel such as natural gas which would not emit as many pollutants into the air as burning real wood .

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Why Choose Vented or Vent Free Gas Logs Instead Of Real Wood?

Royal Oak Vented Gas Logs at Brick Anew shop

Royal Oak Vented Gas Logs









Almost everyone loves the sound of the crackle and pop of a wood burning fire in the fireplace but due to new environmental regulations in some areas,  fireplace lovers are in search of realistic looking gas logs to take the place of the wood they have always burned.

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