Design Hints

Focus on Fireplaces

Rework a lackluster fireplace surround to align it with traditional country-style preferences.

Design Hints

Sitting by the fireside, admiring the Christmas tree and reminiscing about ages past rank among the Quattro family's favorite traditions. Lisa and Jim wanted their living room fireplace to be a dramatic seasonal focal point, so they treated it to a style makeover. The Monessen, Pennsylvania, couple share their advice on how to fashion a Colonial-style fireplace in your own home.

* To the Top. Use wood boards and trim to build a raised-panel overmantel that extends to the crown molding above the fireplace. Paint the woodwork a deep maroon.

* Glimmer and Glow. Hang a pair of candle sconces on the overmantel to provide a touch of mood lighting. Accent the mantel below with old-fashioned items such as the Quattros' candle lantern and stocking.

* Classic Lines. Clad the fireplace surround in durable rustic stone. Natural stone and engineered stone-look products are available in a variety of colors and styles.

* Impression of Age. Install a generous stone hearth that offers a perch for firewood and tools. Lisa stacks birch logs in a vintage iron holder.

Written by Cheryl Hackett
Photographed by Gridley + Graves