Weekend Wars

This weekend we battled the accursed brick fireplace and slew its face off. Let's start our tale of bloodsport at the beginning by revisiting the face of the beast:

Even Jesus averted his eyes from beigeocalypse.

New floors, paint, and the chunky crown molding got kicked to the curb. Yet yonder mantel still beckons from the shadows...

We pulled the mantel off and motherf%^*^%$#$er if there weren't wood studs and an electrical box built INTO THE BRICK. So Better Half Ben borrowed a jackhammer from Matt (thanks, Matt) and created a dust storm of  chaos and confusion in our heretofore cleanish living room.

At this point the dirt settled in for a long winter's nap and I began to panic. I should have taken pictures of the giant holes right in the middle of our fireplace, but I was too busy hyperventilating into a brown paper bag.

BHB came to the rescue with a 60# bag of mortar and we got to work. Kids, replacing bricks on a fireplace is not a fun job. Still I think the results are not too shabbby, although I'm not rushing out to join the bricklayer's union or anything.

The blue tape in the middle is the electrical box that we decided to leave exposed to service all our possible future electrical needs. The black slitty thing is THE BANE OF MY EXISTENCE. It's some mega fan contraption designed by Satan to aggravate me, because it's attached to the firebox and cannot be removed.

Don't think I didn't try.

Now, you are probably ready for the payoff pictures, but I'm not ready. You see, we painted said fireplace trim white and I'm a little freaked out by the whiteness... ok, really freaked out. It's like my cozy atmosphere of warmth just got hijacked by an icy blast of frigid air, which is ironic since it's a fireplace.

I'm not really sure what to do.

Ok, first I'm going to style it up and see what I think once it has some art and stuff all over it.

I also have my eye on this brass framed, smoked glass fireplace door. We need something to cover the gaping hole left by the douchey screen that used to be there, and this seems to be a friendly choice.

Then I'm going to spend some time lusting over this gorgeous hunk of slate, because I really like the feel of natural materials. Too bad the brick we had was so gross.

Don't get me wrong -- things are definitely improvedus maximus. It's just that maybe we should have painted the fireplace charcoal to match the banister railings? I'm afraid the contrast against the wall would have called attention to the awkward height, though.

I pinky swear that styled up pictures are coming soon, like hopefully tomorrow.

In the meantime, I'm curious what you think about the whole dilemma.