When we first stepped foot in the lakehouse, I spotted the wall to wall fireplace and immediately pictured painting out the pine wood paneling and discolored concrete “stone” a deep, charcoal grey. I wanted a modern, dark grey fireplace to help balance all of the creamy whites and bold shades of aqua I was dreaming about.
Nearly three years later, Hubby and I both love our DIY charcoal grey painted fireplace! Over the years, dozens of readers have written to me to say they were inspired by our fireplace and painted theirs a striking shade of grey too (varying
from light grey to a near-black, like ours). Sometimes it’s so helpful
to see someone else try something before taking the plunge and I’m happy to be a guinea pig! I was certainly inspired by other dark grey fireplaces I saw online and it gave me the confidence to give it a try. Stories like these remind me why I started blogging in the first place: to connect with other DIY-driven folks with small budgets but big ideas!
Pros and Cons of a Dark Grey Fireplace:
A dark fireplace, however, is not for everyone. Although some folks have seen our fireplace, grabbed a paint brush and busted out a makeover in a weekend, others have sent me photos of their “before,” asking for my input and whether I think a dark grey fireplace will work with their decor. At the end of the day, I think the most important question to ask is, “do you love it?”. In the case of my fireplace makeover, it’s just paint – as long as you’re committed to painting it (because stripping paint is miserable work), trying a different, lighter color will only take a little patience and a gallon of paint. So the best advice I can give is, “try it, you might like it!”.
Because that’s a little wish-washy, I also make an effort to explain why I think the dark fireplace works for us: we have tall ceilings, an open concept lay out, and lots of natural light in the living room, which keeps the dark grey from making the room feel small or dark. In a smaller room, a dark fireplace might be overwhelming – but it could also help create a feeling of coziness when paired with the right decor:
It really boils down to the look you’re trying to create.
Another reason I love our dark grey fireplace is that the dark grey is picked up elsewhere in the house (like the floor tile in our new bathroom), so it feels cohesive as you move from room to room. In fact, I’m planning on adding this same hue to the kitchen (any guesses where???). Painting the fireplace dark grey was also a great way to determine if we like
the look of a dark grey fireplace, before dropping thousands of dollars
on something like slate.
5 Reasons to Love a Dark Grey Fireplace:
1. A Dark Dark Fireplace Grey Hides Soot and Ash:
One of the many perks of a dark grey fireplace is that the color hides
dust and ash, which showed on the natural concrete of our old fireplace. If we hadn’t
spotted that staining, I might have been tempted to paint the brick teal (because teal) or maybe
white to match the walls (like this stunner – a white fireplace really does look very crisp and airy).
But knowing our fireplace had the tendency to get a bit smokey was
good information and our color of choice disguises this flaw perfectly!
2. A Charcoal Grey Fireplace Suits Any Style:
The interesting thing about peeking into so many readers’ homes is that I’ve noticed how versatile charcoal grey is! A charcoal grey fireplace looks equally at home in a modern space as it does a more traditional room. No matter your style or taste, you can make a dark grey – or even black – fireplace work!
|via My Domaine|
|via My Domaine|
3. A Painted Grey or Black Fireplace Adds Drama to a Room:
Having never before tried a bold accent wall, I grew unexpectedly attached to the statement our dark grey fireplace makes. I love that it became the focal point of our living room and I’m definitely considering dark grey stone for our eventual fireplace renovation to keep the bold look.
4. A Dark Grey Fireplace is a Great Backdrop
I love a white wall (obviously) because it provides such a crisp backdrop for furnishings and artwork, but there’s something to be said for a dark fireplace (and dark accent walls) because they really make colors POP. Even whites seem whiter and earth tones seems earthier against a rich, dark background. And look at how vivid turquoise looks!
As an added bonus, dark fireplaces help disguise televisions. In our new living room arrangement, the corner TV is less prominent thanks to our charcoal grey fireplace and, in rooms where the TV is mounted above the fireplace, a black screen really blends in with a nearly-black fireplace.
5. A Dark Grey Fireplace is Timeless
I’m not one to throw the “oh, this is a classic” line around because I think that’s what everyone was saying about the forest green bathtubs you could buy in the 1980s – no one dreamed that one day, a new generation of design-savvy home owners would take a sledge hammer to so many design elements deemed “classic” back then. I once chatted with an antiques dealer who told me that in the 1980s, he had to throw away a lot of the 1950s/1960s furniture we clamor for today because no one would buy it – it was just too “dated.” Now we call mid-century modern design timeless, but at one point you couldn’t give it away, for love nor money.
Some things, however, do stand the test of time and I think a dark grey or black fireplace is one of those things because it’s so versatile and works with so many design styles.
|The Brick House|
|Jessica Helgerson Interior Design|
Have you painted your fireplace a rich grey or tackled a more expensive dark and moody fireplace renovation? If you have – or you see any gorgeous dark grey or black fireplaces – tag me on Instagram because I’d love to see!