From Cluttered to Classy – A Rustic Glam Fireplace Makeover

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To say I’m excited to show you this fireplace makeover would be an understatement… You guys, I am ECSTATIC!! Its transformation was so amazing! We did this project for some friends of ours that are transitioning their decor from an older traditional style to a much more modern mix between rustic and glam. In this post, I am going walk you through each part of the project – the design, the build, the styling and the sources. I’ve even created a guide for you guys on how to decorate a mantel! I hope you enjoy seeing the transformation of this fireplace as much as I have. ๐Ÿ™‚



Our friends started the transition of their style by installing a whitewashed, faux brick wall on their largest wall in the living room. They then had a large entertainment center custom-built from dark-stained pallet wood and industrial hardware. While the brick wall and entertainment center are stunning, they definitely made the fireplace that sits right next them look really out-dated.

Here’s what the fireplace looked like when they called us:

You can see just a bit of the brick wall on the right side of this picture – see how the styles just don’t match at all? Also, I’m not sure who designed the little arched cubby above the mantle, but in my mind, it had to go…

After talking through the design with our friends and getting a feel for what look they were wanting, I initially sent them the following three different concept designs to review:

We had originally planned to leave their existing white tile around the fireplace and just freshening it up with paint. But, after sitting down with them and discussing these three concepts, our final design morphed a bit because they wanted more sparkle. ๐Ÿ˜‰ So we increased the black glass mosaic tile to cover the entire surround and added some simple charcoal tile on the hearth to balance it out. While it was a bit more work, because we were replacing all the existing tile, it was a great choice and I couldn’t have been more pleased with our final design.

Here’s what our final mood board looked like:


Chris did most of the actual construction parts of this project and I stuck to the designing and decorating. ๐Ÿ˜‰

He started by building, staining, sealing and installing the wood mantel. It is built out of basic 1x whitewood common boards, stained with Jacobean and then sealed with a matte polyurethane. We decided to build it so that the wood box would simply wrap the existing drywall mantel that was already there and it worked like a charm!

You can see here where he even rounded the edge around the rounded wall corners:

fireplace makeover

Once the mantel was installed, he moved on to installing the shiplap above it. We used these tongue-and-groove boards, primed and painted them before installing, and then trimmed them out in simple 3/4″ quarter-round. Luckily my friends felt the same way as me about the awkward arched cubby, so we simply covered it up with the shiplap. ๐Ÿ˜‰

fireplace makeover

Next up was the tile! Chris started by demoing out all the old tile surround and hearth.

fireplace makeover

The picture above doesn’t show it, but he did end up removing all the old sheet rock and backer board to install fresh behind the new tile. One neat thing he and our friend did while there wan’t any tile up was hard-wire an outlet in above the mantel on the left-hand side! They really wanted to be able to plug something in up there without draping cords, so what better time to add an outlet?!

The last part of the construction was installing all of the beautiful tile. Chris started with the glass mosaic surround (which had about 100 small piece cuts to fill in the sides!) and finished with the charcoal tile on the hearth.

fireplace makeover

fireplace makeover

I chose a taupe-gray for the grout, rather than a dark, charcoal gray, in hopes of tying in some of the creamy colors they have in the rest of the home and I love the way it makes the black glass tiles pop.


Ok, are you ready for the final pictures??

Here’s how their fireplace looks today:

I knew I wanted to put a round mirror on the shiplap, and was super excited when I found this one at Lowe’s for 50% off!

The framed geometric print is just a framed gift bag from Dollar Tree! I used the same method as I described in this post.

These books are actually faux book boxes from Hobby Lobby! Not sure what you’d store in them, maybe hidden cash?? ๐Ÿ˜‰

One thing I did, which I didn’t mention above, was paint the inside of the fireplace with a high-temp, black, matte paint. It cleaned up all the old ash marks and made it look really fresh. I also chose a white metal basket for the extra birch logs so that it would pop against the dark tiles.

fireplace makeover

Here you can see half of the entertainment center and brick wall. We used the same stain on the mantle as was used on the entertainment center so that the woods would match and they just look amazing together…

The TV sits in the center of the entertainment center and the barn doors can slide to the center to hide it or out to the sides to watch it. I love the floor pillows stashed in the bottom shelves of the outer sections and the mirrored hydrangea boxes add some glam to the space.

Now, if you’re thinking your mantel decor needs a little updating after seeing pictures of this fireplace’s mantel, be sure to click the image below to download my quick-start guide to decorating a mantel! It will walk you through all the “concepts” of mantel design and how to decorate your own like a pro. ๐Ÿ˜‰ (Note: If you’re already an email subscriber, I included this guide in your last email!)

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing this fabulous rustic-glam fireplace makeover! Our friends were extremely pleased and are already asking us to come back and do more. We love helping people transform their homes into a place they love at a price they can afford! If you’re local to the Willamette Valley and want our help with your home projects, visit our SERVICES page and let us know what you’re looking for. Or, you can click here view my calendar and schedule a one-hour design consultation with me! We would love to work with you!




Black Mosaic Glass (Surround)
Charcoal Porcelain (Hearth)
Grout (be sure you use SANDLESS with glass tile!)
Fireplace Paint

Pillar Candle Holders (already owned, similar ones here)
Framed Geometric Print
“Home Sweet Home” Sign
Glass Candle Holder (already owned, similar one here)
Faux Book Boxes
Glass Vase
Cotton Stems
White Metal Basket (similar one here)
Birch Logs
Faux Fur Rug

Let me know if you have any questions and have a wonderful week!




Simple Spring Mantle
Simple Spring Mantel

bedroom makeover

Modern Rustic Bedroom Makeover


3 thoughts on “From Cluttered to Classy – A Rustic Glam Fireplace Makeover”

  1. This is a really amazing overhaul. Nicely done. We are looking for ideas to update a red brick fireplace and your end result is really inspiring! Thanks for sharing!


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