Ignite FB Tracking PixelUpdate Your Family Room with a Fireplace Refresh - Harriet "Ronnie" Ellis
Coldwell Banker Res. R.E.

Update Your Family Room with a Fireplace Refresh

by Harriet "Ronnie" Ellis 08/04/2019

You've moved into your vintage home with grand plans to update it as you go. Some renovations must wait for your budget to improve. But here are some budget-wise ways to update the family room and move your home in the direction you want by giving your fireplace an update or upgrading your mantel.

Freshen the fireplace

Arguably the focal point of any living space, a complete fireplace renovation may be part of your overall plan, but meanwhile, give it a fresher look with one of these ideas.

  • Add a screen. Fireplace screens come in a plethora of styles, sizes, shapes, and metals. Dress up the room with a lattice-style or painted fan screen.
  • Change out the mantel. If you long for a more rustic look, replace your thinner mantel with a thick, rough-cut plank. Or, pick up a vintage mantel at your local antique store. For a truly updated look, go mantel-free and hang a substantial piece of art above.
  • Paint the brick and surround in contrasting colors. Make certain only to paint with heat-rated preparations near the firebox. Try gray walls, pewter on the brick with black on the surround. Or use various shades of warm taupe with bronze or copper. If the metal surround is removable, it’s easier to use spray paint for excellent results.
  • Resurface with tile. A fine herringbone or hexagon mosaic pattern adds interest, or hand-crafted or painted tiles create a distinctive focal point. For a very modern look, consider basket weave or vertical tiles. But, to give your home a historical aspect, consider narrow subway tiles with a subtle glaze.

Turn it into Art

If you don’t burn fires your fireplace, consider turning it into a display for your collection of brass candlesticks, a floral arrangement, or a grouping of urns and vases. Prepare the fireplace for non-use: To reduce heat loss, make sure to turn off the gas, then close the damper. Place a section of fiberglass or foam insulation the width and depth of the opening into the flue. Paint a piece of cardboard black and use it to wedge the insulation in place. Clean the firebricks with your favorite household cleaner and a stiff brush so that soot doesn’t damage your decorative items.If you’re thinking of removing your fireplace or permanently closing it up, take a moment to check with a local property professional to make certain it doesn’t reduce the value of your home.

About the Author
Author

Harriet "Ronnie" Ellis

In the Spirit of the Seabees

Born and raised on the Pacific island of Guam, daughter of a Navy Chief who served there in the Seabees during WWII, Ronnie learned and lived the Seabee motto "Can Do" from an early age. The Seabees are the construction battalion of the Navy, rebuilding roads, bridges, utility systems and barracks. Falling in love with the island (and Ronnie's mother), her father returned to the South Pacific after the war to help in the rebuilding. Watching his multi-national successes and generous, outgoing attitude, Ronnie says, played a key role in making her the authentic person she is today.

After excelling at Chaminade University, Honolulu, Hawaii, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business and Accounting, she immediately started following in her dad's international business and real estate footsteps, albeit in princess flats. Ronnie breathes real estate with fierce loyalty to her customers and colleagues. She imbues her professional commitments with an affable, affiliative "Ronnie" humor; a natural resource that attracts friends and allies. Ask to describe her business self in three words, she chose: Innovative, Creative and Collaborative. Coupled with her accounting background she is strongly analytical, allowing her natural flow of precision and productivity to benefit those she represents. Those who know her say that Ronnie pursues all aspects of business with joy, confidence and integrity.
"I've been a real estate professional for more decades than a lady might care to admit," she says with her biggest smile. "But now my path from general brokerage sales agent to broker in New York, my experiences as a North Carolina broker, custom home builder and real estate developer, give me daily insights into both the opportunities and land mines of the property marketplace."

As a licensed general contractor, new home construction became her specialty. She's built neighborhoods and won prestigious Parade of Homes awards. Both Ronnie and her husband, Edward, have earned the National Association of Home Builders highest sales designations: Member of the Institute of Residential Marketing (MIRM) and Certified Marketing Professional (CMP). An active and avid member of the National Association of Realtors, she was president of her local Board of Realtors in Havelock, N.C. She also supported the Rotary Club serving as newsletter editor, and she's a Chamber of Commerce member as well.

A visit to Melbourne, Florida in late 2010, convinced the Ellises that this should be their retirement home. With the move behind them and a mini-retirement under her belt, Ronnie decided she missed the day-to-day action of real estate. "The industry is challenging and changing constantly," she says. "I absolutely love it. That, and building relationships, working with customers and clients in all aspects. I stay excited and prepared to be a part of their journey."
Her final thoughts: "There are many people out there that I know I can assist especially with the backing I get from Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate. Coldwell Banker keeps me upfront with the tools and marketing to meet all my customer's needs. And I've never been afraid of competition. Like Dad taught me: "Can Do."