Dayle Laing

The ‘coolest shade of green’ is the sustainable choice. Dayle Laing is a Professional Speaker and Author who uses her experience and training as an educator, a designer and a LEED Accredited Professional to empower Conscious Consumers to make practical yet beautiful choices for sustainable living, reducing their carbon footprint while enhancing their body, mind & spirit.

outdated_fireplace_before_200.jpgYou have a brick fireplace that has become dated and you want green interior design to solve the problem.

Although it is the focal point of the room, it dominates it and closes in the space. You have purchased a big screen TV, since high definition is soon to be the only option for television viewing. Drilling through the brick wall to hang the screen and hide the wires is difficult and impractical.

So, what should you do?

I faced this dilemma with a client recently and we worked out a solution that has everyone in the family happy. Only brick work above the mantle was removed leaving the better proportions of the bricks below.  I am not a fan of painting brick because I prefer the texture and natural colour variations. Less than 1/3 of the bricks were recycled compared with removing the entire fireplace façade.

fireplace_renovation_200.jpgThe exposed upper wall allowed the contractor to conceal wiring for the speakers and the electrical outlet. The wall was reinforced with ½“ plywood to withstand the weight of the television screen. Pilasters (which are column halves) were applied to camouflage the joint between the plywood and existing drywall. The ceiling was repaired with a dropped valance edged with crown moulding to visually balance the hearth and prevent the need to re-stucco the entire ceiling.

fireplace_after_reno_350.jpgA deep tailored mantle was designed and constructed of several stained boards, with corbels to support the mantle. Using a heavy-duty swivel bracket, the TV was gently rehung.  Of course, check the manufacturer’s warranty for hanging locations and heat restrictions.

The beautiful armoire cabinet of the former TV was retained to conceal the stereo equipment and DVD collection. Taken to the recycling depot, the old TV was reclaimed for its valuable ‘technical nutrients’.

The environment is smiling at the entire solution to this dilemma! 

Make your valuable your comments and ask questions on 'green' dilemmas in the comment section following this article.

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