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peacheslatour

Let’s Talk Interior Design

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I had to look up what this trend was, since I don’t know a lot about interior design.  I just know what I like, I don’t know what style it falls into. I like clean lines, mostly black furniture with pops of color through pillows or an accent chair. I do like some of the things I found when I googled, but I don’t like oddly shaped pieces of furniture and I don’t like things that don’t look comfortable. 

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I've been seeing it for at least ten years. Seafoam walls (which I like but it's become sooo pervasive, it's become a cliche) the figure eight shape repeated endlessly. We're seeing so much that would have been right at home in the 1950's, it's bizarre. I like eclectic so much better. Like Frasier and Niles' apartments on Frasier or even Mission style.

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Much to my surprise I love mid century modern. I would do my whole house in it if I could. I recently installed a Sputnik light in my dining room and it looks great, if I do say so myself. 

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I love Mission and Arts & Crafts (FLW-like).  Much to my surprise, I've found I kinda like the mid-century modern, too.  

Of course, looking at my house, you'd never know I had any sense of what style is at all... 

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I've always liked Mission style furniture, and have come to really like it in recent years; when I redecorate my living room, I think I'm going to do it in that style.

Mid-century modern is not something I'd have in my house (my house predates it, and its '30s architecture doesn't readily lend itself to the style, but fundamentally it's just not what I want to live in), but there's a lot of it here (in Los Angeles) and I like it a lot in other people's homes when it all comes together.

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15 hours ago, Bastet said:

I've always liked Mission style furniture, and have come to really like it in recent years; when I redecorate my living room, I think I'm going to do it in that style.

Mid-century modern is not something I'd have in my house (my house predates it, and its '30s architecture doesn't readily lend itself to the style, but fundamentally it's just not what I want to live in), but there's a lot of it here (in Los Angeles) and I like it a lot in other people's homes when it all comes together.

Did you ever used to watch Monk? His house and almost all of the sets were done in Mission style. Of course the show was set in San Francisco so it stands to reason. I can see how the mid century look would work in L.A. but here in the PNW it just looks silly. We will be selling our house and other property soon and have been looking through many design books. We both really like the Craftsman/Beaux Arts styles. I grew up in Beaux Arts Village and I loved the quirky look of the houses.

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On 11/15/2017 at 11:47 AM, peacheslatour said:

I can see how the mid century look would work in L.A. but here in the PNW it just looks silly.

Coming in a year late because I just discovered this topic right after binging interior design shows on Netflix.

In the PNW (depends on where, I suppose), I think you could make mid-century modern work if you just added a few decorating elements that specifically recalled the World's Fair of 1962. That would help anchor your design to Seattle's history, and that would go a long way toward making it seem like it belonged here.

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I have mixed feelings about mid-century modern. I like the architectural designs for public places and so forth, but the furniture that is intended for personal use always looks uncomfortable to me, and my general reaction to it is to think that this is stuff someone designed with the idea that it would look like people a hundred years into the future would use. It's like when a movie or TV show tries to depict how people in a future era will dress, and the clothing is mostly familiar but with some very different style choices. I see some of the chairs, in particular, and think  yeah, someone was trying to imagine what chairs would look like 100 years from now.

I have a fairly eclectic design style for my own stuff. I like some fairly plain designs in couches and so forth, but have pretty ornate dining room and bedroom furniture. I like a Victorian color palette but without the overly fussy and crowded rooms that tend to go with Victorian styles. My house was built within the last two years, and it's fairly straightforward modern design. I would love a Victorian style house, but it would look ridiculous in my neighborhood. I generally don't like an open floor plan, but after being super crowded for 6 months or so prior to buying this house, I was happy to have something where the kitchen and main living area are open. For my next house, I want a dedicated library; I may convert my currently  unused upstairs game room into a reading area of sorts, but I want a library where I can go in and shut the door, settle down on a chaise or reclining chair of some sort, with a tea table next to me so I can park my cup of tea while I read.

Generally, I know better what I don't like in terms of interior design than what I do like. I loathe rustic and shabby chic. I'm not fond of mission style furniture but can see its appeal. For upholstery fabric, drapes, etc., I prefer fairly quiet patterns and don't like having too many patterns in the same room.

My biggest mystery when it comes to design choices, though, has to do with bedrooms. What the fuck is up with having 14 "decorative" pillows on a bed, that you're going to have to remove every time you want to sleep, and then replace when you get up? One or two I can understand, but not the mountain of pillows that so many people seem to have. 

Edited by BookWoman56
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I have a library, but there's no room for a chair. Bookshelves on every wall except for one corner which is where my desk is. I'm trying to figure out a way to rearrange things, because I also need a cabinet for curiosities. Right now I have a couple of short Ikea bookcases the tops of which are covered with the curiosities and I'm getting new weird things faster than I'm getting space for them. What I want is "Victorian Naturalist's Library" or even "Gothic Beatrix Potter". What I have is more like "Miskatonic University dorm room", minus a bed.

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7 hours ago, Violet Impulse said:

I also need a cabinet for curiosities

Hmph. It wasn’t until this very moment that I realized that I want a cabinet for curiosities. 

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@Violet Impulse, what about stacking the bookcases? That would free up some floor space. Some of the Ikea shelves have toppers you can stack on top, or stack separately to create a small bookcase. My house is tiny so making use of vertical space is crucial.

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I've got four of the tall Billy cases against every wall that can have them, and then short ones under the windows (also the desk is under a window). Now that I look at what's on the short shelves more carefully, though, I think one of those can go and the cabinet could go in its place. I just need a magazine archive box and to get rid of things that need getting rid of. Still no room for a chair, but that's not as necessary as cabinet anyway. I think I can even manage this and still keep some wall space! Thanks for helping me think out loud. I finally have an idea how to do this.

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We're planning on redoing our apartment furniture so that everything we have is something we can move by ourselves. I inherited a lot of nice furniture from relatives, such as a solid wood bedroom set and a La-Z-Boy couch. I also have a vintage Stickley solid wood desk that I bought for $300. However, we expect to move at least a few more times, and the last time we hired movers it cost over $400 and the new apartment was only a mile away from the old one. I like most of our furniture and have sentimental attachment to some of it, but clearly the cost of moving will exceed the cost of the furniture in short order.

However, I also don't want to buy cheap crap that will fall apart in a couple of years, since that is the whole reason why I got solid wood furniture in the first place. So the plan is to downsize and, if necessary, replace larger furniture pieces with smaller ones that are still solid wood.

*Get more closet organizational elements and move most of the clothes to the closet. Also get rid of a lot of clothes. Some of them will also go in the nightstands using nice-looking baskets or bins to organize (the nightstands each have two open shelves plus a drawer). Then sell or give away the two dressers. I feel kind of bad about this since I like them and they belonged to my grandparents since the 60s, but at least we will have the two nightstands from the set. I might also move the two living room end tables (which were my other grandma's, from the 70s I think) to the bedroom to be the new nightstands while the old nightstands are pushed together one the opposite side of the room where one of the dressers is right now.

*Sell the Stickley desk. Honestly I feel sad over this since it is really beautiful and well-made. But I also don't use it as a desk that much since I usually work at the dining table, and its main purpose right now is for storage and looking nice. I am not exactly sure where the contents of the desk will go but I think we will get rid of some of it at least.

*Sell or give away the couch. We are keeping the dining table (which my great-uncle had since the 70s I believe) because even though it is solid wood, we can easily move it. We are going to replace the couch with two seating options. I have wanted to replace our dining chairs for years since they are just cheap ones from Target, so we will get a set of upholstered, armchair-esque dining chairs around the table, which will be used for socializing and as a desk. We will also get some large nice-looking floor cushions for lounging and sleeping on if people stay over (we also might be able to give away our air mattress once we have those). This will be much easier to clean also compared to having to vacuum all the innards of the couch weekly.

We don't really have people over much so I'm not too concerned about entertaining. Family visits a few times a year. If we're seeing friends we meet elsewhere since my town doesn't have that much to do compared to other neighborhoods in the local area. But when people come over they usually prefer to sit around the dining table anyway.

*We also have a solid wood bookshelf (actually not vintage but came from Walmart of all places), which currently holds some of my husband's sentimental items, but I don't know if we will sell or donate it. It weighs 80 pounds so theoretically we probably could move it, but it also seems kind of unnecessary to have it since we don't even have books anymore (switched to the library and e-books).

*Give away anything we haven't used in a year or more. I'm always decluttering yet I still found quite a few items that we don't use.

So...what do you guys think?

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Update: have made some progress on the design ideas.

I listed the desk on Craigslist yesterday and supposedly someone is going to pick it up on Saturday. I hope they actually follow through as people on Craigslist can be flaky. I didn't list the dressers yet but did offer them to someone on Freecycle who was requesting dressers. She said she wanted them but she has stopped responding, so she may have flaked out on me. I also haven't listed the couch yet since I don't want to arrange too many pickups at one time. If I can't get rid of this stuff that way, I'll just have to pay to have the junk haulers come and hopefully recycle or donate it, but I would rather not do that.

Meanwhile I did a lot of reorganizing. I emptied out the dressers. I converted the hall utility closet into my own clothes closet and all my clothes are either hanging, folded on the upper shelf, or folded on a hanging organizer my husband got me. I wish I had done this originally. The closet has two closet rods although I am only using one for now, and it's sort of a walk-in so I can kind of hide away in there if I want to LOL. I never really had a space in our apartment that was entirely mine, and now I do. It looks really nice and "minimalist goals" too.

The bedroom closet became my husband's clothes closet and most of the utility items also ended up in there (ie. our vacuum, mop, air mattress, Christmas decorations, stuff like that). He doesn't have that many clothes and already has a closet of his own for his hobbies. However we need to buy more hangers as well as another hanging organizer and possibly a small (nightstand-sized) dresser. So for now his clothes are stacked and piled everywhere in our room since we have nothing to hang them with. We also collected many things for donation and recycling.

I also emptied the desk and moved its contents to various places, as well as getting rid of some stuff. There wasn't a ton in there anyway -- most of it belonged to my husband or MIL.

Last weekend we also happened to go to the mall, so while we were there we checked out some furniture stores for ideas on what type of new furniture we might want. We decided floor cushions aren't that practical so instead we're just going to get two armchairs, and keep our existing coffee and end tables where they are. I also want to get new dining chairs since we currently only have two and they are cheap cloth-covered plastic chairs from Target. We will probably get these from Ikea since at least you can get solid wood dining chairs there as well as cloth cushions/covers for them. We've had good luck with Ikea so far. I would prefer to get vintage dining chairs for sustainability reasons, but I don't have time to scout them out online and arrange to pick them up, and there aren't that many non-expensive stores with a wide selection of vintage furniture.

My only regret is that I got this furniture in the first place and now have to spend time and possibly money getting rid of it. At the time I felt like it wasn't a "real apartment" unless it had a bunch of furniture because of all the societal cues related to that. But now that minimalism has become a lot more popular, I see that it's perfectly fine to not have certain items of furniture if they don't work with your lifestyle. I'm excited for the next phase of our apartment decor.

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On 4/11/2019 at 4:29 PM, BuyMoreAndSave said:

My only regret is that I got this furniture in the first place and now have to spend time and possibly money getting rid of it.

If it makes you feel any better, I look back at the furniture that my first husband and I bought for our very first apartment together, and wonder WTF I was thinking, because in retrospect it was pretty hideous. We selected it in large part because yes, we felt we had to have certain pieces of furniture to be "real adults" and married, with the result that none of it was anything I really liked. Fortunately, at the point we divorced, I willingly agreed to him retaining all the furniture we had bought jointly, and I kept only a few pieces that were mine prior to the marriage. More recently, I now have a fairly expensive sofa and love seat that are in shreds because not too long after I bought them, our household acquired a couple of puppies, both of which proceeded to chew through the fabric and stuffing all the way to the wood frame. So, I need to arrange for someone to haul those off and then I will go the Ikea route, because at least if they eat through the fabric again, I can just get a new slipcover easily that fits exactly, and if they destroy the couch and love seat entirely, then I will not feel quite so stupid for having spent a lot of money on them. (The dogs are now a bit older and not quite as prone to chew through everything they encounter, but I'm not going to go with an expensive couch and so forth again anytime soon. In the meantime, I still have my grandmother's old sofa that needs to be reupholstered and am hoping maybe in a few months to have the time to go pick out some suitable fabric for that; once that's done, it will have to go into a room where the dogs can't easily access it.)

I've mentioned before that my house is less than a couple of years old; I bought it brand new two years ago this coming end of July. But the kitchen cabinets are very dark wood, I think an espresso color, that I don't really care for, and so I'm looking into having them refinished in the next 6  months or so. Which brings up my current interior decorating pet peeve: WTF is up with everybody using gray as their default color for everything from floors to kitchen/bathroom cabinets to furniture? Several design shows I occasionally watch seem to go the route of using gray for numerous things, and I don't understand the appeal. Is gray supposed to show less dirt than white but not be quite as stark/dramatic as black? Anyway, having learned my lesson from buying furniture that I didn't really care for but which was popular at the time, I'm going to go with a color for the kitchen cabinets that I will like, and not give a fuck if it's not a popular color right now. I'm leaning right now toward a Wedgwood blue with cream trim, because I'm tired of the dark cabinets; I might consider a glossy white but think I would tire of that quickly. At the point that I decide to sell this house and relocate, I can always have them refinished to whatever the flavor of the week is then. 

Edited by BookWoman56
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20 minutes ago, BookWoman56 said:

If it makes you feel any better, I look back at the furniture that my first husband and I bought for our very first apartment together, and wonder WTF I was thinking, because in retrospect it was pretty hideous. We selected it in large part because yes, we felt we had to have certain pieces of furniture to be "real adults" and married, with the result that none of it was anything I really liked. Fortunately, at the point we divorced, I willingly agreed to him retaining all the furniture we had bought jointly, and I kept only a few pieces that were mine prior to the marriage. More recently, I now have a fairly expensive sofa and love seat that are in shreds because not too long after I bought them, our household acquired a couple of puppies, both of which proceeded to chew through the fabric and stuffing all the way to the wood frame. So, I need to arrange for someone to haul those off and then I will go the Ikea route, because at least if they eat through the fabric again, I can just get a new slipcover easily that fits exactly, and if they destroy the couch and love seat entirely, then I will not feel quite so stupid for having spent a lot of money on them. (The dogs are now a bit older and not quite as prone to chew through everything they encounter, but I'm not going to go with an expensive couch and so forth again anytime soon. In the meantime, I still have my grandmother's old sofa that needs to be reupholstered and am hoping maybe in a few months to have the time to go pick out some suitable fabric for that; once that's done, it will have to go into a room where the dogs can't easily access it.)

I've mentioned before that my house is less than a couple of years old; I bought it brand new two years ago this coming end of July. But the kitchen cabinets are very dark wood, I think an espresso color, that I don't really care for, and so I'm looking into having them refinished in the next 6  months or so. Which brings up my current interior decorating pet peeve: WTF is up with everybody using gray as their default color for everything from floors to kitchen/bathroom cabinets to furniture? Several design shows I occasionally watch seem to go the route of using gray for numerous things, and I don't understand the appeal. Is gray supposed to show less dirt than white but not be quite as stark/dramatic as black? Anyway, having learned my lesson from buying furniture that I didn't really care for but which was popular at the time, I'm going to go with a color for the kitchen cabinets that I will like, and not give a fuck if it's not a popular color right now. I'm leaning right now toward a Wedgwood blue with cream trim, because I'm tired of the dark cabinets; I might consider a glossy white but think I would tire of that quickly. At the point that I decide to sell this house and relocate, I can always have them refinished to whatever the flavor of the week is then. 

I just got into a huge fight with my DH over grey carpeting, of all things. We are selling my dad's house after moving him into care. One of the realtor's we talked to said we need to carpet the whole house in light grey. I wasn't there at the time and when my DH told me this I said "No way." Big fight. The next day I talked to the realtor and said I think we should go with taupe because here in Seattle we get so many grey days, using grey in decor is just depressing. He completely agreed. So we're going with taupe.

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14 minutes ago, peacheslatour said:

The next day I talked to the realtor and said I think we should go with taupe because here in Seattle we get so many grey days, using grey in decor is just depressing. He completely agreed. So we're going with taupe.

Exactly. I could sort of see using gray carpet if you were in a tropical setting, with very bright clear skies all the time, and your furniture and wall colors were bright, bold colors, so the gray carpet would tone things down a bit. But gray carpet when the sky outside is often gray? Unless your goal is to get people depressed, or you're doing a stage set for some grim Dickensian orphanage setting, then no, your choice of taupe makes much more sense.

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4 minutes ago, BookWoman56 said:

Exactly. I could sort of see using gray carpet if you were in a tropical setting, with very bright clear skies all the time, and your furniture and wall colors were bright, bold colors, so the gray carpet would tone things down a bit. But gray carpet when the sky outside is often gray? Unless your goal is to get people depressed, or you're doing a stage set for some grim Dickensian orphanage setting, then no, your choice of taupe makes much more sense.

Not only that but it's on the lake so you've got the grey skies and the grey water. You're just surrounded by grey, it really pays to warm things up with lots of warm neutrals and wood. I couldn't imagine how awful a room full of chrome and glass would be up here.

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8 hours ago, BookWoman56 said:

If it makes you feel any better, I look back at the furniture that my first husband and I bought for our very first apartment together, and wonder WTF I was thinking, because in retrospect it was pretty hideous. We selected it in large part because yes, we felt we had to have certain pieces of furniture to be "real adults" and married, with the result that none of it was anything I really liked. Fortunately, at the point we divorced, I willingly agreed to him retaining all the furniture we had bought jointly, and I kept only a few pieces that were mine prior to the marriage. More recently, I now have a fairly expensive sofa and love seat that are in shreds because not too long after I bought them, our household acquired a couple of puppies, both of which proceeded to chew through the fabric and stuffing all the way to the wood frame. So, I need to arrange for someone to haul those off and then I will go the Ikea route, because at least if they eat through the fabric again, I can just get a new slipcover easily that fits exactly, and if they destroy the couch and love seat entirely, then I will not feel quite so stupid for having spent a lot of money on them. (The dogs are now a bit older and not quite as prone to chew through everything they encounter, but I'm not going to go with an expensive couch and so forth again anytime soon. In the meantime, I still have my grandmother's old sofa that needs to be reupholstered and am hoping maybe in a few months to have the time to go pick out some suitable fabric for that; once that's done, it will have to go into a room where the dogs can't easily access it.)

I've mentioned before that my house is less than a couple of years old; I bought it brand new two years ago this coming end of July. But the kitchen cabinets are very dark wood, I think an espresso color, that I don't really care for, and so I'm looking into having them refinished in the next 6  months or so. Which brings up my current interior decorating pet peeve: WTF is up with everybody using gray as their default color for everything from floors to kitchen/bathroom cabinets to furniture? Several design shows I occasionally watch seem to go the route of using gray for numerous things, and I don't understand the appeal. Is gray supposed to show less dirt than white but not be quite as stark/dramatic as black? Anyway, having learned my lesson from buying furniture that I didn't really care for but which was popular at the time, I'm going to go with a color for the kitchen cabinets that I will like, and not give a fuck if it's not a popular color right now. I'm leaning right now toward a Wedgwood blue with cream trim, because I'm tired of the dark cabinets; I might consider a glossy white but think I would tire of that quickly. At the point that I decide to sell this house and relocate, I can always have them refinished to whatever the flavor of the week is then. 

Yeah unfortunately with pets it's hard to keep anything nice. I learned that when we had cats growing up as they would scratch everything.

I think gray can look nice as long as there is other color in the room. But I don't get the appeal of these all gray and white rooms.

This isn't even the first furniture we had. Before I knew anything about furniture I got an awful particleboard bedroom set and desk secondhand on Craigslist. Both of them were so cheap that they sustained damage during transport to our apartment. After I got the bedroom set from my grandparents we put the particleboard bedroom set on the curb and some neighbors took it within 5 minutes, then it ended up back on their curb several months later. I don't think anyone took the particleboard desk though because it was too broken. I way overpaid for them too because I had no clue what I was doing.

I successfully gave away the Stickley desk on Craigslist this weekend to a nice couple who were thrilled to get it. It actually turned out to be lighter than I thought it was with the drawers removed, so technically I didn't need to give it away and I slightly regret it. But I also know realistically that I used it as a desk less than five times since we moved here two years ago, because I prefer to work at the dining table. It was basically a very large and cumbersome decoration that weighed over 100 pounds. Anyway if I ever really miss it, I can get a smaller piece of vintage furniture like a nightstand or end table in a similar style. I also regret that I didn't sell it for money because I feel like I definitely could have, but I wasn't sure at the time since it had some damage (chips missing from the drawers and one of the drawers got jammed).

0408191323.thumb.jpg.e32947f70ff697d6e40561d0e0d120d5.jpg

My husband really likes that we have extra floor space in the living room now, and when we move next year we can get a smaller/cheaper place without all this stuff. We live in NJ so a smaller place equals large savings.

I also listed the couch yesterday and got one response so far. That is the one I'm most worried about since it is a little rickety and has the most parts to it, and I hope it can survive being moved again and that the person won't get mad if it does break somehow during transport.

Ironically though, we actually ended up getting plastic dressers from Walmart LOL. I told my husband to get whatever dresser he wanted for his stuff and he got those. At least they are more likely to survive than particleboard, if they do break they are #5 plastic and can be recycled, and we now have more money to spend on the public-facing parts of the apartment. They actually don't look half bad either.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Sterilite-3-Drawer-Wide-Weave-Tower/49527350?athcpid=49527350&athpgid=athenaItemPage&athcgid=null&athznid=PWVUB&athieid=v0&athstid=CS020&athguid=af9b773d-cfa-16a1e865200001&athena=true

Anyway all my clothes are in my closet now so I just got one of the narrow ones for my underwear, pajamas, etc to put inside the closet. But my husband got two wide ones plus a narrower light gray one for his clothes and items he uses everyday. I really like the way my closet looks and that all my clothes are in one place now. Also that it has an extra closet bar because I'm redoing my personal style and plan to buy more clothes in the near future. I will probably move some things around as I figure out what works, but you get the idea.

0414191120a.thumb.jpg.51d87dc4348c4bdfeeebbcd607263da8.jpg

7 hours ago, peacheslatour said:

I just got into a huge fight with my DH over grey carpeting, of all things. We are selling my dad's house after moving him into care. One of the realtor's we talked to said we need to carpet the whole house in light grey. I wasn't there at the time and when my DH told me this I said "No way." Big fight. The next day I talked to the realtor and said I think we should go with taupe because here in Seattle we get so many grey days, using grey in decor is just depressing. He completely agreed. So we're going with taupe.

My apartment that I grew up in had grey carpeting, and when my mom's boyfriend came over for the first time, he asked her if it was originally white and had gotten dirty...if you need any more reasons why not to get a grey carpet.

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I'm having my house updated.  I'm now to the design phase of the last room and have seem to be having some kind of panic spiral because I heard second hand that word shiplap had been used.

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So I got my plan and there was no ship lap in it.  So hooray.  Now I have another kind of dilemma.  

I have a brick fireplace.  I'm getting a new mantel but I don't want to go as far as tearing out the brick and replacing it.

Anyone have experience with painting, line wash, the German smear, or any other methods to give brick a face lift.

I'm torn between doing something and leaving it how it is.  Its in the red family (with gray mortar) but its not terrible. It just doesn't go as well with the rest of the house as something else would.  I have enough warm colors that I think its workable to tie it in with accessories and the right stain on the mantle.

The designer recommended the German smear, which scares me a little lot (and not just because Joanna Gaines did it).  I've been through tons of pictures and it seems like for everyone that turns out well, ten pictures look awful.  And most of the ones that turned out ok seem to be ok because the brick being treated is not in the red color family.

I think its the idea of introducing white to red brick that is bugging me.  It seems like there is too much risk of the fireplace looking like Santa Clause vomited candy canes on it. And if its done wrong it seems like its near impossible to "fix" it. 

Any success or horror stories on updating brick?

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@ParadoxLost, I had never heard of the German smear finish for brick, so I googled it. The images looked pretty bad to me; I’d have thought they were fireplaces where the mortar and brick had decayed so much they needed to be replaced. Why not just leave your brick as is until such time as you find an alternative that you really love and feel confident about?

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