I have run into a little design dilemma.
For the past two months I’ve been slowly working on redesigning the fireplace in my living room. When I purchased the house, it was a simple black & brass gas insert and 8 inch tile surround.
In the first year, I painted the walls a medium grey (which I still think looks purple) and dreamed about the day in which my fireplace would have a mantle.
So in an effort to make some progress, I painted the fireplace screen to remove all traces of brass.
Then I started chipping away at the tile in November.
That quickly morphed into a complete demolition and rebuild…with a Mantle!
I was even able to decorate for Christmas.
However, here’s where I’ve stalled. Back when I moved in, I found the perfect tile for the fireplace. The plan was to use the trim I found at Lowes (on clearance) and some larger, standard tiles. However, after installing the surround and Mantle, the dimensions did allow for my original plan. I suddenly found myself at a loss for what to do. Did I want larger 4 inch tiles? 1 x 1 mosaic glass? 1 x 1 mosaic stone? Specialty size cuts?
I spent a few hours wandering the tile aisles at my local hardware stores and didn’t find myself with a clear idea of what I wanted to do. The employees even stopped asking me if I needed help. They’d ask if I needed some help and I’d say “I don’t know which tile to buy”. When they realized I meant I didn’t know what design to pick, they gave up on me. So last weekend, I broke down and bought a single sheet of about 8 different types of tiles.
Option 1: Mosaic Mixed stones. These are slightly larger than 1 x 1 and a nice mix of neutral glass and stone. They are thinner than traditional mosaics and on sale (which is a big reason these might be the ones).
Option 2: Tiny Tiny mosaics. These are about 1/2 x 1/2 and really pretty. Colors are light blue, light browns and light green. Up close it’s probably my favorite mosaic tile ever. However, I think it will be a little too busy between the small stone and the lines of the mantle.
Option 3: Oh how I love these! The glass is a mix of gloss and frosted and not nearly as brown as they appear in the picture. This is the closest the ones I fell in love with at first, that were later discontinued before I could snatch them up. This is in a tie with Option 1, but the price for option 1 give it an advantage. I’m also slightly worried that it will be too much action, simpler might be better.
Option 4: 4 x 4 tumbled marble tiles. These would be both the easiest and hardest to install. Easiest because they’d be a cinch to keep level during installation (which will be a challenge with the mosaics), but the hardest because I don’t have the ability to cut them to size unless I rent a wet saw. Between the cost of the wet saw and the tiles, this would be quite expensive.
So that’s where I sit. I’m suppose to install the tiles this weekend with my dad, yet I still have to make up my mind about which ones to use. Hmmm, decisions decisions.
What do you guys think? Which is your favorite?