hillhaus update: steel fireplace surround

we have been slowly but surely chipping away at updates to our house in prep for some publication features in 2019!

one of my favorite projects to date has been the modern black steel fireplace surround that my husband installed, I dreamed up, and we partnered with John at Pfunder Metalwerks to design!

before we worked our magic on the house, the fireplace looked like this:

Our main living area has insanely tall ceilings (and a gorgeous view, too!) and I wanted to figure out a way to give the dated fireplace facade a new, modern look. First… what to do with all of that empty white space?

option one: neutral brick

First, I thought about traditional masonry (bricking), and if it had been within our budget and didn’t require many different modifications to the house, we would have probably gone with an all white brick.

option two: concrete overlay

Joanna Gaines is queen of the concrete overlay and it’s an extremely popular way to update older surfaces. I was tempted to try and use the DIY concrete countertop method, but knew even our best efforts would result in a less-than-perfect finish that we’d be stuck with for years (who would want to redo all of that hard work so soon?)

Cortney Bishop Design

what we went with: steel surround

In order to get that rustic look we were after, I finally decided that a dark color (specifically treated steel) would be our best bet.

We contacted our favorite steel guy in Oakland (we’ve worked with him in the past on our live-edge dining table, tutorial coming soon) and had him come out to take exact measurements. John created multiple panels that my husband bolted into the support beams in a vertical fashion. We also had him create a custom fireplace surround and a metal sleeve that perfectly fit over the previous tile work.

photography c/o Christine Hanks, from our Brightly fall photoshoot

I can’t get over how gorgeous everything looks and how amazing the final product turned out. Now we’re onto planning new built-in bookshelves on either side (the old ones, above, were not great) and a few other projects.

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