A happy fireplace makeover

You know I like a calm home vibe. Actually, I need it. My head is so busy, my eyes so easily distracted, I need unobtrusive harmonious surroundings to organise my thoughts. I spend a lot of time trying to achieve this in our two bedroom flat; picking up, hiding things, minimising our stuff. This is very hard when it comes to my daughters' room. They have a lot of stuff. Colourful and small stuff. I am often torn by my need to tidy and my feelings that the imaginative mess they are creating is so worthwhile and, like their childhoods, won't be around for ever. So I have embraced the mess. The worlds they create with Sylvanian families and Lego. The pretend cafes, science laboratories and dressing up. The paper creations and the glitter. And my favourite; the many many small beds made for toys in boxes and baskets with blankets, napkins, scarves. Who wants to interrupt the games? So I leave things out, tidy up properly once a week. As long as there is a safe path through, let the fun continue!

So, it's because of this that I have kept the decor (relatively) simple. Nothing much on the walls. Harmonious colours. Cause I don't want too much going on when there is so much going on. But the fireplace was annoying me. My eye was always drawn to the lovely shape, the dark wood, the iffy brown chipped tiles. I needed to get rid of it. But who removes an original 1930s fireplace? I've struggled with this for the 11 years we've lived here. The chimney is damaged and we're not planning on having a fire in the girls room. So this is what I did...

I blocked up the draughty chimney with a couple of old pillows then I screwed a piece of plywood into the already damaged tile. This was hard and took me hours. Then after sanding and priming the wood, I (maybe controversially) painted the whole thing the same peachy wall colour. My amazing disappearing fireplace trick.

But it is my daughters' room and they wanted a rainbow. A rainbow arc matched the arch of the original fireplace opening perfectly. So we drew one. Then painted it. It's a rather more sublte and toning rainbow using the paint from the room, the book case and a colour match of the bedstide tables and bed canopies.

I added pattern for some interest and texture. And some gold for a shine. I feel (hope) it will last a few years as it isn't too young.

And now, after painting the floor tiles, there is room to play. It's far more suitable than a draughty, dusty fireplace. And I see the toys and the objects, not the brown. All is as calm as will be.

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