The first time I walked into my home I believe the words out of my mouth were “what the hell is that?” I didn’t say that about the green front door decorated with stained glass; that I could get past, but of the monstrosity that was the fire place. This thing was huge and U-G-L-Y.  It looked as if a wood burning pizza oven and an old fashioned funeral parlor made a baby (hopefully I don’t lose you with that one). I didn’t even know what a wood hearth was until that day and honestly having one is totally unnecessary for living in our part of Texas.


Because the fireplace was so large, figuring out what to do with it influenced a lot of our design. I thought about tearing it out and having a large entertainment center/bookshelf built but that didn’t feel right.

Now let me go back a little bit; I designed the kitchen first (in my mind) and then figured out what to do with the rest of the house. My kitchen was always the most important part of our renovation plan although it was one of the last things we did. I want to highlight that because I tell clients that. Consider what you want your entire home to look like before you start doing ANYTHING. Steve Jobs actually designed the iPad before the iPhone but released the iPhone first.  Architect your plan with your end goal in mind but do what needs to be done first, first. Commit to a design and try to stick to it except for emergency cases.  Modifications in the middle of renovating will affect your schedule and can prove financially costly.


We decided to simply tile over the fireplace. You can easily reshape fireplace openings with tile. Now it’s more of an accent wall with a fireplace. For our Texas home that rarely sees temperatures cold enough to light a fireplace, it works.  We also changed out the door and windows for matching french doors with transoms in order to balance the space.