The fireplace tile | How About Orange

December 03, 2013

The fireplace tile


Here's a closer look at the Rookwood fireplace tile I'm debating, as seen in yesterday's photo. I thought about decorating the room to go with it, but couldn't bring myself to decorate around something I don't particularly like. Does anybody else see spinach dip here? It's also a bit cracked and chipped.


At first I hated it. Then it started growing on me, and now I just mildly dislike it. Maybe I'll leave it alone and add some green artwork or something to tie everything together.

39 comments:

Lori said...

I would just ignore it. It looks original to the house so I'd hate for you to remove it. I think you'd find it won't stand out at all however you decide to decorate around it. I had an old house and the tiles like this were painted but I would have loved for them not to be painted over, whatever color they turned out to be. They say green is a neutral anyway, whoever "they" are.

Jessica Jones said...

I like what they say. :)

Grandma G said...

Spinach dip. Yeah, I don't think too many decorate to go with spinach dip. But you'll probably come up with the perfect solution. ;)

Mum

asdfjkl; said...

Well, if you do decide to get rid of it, just save it for the next owners. I'm sure if you cleaned it up very well and put it away safely, the next owners would be delighted--if they wanted to reinstall it. I wonder; my fireplace has just 3 large slabs of raw slate (plus one large one for the floor). Would something like that fit over your tile without damaging it?

Jessica Jones said...

The sides are a little bowed, but I would love for that to work! The idea of hiding it temporarily is attractive.

Jenn T said...

The work of removing the tiles so that someone else can enjoy them might actually be better than you having to work to enjoy them yourself.
If the fireplace is historic, maybe some reclamation place will pay you to let them take it out!!? I think that's how those things work...

Unknown said...

Would it be possible to give it a good cleaning and reclamation of the grout lines - they were probably a lighter color (maybe white) when installed? You might like it more if it was "brighter" which white grout lines and the removal of the "burnt/dirty" looking spots would do for you. (I am not saying you haven't cleaned it...no slurs on your housekeeping.)

Of course you could probably cover it with some thin stone pieces.

Meg said...

As a Cincy native PLEASE don't get rid of your Rookwood tile!! If you're going to I'd be happy to drive across the river and get it! :-)

Anonymous said...

I laughed when i read your dilemma. I live in the 'Nati and a Rookwood fireplace is a HUGE selling point for any home in this area. The thought of removing it would send many here into shock. For that reason alone, I would be hesitant to remove it. Can you cover it with a facade?

Newport is lovely. Welcome to the area.

Anonymous said...

What about using a chalkboard paper to cover the surround a la Nester? http://www.thenester.com/2010/09/chalkboard-fireplace-surround-a-year-later.html

A little wacky but who knows, maybe it'd work?

Jessica Jones said...

Thanks! Since I'm not painting over the woodwork, folks didn't have a chance to freak out, so I'm glad I raised the tile issue to keep it interesting around here.

Jessica Jones said...

Oops, that reply was for Anonymous 1. Anonymous 2, I will check out that link!

Lizabeth said...

What about some sort of pressed tin (like the ceilings) either painted or not, to cover the tile as an insert?

Or a thin plywood covered with wallpaper of your choice...

Jolene said...

I would also say either leave it and add green to the room to find some way to live with it. I agree that a good cleaning and re-grouting might help brighten it. Or possibly use a thin tile on a piece of concrete board that could be inserted over the tile without damaging it?

Anonymous said...

It might just be my "eclectic" taste, but I think these tiles are lovely! How could you bring yourself to get rid of these!

Jessica Jones said...

Pretty easily. :)

The black areas are chipped off and damaged, but maybe I could clean up the grout. The tin tiles idea is very intriguing to me, too!

Needle little Balance said...

I accidently read roquefort tile ;)
Anyhow...you will make it work!

Jessica Jones said...

I could go for some roquefort tiles and a glass of wine right now, as a matter of fact.

Anonymous said...

Remove them and use tiles you love. Make out of removed Rookwood tiles art into your dining room wall.

Annette said...

I agree with the other posters who say keep the tiles. We as a nation are too quick to destroy what is unique in favor of what we perceive as "perfect" or new. Your beautiful new curtains do a lot to pull the room together and your tiles look lovely against the dark wood.

Anonymous said...

My sister-in-law, the painter, likes to point out that snow isn't just white, there are pinks and blues as well as various shades of white in it. From the photos, it looks like your spinach dip might not be just green either. Perhaps there is a color in it you find more livable that you could run with and downplay the rest.

Denette said...

I think I am in the minority here. The hearth tiles are in terrible shape. Plus the green really doesn't go with the fuscia and blue you want the room to be. You just moved into this house and I assume plan to be there for a while. If it is only for a couple of years then maybe leave the tiles undisturbed for a potential buyer. But if you plan to be there for more time, make it a place you will love. It just doesn't seem like the color is something you love and will be hard to work into your preferred color scheme. In addition to the conflicting color, the design of the tiles conflicts with the wallpaper and curtain. It is really busy looking. Be ok with letting them go regardless if they are original, it is your home now. I do think some of the ideas like a tin tile or thin board that you could attach over and paint, etc would be worth trying before you make a more permanent coverup.

gasilhane said...

I dont know tiles' importance but i wish you choose a way that makes you more happy in ur new nest. If they dont fit for any reason just get rid of them. (But remember i know nothing about it:))

sylvï said...

oh, sigh. i like them even better up close! but i agree with both sides here. i know all too well what it feels like to have 'unfinished business' with your dwellings and the annoyance that comes with that, so you shouldn't keep it just to please 'them' but by all means let someone else have the tiling if you do deside to get rid of it.

Sam said...

Is it a working fireplace? If it's not, there would be tons of ways to cover up the tile damage-free (even sticky-back vinyl, or fabric). Even with a working fireplace, I feel that there should be a way to cover the tile - wholly or partially - without causing any damage.

I'm torn here... I'm a lover of old/original things and I'm one who always cringes at painted wood, etc., but those tiles aren't my taste at all. My eyes say take them away but my soul says you can't do it :) Good luck finding a solution, I'm sure you'll come up with something. And thanks for letting us decorate vicariously!

Heather said...

Maybe it doesn't look the same in person, but it reminds me of a stormy sky. You know how the clouds swirl and get dark and a bit green. It's interesting.

Bill Swensson said...

Before doing anything drastic with the tile, why not share your photos with the Rookwood Pottery staff at their new store located (across the river) in Over-the-Rhine?

Here's a link regarding the store:

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/newintown/2013/11/18/rookwood-pottery-opens-otr-retail-shop/

Who knows, a consultation may lead to a better understanding of the work few local homes possess. And...if you were to rid the room of the tiles, the RP store just may provide a buyer list for the material.

Rosie said...

Have you thought about a non permanent solution. Like peel and stick laminate. or even contact paper. I wonder if those wall decals that they make that you can remove would work. I've also seen peel and stick wall paper like the wall decals but with more coverage.

Maiz Connolly said...

I like all of the temporary cover-up suggestions. But, until then I think you should serve spinach dip at all of your dinner parties to tie the room together.

Jessica Jones said...

Great idea. I'll just keep a bowl on the table at all times.

Daniela said...

Sorry Jessica, maybe I didn't get exactly the point...
I have to say I don't like the current motive of the tiles neither and this is not related if they match with the room or not. Plus they are pretty damaged.
At the same time I have the idea that if you replace them the best would be to choose not just nice looking tiles...It cannot be just a casual fireplace, it must have character!
I found this:
https://www.rookwood.com/files/RWtilecatalog.pdf
But not sure: you don't like Rookwood tiles at all? Are they too expensive?

Otherwise you could start some historic stuff right now! Doesn't always works in this way? :)

(Sorry for my creepy english..)

Anonymous said...

If you don't like it, hide it. Don't force yourself to see something you don't like, it's your place. BUT, don't destroy it (it's worth something apparently), put something you can remove maybe a sheet of metal with some color on it, so can always remove it a come back to the initial state

zhenefaire said...

I have a similar fireplace, and I can't stand the tile. A friend of mine who's a decorator has the same tile and fireplace, and she did this:
http://backonfestiveroad.blogspot.com/2011/11/fireplace-renovation.html

I say, no sacred cows! Do what make you happy!

Jessica Jones said...

Oooo, interesting! The end results looks so pretty and fresh!
http://backonfestiveroad.blogspot.com/2011/11/fireplace-reveal.html

Jessica Jones said...

Daniela, thanks for the catalog! I really like the modern classics section. I had no idea they make anything like that.

Anna said...

I lived in a Cincinnati home with a fireplace with Rookwood tiles and detested the tiles. But the listing on the house stated "Rookwood tiled fireplace" and the realtor went on and on about it- so I figured it was a big deal and left it. I have now lived in the area for 15 years (albeit in another house now and sold the first house to a young couple that was so excited to have Rookwood tiles in their starter home- ha!). I can definitely see both sides- covering and keeping the tiles. Natives are very particular about their Rookwood...

Linda Schneider said...

Do you own the house? You could always remove it (SUPER carefully), sell it at auction (Rookwood collectors are serious, you'd prob. do great), and put in something you really like. No sense living w/something you dislike just because it's famous.

Anonymous said...

I think it's so pretty! It's not very often one sees fireplaces built using marble. Your house is old and I like how you put a modern twist on its traditional design.

andie smith said...

It looks like the ocean! I love it and looks original. I wold decorate around it and you may learn to see it differently

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