Furthermore, the hearth was just an unpainted slab of heat resistant material left over from the days the hearth contained a heater:
One of the reasons it took a while to do this small project is that I couldn't quite decide what to do. With three existing elements, brick, rust, and woodlook laminate floor, I didn't want to introduce another one. My first instinct was to paint it to blend with the rust firebox (my favorite element), but I thought it might call too much attention, especially since the mantle is in a de facto passageway. I finally decided to paint it in a faux bois (fake wood) technique (how to is here---the techniqure is the same, the colors are all that differ) to blend with the floor and to disappear, hopefully making the room look a little wider.
Here is the fireplace after the back of the box has been faux painted to match the rust surround and the hearth has been primed:
Here is the after. I also simplified the mantle arrangement and painted it out to match the wall and blend in.
The large copper tub was a Christmas present. For entertaining, I'll fill it with a plant, but now (truth in blogging) I use it to collect all the shoes that seem to end up littering our first two rooms. I always wanted a house that felt so comfortable that people wanted to kick their shoes off and linger...I just never knew how much picking up after others that would entail.