When the new owners of a transitional 1995 home in Mount Lookout decided on a kitchen upgrade, they asked Jim Schwertman of Schwertman Building Group in Delhi to also suggest a facelift for the corner fireplace dividing the kitchen’s eating area and the great room.

The existing firebox was perfectly functional, with an L-shaped opening to both the great room and the kitchen. The problem was the dated, dark green, 4-by-4-inch ceramic tile facing and hearth, as well as the woodwork and drywall above it.

“The solution was relatively simple,” says Schwertman. It amounted to a facelift that didn’t require any heavy structural work. After the old facing and hearth tiles were removed, a scratch coat of mortar and lathe was applied, followed by a re-facing with a man-made, cultured-stone chimney up to the ceiling in both rooms, as well as new hearthstones.

A sturdy poplar mantel with a Minwax stain and varnish was added with a trimmed crown molding. And a recessed shelf was cut in above the mantel for a treasured clock.

“It added a great deal of warmth to the room and gave it a more finished appearance,” Schwertman says. “It looks like it was built-in and is better integrated with the other crown molding we added elsewhere. It pulled everything together handsomely.”

Before: The fireplace and hearth were covered with dark green, 4-by-4 ceramic tiles, with a white mantel and trim.

After: The cultured stone facelift extends to the ceiling on all three sides of the fireplace, giving the rooms a warm, lodge-like feeling.