Of the 5 fireplaces in our house, two have ugly brass covers. Luckily, all the original cast iron covers were still stashed away in the basement. Yesterday we tackled the fireplace in the garden apartment. It has the least ornate mantel.
This is the best photo I have of it in it’s “as purchased condition” (The flower arrangement came with the house).
The ill fitting cover obscures most of the original tile. You can also see the open archway on the left that was replaced with the awesome set of free French doors, courtesy of the Internets.
Just removing the modern cover and replacing it with one of the original cast iron ones made a huge difference in my opinion.
Up next: a fresh coat of paint and some serious tile cleaning.