Monday, February 23, 2015

Sometimes Less is More!

Okay so here goes my first post!

Our old house came with many fireplaces, some were functioning and some were not, some were pretty and some were, well, not so pretty. There were seven in total. People may think I am crazy when I say this but, we will only be left with three once our final renovations are complete. They are just not necessary. With most rooms in the house having two large windows, on adjoining walls, a door to enter on another and a fireplace on the remaining, it makes furniture placement a real pain.

I have learned a lesson, having been through this in a past renovation of our first old home, that not all things built, in a home 175 years ago, need to be maintained. While the idea of having seven fireplaces sounds grand, I am just not sure how often a teenager needs a fire in their bedroom. Maybe for roasting s'mores during sleepovers?

Now that you have the scoop, I will show you where we started. Fireplace #1 is in the cozy little family room, off the kitchen. This is the only "before" photo I have. The majority of our "before" photos are from when we were interested in purchasing the house, including this one. Boy, do I ever miss my little long haired son.  




This fireplace is fully functional and wood burning. It started off not looking too hot ... pun intended! Red brick with a salvaged barn beam mantle. While some may like this look, it was not really me. For this house I like all things white; white woodwork, white cabinets, white furniture, ... you get the picture. It took a while to get around to it but Paul and I came up with a plan for how to make the fireplace surround the way we wanted. I came up with a design. He measured. I shopped for the materials and in the end we created this together.

It really wasn't overly difficult and is a manageable DIY project if you are patient and not in any time crunch! To start with you need to attach some 2x4s to the brick which requires some masonry screws, a hammer drill and a lot of muscle but once complete, it was pretty much smooth sailing. We used 3/4 inch mdf to frame out the fireplace making sure to add dimension by building out both sides and recessing the centre. This helps to create a more custom and detailed look. It also helps by adding interest and depth showcasing the crown details. The bottom of the fireplace is simply plain mdf trimmed at the top with some decorative moulding. Finally, a simple moulding was used to create the final mimicking wainscotting. With some strategic planning and about eight free hours, you too can create this! If you have any questions please feel free to ask. I bugged the helpful staff at our local hardware store until I was convinced we could tackle this project.

The fireplace remained like this for quite some time while we decided what to do with the rest of the wall. Should we create a wall of built ins or just encase the television at the top, were the options considered? In the end, we decided to finish the wall as pictured below.

With the help of a family friend last winter, I finished the area around the television and am very pleased with how it turned out. It helps our 55" screen look to scale over the fireplace.  






 Our puppy, Fergus, was determined to be in the pictures and couldn't understand why I was shooing him away from his favorite resting place so I had to include a photo with him because he is such a big part of our family. 


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5 comments

Erin said...

Love your home! I can't believe the before pic!

Magda said...

Congrats Val! Great blog. Can't wait to read more :)

Valerie Ryan said...

Thank You Erin and Magda!

Virginia Drew said...

Congrats on your first post Sissy! So happy and proud of you!! :)

Tracy said...

whoohoo finally , find your wings Missy. Love it.Im trying to remember my gmail address so I can get added to your "guests"

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