Heart of the Home, a Fireplace Makeover
When I bought my house I new it would take me years to get it where I wanted it. I wanted more than anything to start with the Living Room. I had never had a fireplace before and I knew I wanted this room to be the Heart of our home. Unfortunately, life never quite works out like you want it to. This room turned out to be one of the last rooms that we completed before handing over the keys to someone else and moving. I still managed to execute exactly what I had envisioned and I LOVE the results. Even if it was for only one Christmas.
So, this is where I started. It was a classic 1987 fireplace :). I liked to call it our Candy Apple room. But Oh the potential!!! I knew that the mantle and gold cover had to go. I also love brick and my thought was…. I am going to try to whitewash it first. If I still don’t love it I will paint it white. Always whitewash first because once you paint it you can’t go back. I also knew that this fireplace had too much brick for my liking so I was going to scale it back a bit by hiding some of it.
First we started with the floors. It was actually nice wood but we wanted it to flow through the rest of the 1st floor,
so we actually removed the existing flooring and put all new in. Plus I wanted a more rustic looking wood with knots. This step was a TON of work (We used unfinished eminent wood) and I will probably never repeat it again in my life, but I fell in love with the finished result.
Now for the fun Part. I removed the previous wood mantle and began to build up the frame. This is where you can really turn something simple into something elegant.
Scared yet. My family sure was. What are you doing? Patience, please.
As I was building the Mantle, we realized that the mantle was going to block the bottom half of the fireplace from getting any light. So now is the time to add more lighting before it is too late, so that is exactly what we did. My husband, however, wanted it to be dimmable, so that was a bit more work, but worth it in the end.
I will point out that this room had NO lights in the room at all before we started this project so we went to town with recessed lighting as well. Since this was a two story there was no access above to add lighting. Luckily I’m really good at patching holes.
Moving back to the fun part. I finished blocking in the top of the fire place to minimize the brick. I also decided that I wanted to tie a little of the wood from the floors into my builtins, so I purchased butcher block counters and stained them to match my beautiful floors.
Still a touch of brick without being in your face. I finished off the shelving with arched pieces. I had to purchase a new tool called a band saw to do it but I think it added just the right bit of flair. I added new baseboard throughout the room and crown molding. I also felt like the center needed something to break up all the white even though I love the white mantle. I painted it Chinchilla Toupe colored and stenciled over the top.
Now for my inner JoAnna Gaines. The Icing on top of the cake. Filling it with Personality!!! My husband just shook his head when he came home from work every night and there was a new nicknack on the shelf.
In the end I loved doing this project and even more, I enjoyed being in the room. For Christmas my husband surprised me with a beautiful rug that fit perfectly. Like most of my projects it became my new favorite room. Enjoy.
The rest of the room.