Fireplace Makeover Reveal

Happy Easter! I know this is technically a day of rest, but I am just too excited to share our fireplace makeover reveal. Can you blame me, really? This is three years in the making, people. Three years of this awful eye sore, finally covered. I am a happy girl.

In the end, we opted for simple boards to cover the gap between the wood paneling and the brick of the chimney breast and topped it off with a simple box style mantel. Then we primed and painted the whole thing. Amazing what a coat of paint can do, right? It's like night and day. 
Please disregard the boiler exhaust pipe in the upper left corner. We have plans to prime and paint it, but it hasn't happened quite yet. Baby steps. 

Of course, I had to do a little staging. This is me, after all. 
The mirror has been patiently waiting to adorn the new mantel ever since it got the boot from the front hall. Mirrors are a great way to bounce a little light around a dark corner. Just the trick for the lower level.

Our faux topiaries also found a new home on the mantel. It's always nice to have a little green on the mantel - in one form or another.

I know everyone loves a good before and after, so here it is. Our lower level fireplace surround prior to the makeover. Zoinks, that's bad. 

After. Further staged with a couple bits and our personalized walking sticks from our trip to the Swag a couple of years ago. 
Ah, sweet relief to have this project checked off the proverbial to-do list. Just in time for us to enjoy Spring. ha!
Want more info on this project? Inspiration, plans, and progress.
Hope you had a great weekend!

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Farmhouse Porch - the Scoop

until next time,

Fireplace Surround Update

It's the beginning of Spring break in these parts, but we are waiting to vacation later in April. Instead we're visiting with family and taking some time to work on projects around the house. Last I left you, this was the status of our family room fireplace. Lots of plans, little progress. 

Enter Mr. DD and his big plans. Yup, that's graph paper and a scale ruler, people. He means business. Time to get to work. 
Plus, having his handy father visit certainly upped the productivity factor. 

Check out that pile of wood. And, that happy shopper. Amazing the amount of motivation to make something happen when your parents are in town. Gotta take advantage. 

Once the work actually got started, it was clear that it wasn't going to be as easy as we had hoped. The brick chimney breast wasn't straight. The walls weren't level. There was a lot of tweaking that needed to happen.

First, we chiseled away the brick to make a somewhat straight line to work with. Then, cut away the baseboard to make room for the new boards that will cover the unfinished line between the wood paneling and the brick chimney breast. 

10" boards were cut to shape with the use of templets fitted to the existing structure of the fire box. Then attached to the brick with tapcon screws.

This is where it all started to go a little pear shaped. We knew we wanted a floating rustic looking shelf, and thought maybe we could take the easy way out with a pre-existing, store bought mantel. It looked ok in the box, in the store, but in the actual space, not so much. Back to the drawing board.

Time to build a box!

We attached a center support to the brick, to hang the box on. 

And hung the box. Sounds so easy, right?
Yeah, not really. Hence the total lack of a tutorial. 
But, the good news is, it's done. Now we just need to paint it. More to come on that later. 

Hope you had a great weekend and if you're Spring breaking it - you are enjoying!

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until next time, 

Fireplace Inspiration

Another cold, wet, and grey weekend here coupled with two extra sets of hands led to a lot of progress on our unfinished lower-level fireplace surround. But, before I get ahead of myself, I thought I'd share some of the inspirational images I've come across lately.

This fireplace update from The Lettered Cottage is definitely the biggest inspiration for the project as a whole. Simply stunning. Although they started with a much more "finished" look than we will, it still includes the same type of brick foundation. Both in need of some seriously updated covering up! 
In this case they covered all of the brick other than the immediate surround, which has given it a really fresh and light look. 

This fireplace offers a different direction entirely. The white mantel atop the red brick hearth makes for a really cozy feel. Unfortunately, for us, this would require stripping the already painted brick and we would still have to deal with the scraggly edges of our hearth. Love the stacked wood in the firebox.

This is also a contender. I love the rustic quality. Brick surround, natural wood mantel, planked hearth - What more could you ask for?

More updates coming up. Hope you had a great weekend!

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until next time,

Fireplace Project

Feels like forever since I've posted a house-related DIY project, so it's about time we get something started around here, wouldn't you say? Yes, I think so. 

So, what's it going to be? 
Our lower level fireplace surround. Finally. This is one of those projects that I've had on my list since the beginning of time. But, there's always been something more pressing to be done. Well, the wait is finally over. After a whole winter spent in the lower level, staring at the unfinished fireplace surround, we've decided the time is right! Finally. Did I mention I've wanted to do this for awhile?

Here she is in all her unfinished glory. Don't worry, you can think it - yikes, that is NOT attractive. I took the words right out of your head, didn't I?
Yup, work has been really slow down here. Sprucing up the family room was a goal this year, but so far, I've only managed to DIY a media center and spray paint a rocking chair. Not exactly knock-your-socks off progress, now is it?

You might remember this little photo of our construction paper brainstorming session....yup, it was a start.
Fortunately, Mr. DD's extremely capable, wood-working father is coming in town this weekend to hopefully jump start this project. 
I'm off to find some much needed inspiration pictures. Have a great weekend.

until next time,