There is something very satisfying about finishing a home improvement project, and I am super happy that my fireplace is done!
The Fireplace is done!
Or, at least, mostly. Like, 99% done.
And I am so over-the-moon about it!
This project has been a long time a’comin.
When we first looked at the house, over five years ago, it was one of the things that I actually mentioned it could use.
Down the road of course.
And each year we put it off because of other commitments and projects and finances.
And finally, this year… it happened!
With some debate. About the TV.
TV. TV. TV. Apparently we have some TV fans in our house.
Once again, it seemed I was outvoted about getting rid of it. Apparently the three other members of this family felt it was important to keep a TV in this space.
So; I went to work figuring out the best way to include a TV above a fireplace and found some lovely inspiration. In fact, I have a whole Pinterest Board dedicated to Fireplaces & Mantels that I’ve been gradually adding to over the years.
It seems that recessing it in an alcove with all kinds of paneling around it was what appealed to me most.
And this is the one I printed out to keep close at hand for inspiration…
Do you remember how our living room looked before? We have a vintage white chalk-painted hutch as our TV cabinet:
It was a good solution, I think… and still created a nice focal point in our room.
But… it wasn’t a fireplace!
So… we hired a carpenter for this renovation project. We are super lucky to know a really talented carpenter who works on projects outside of his regular job.
He came in a framed in the fireplace for us, in half a day; according to the specifications for the unit that we had ordered through our local gas-fitter.
And, once framed, our gas fitter came in and installed the unit (it’s a direct vent propane unit and we already had a propane tank just outside that wall that was installed when we put in our gas stove in the kitchen).
At first, it was framed in perfectly square, and then once we saw the way that the unit looked and the venting out, our carpenter was able to recess the upper wall and he changed the framing to account for an alcove above the mantel.
We worked together a lot on the design of the fireplace as the project went, and referred back to the inspiration pictures to guide the design.
He covered it all with primed MDF and then concrete board in the areas that were going to be tiled.
Here is a mid-way shot…
Then it was all about moulding. And layering it on. He did such great work and worked about a thousand times faster then if we had DIYed it ourselves.
Once he was done, we went to town with the DAP (best product EVER for paneling and finished projects) as well as the Simply White paint (I painted it the same colour as our walls).
What do you think?!
Our carpenter added a pipe inside the framed box for the cords to go up to the TV, as we didn’t have an electrician come in and wire it into the wall. Genius, right?!
Now our cable box sits just under our bookcase and will be hidden, as the cords go up through the fireplace frame to the alcove where the TV sits.
Last job?!? Why it’s only 99% finished… our gas fitter needs to come back and hook up the fan; and we need to pick up a face plate for the switch and fan…
For all intents and purposes, it is done.
Now I can hang some stockings!
Oh, and maybe a giant driftwood star??