"Let's do the fireplace now (we'd been talking about it for years)-- do you think we can get it done by Christmas?", I asked my husband last November, visions of charming Christmas-themed mantel-scapes dancing through my head. "Yeah, I think we could get it done by then" was his answer. Ha! As I write this, we have just finished celebrating Easter.
So, without further ado..... here are the before, during, and after photos.....and the before is pretty ugly. Below is the ho-hum fireplace that came with our house. Pretty unimpressive.
Ripping the fireplace and drywall out. My husband has been longing to do this and I have longed to see him do it. Get rid of that yucky fireplace please!
Something else we underestimated. My husband thought he could get away with just removing the lower drywall surround and mantle and not have to remove the wall above the old mantle and the crown molding (and then go through the frustrating and tedious crown molding-finishing process). It didn't work out that way....we had to rip it all out in order to reconfigure the fireplace box and chimney on top of the new raised hearth.
We tend to tweak and modify our plans as we go along....which caused some problems when the pilasters finally arrived (they were back ordered for several weeks) and we found that they were too short for the final mantle height (see below).
After a few deep breaths, we solved that problem by turning our lovely solid red oak pilasters into chunky, robust corbels by cutting out the center section and gluing/bolting the two remaining pieces back together.
I love the way they turned out..... even unfinished, the corbels and extra thick mantle have a visual presence that the old mantle did not have.....
Finished finally! Just in time for Easter, although there are still a few little details to take care of, such as re-doing the glass fire screens (see the before photo) and then re-attaching them.
I think this one brought my husband's Easter basket full of chocolate goodies....I'm sure he meant for my husband to share with me ;-)
We used one recessed light to provide accent lighting for the niche above the fireplace. Almost endless possibilities for display here...I plan on hanging a picture or some kind of piece of art here, but for right now I'm experimenting with this pretty, empty frame with its decorative flourishes and my white horse picture.
Mr. Piggy has decided to park himself on the newly raised hearth and contemplate these luscious roses. I plan on sitting here on cold winter days, sipping hot chocolate and warming my back in front of the fire.
To recap.... here is what we started with....and what we finished with. For more on fireplace styles that inspired this renovation, please click here.
One more giant step away from cookie-cutter home blandness!
Thanks for visiting!
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