Our Fireplace Makeover…6 Years in the Making!

January 20, 2016 12 Comments

First and foremost, we had a home, AND our new home had a fireplace! Our daughter Grace was born a few weeks after we moved into our home, it would be several years until we began to really make our home feel like ours. We tackled a big project this year, we created a cottage style mantel over our fireplace!




We moved into our home in 2009.  I was eight months pregnant, we had just sold our townhouse, it was the hottest summer on record and I was still working as a massage therapist even though I was bursting at the seams! We loved our house immediately after our realtor showed it to us. It was on a dead end street, across from a great grade school, had a cute backyard, had enough room for our growing family, and wasnot a total fixer upper. But, we knew there would be many projects over the years we would need to complete to make it feel like home.

First and foremost through, we HAD a house AND our house had a fireplace!!!

We quickly went to work scrubbing all surfaces, removing the stinky flooring (the previous owners had smoked in the house for 15 years), unpacked our belongings that had been in storage for two months, and hung a few pictures.  Our Grace was born two short weeks later. We seriously did not even have time to put her cradle up into our room when this picture was snapped as she arrived two weeks early!

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Our living room shortly after moving in.

We were very content in our new house, but I had lots of plans and dreams of adding character to our rather blah tract home.  Being blessed with a handy and handsome husband we started making over our home room by room working within a thrifty budget.

Fast forward to this year.  (Let’s just say my style has changed over the years…the purple couch is gone, and Gracie says my favorite color is now white. She may be onto something, as most every room in our house DOES have a fair amount of the hue in it!). Prior to starting this latest project, I had already chalk painted the drab tiles and updated the brass trim by spray painting it with a heat resistant product. But, I still wanted to add even more character to our fireplace, and I envisioned it being a focal point and adding height, to this somewhat narrow room as well.

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After I had chalk painted the previously gray tiles.

My sweet husband asked what I wanted for Christmas this year.  I said I wanted a new fireplace! I had dreamed of ship lap being installed up from the mantel and some sort of simple trim to be installed on the top, making a sort of architectural statement, causing it to look built in. Adam got a week off of work this season, so my wish was to be granted.

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Adam removing my old decor and sizing up the new DIY job.

Off we we went to Home Depot, our two girlies in tow. I struggled to explain my ideas, once we arrived but further articulated my vision with various pictures I had downloaded from Instagram! (Thank you to all you talented friends you!) We brought Rice Krispy treats for the girls, and we had our “design conference” right there in the aisles of Home Depot.

After much conversation, we bought some thin strips of pine wood which were interlocking and easy to cut via a miter box saw, vs some of the heavier wood boards. These strips also were more knotty in texture, but I knew I wanted to paint the whole frame a crisp white, so the specific need of the wood was pretty open…and a heavy sanding could hide most imperfections.

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The new putty worked great, especially having SO many nail holes to fill this project.

Adam cut all the wood and trim, then went to work with a can of wood putty, as there were many nail holes to fill as well as bridging the gap where he had joined two pieces together in a row. There’s a really cool new product to use as wood filler that goes on purple when moist, and dries white when ready to sand. I was the designated sander, painter, and lunch maker. (Gluten free ham sandwiches!)

It took us three days, and two more trips to Home Depot, but we are both pleased with our new fireplace! It only took six years to finish it to completion, but good things come to those who wait!

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It is so much brighter in this room now with the new mantel.

Next post I’m going to share our kitchen redo…if you thought our fireplace was an extreme makeover, wait until you see the befores of our newly remodeled kitchen! GASP!! 🙈

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February 8, 2016

brightyellowdoor@outlook.com

I'm the momma to three sweet peaches, and the blessed wife of one kind husband. My background is in art, and my B.A. Is in fine art. I like to use my house as my canvas, and love DIY projects around the house.

12 Comments

  1. Reply

    Danielle Bitz

    January 15, 2016

    Looks lovely! Always a challenge to see an idea come to fruition…but so rewarding! Beautiful style! Any chance you could come to CA and give some old friends a consult?
    I have just started using chalk paint. Did you use it on the tile floor in front of the fireplace? If so what did you seal it with to prevent scuffing or chipping?
    Cinda and I could Not be happier for you and this beautiful life you have created.

    • Reply

      brightyellowdoor@outlook.com

      January 18, 2016

      Awwwwww I would so hop on down and help you girls!!! Thank you!!!! You are just the sweetest ever.:)
      Actually I just chalk painted it and have yet to seal it, it holds up just fine, but the surface is very porous and catches all dirt. To “seal” it, I would just use a wax product. That is what I used when I chalk painted our bathroom cabinets. Super easy!! I loved the kind sold @Joannfabrics, but it is no longer here at my local, but maybe you can find it? Love to you both!!!

  2. Reply

    Daraka

    January 7, 2016

    Wow! It looks so great! Great post Kirsten!

    • Reply

      brightyellowdoor@outlook.com

      January 7, 2016

      Thank you Daraka for reading my post! And for your sweetness.❤️

  3. Reply

    Kiwanya Tende

    January 3, 2016

    I love your blog and your Instagram page! You are such an inspiration!! Keep up the awesome work

    • Reply

      brightyellowdoor@outlook.com

      January 5, 2016

      Thank you so much Kiwanya! You made my night.:)

  4. Reply

    Brenda

    January 3, 2016

    Bright Yellow door!!! Thank you for sharing!! I love the way you described your journey!!
    You did a great job!!! It’s beautiful!! And you inspire others to make dreams come true!!
    B

    • Reply

      brightyellowdoor@outlook.com

      January 3, 2016

      Well thank you Brenda so much! it HAS indeed been a journey…I suppose that is part of the fun of remodeling! Good luck in your pursuits!!

  5. Reply

    Carolyn Peters

    January 2, 2016

    Looks fantastic! I wish my husband would let me make over brick and oak!! No painting allowed on either! I LOVE the crispness of the look.

    • Reply

      brightyellowdoor@outlook.com

      January 3, 2016

      Carolyn, Thank you so much! My husband has thankfully loosened his ideas about decor and started trusting me more, yahoo! If say keep showing your husband pictures, maybe he’ll come around you.

      • Reply

        Ashley

        January 4, 2016

        I am two months into living together and I’m learning it’s a slow process for both of us. I’m trying not to overwhelm him with all of my things! 🙂

        • Reply

          brightyellowdoor@outlook.com

          January 5, 2016

          I hear you….we’ve been living together for quite a while, and only now to have “pretty much” free reign over ideas. My husband likes everything I do now, so he gives the green light more readily…;)
          Hang in there!

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