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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!! 🙈