When we bought our house 2 years ago one of my key items on our “Must Have” list was a fireplace. Its kind of crazy thing to want, in Southern, Humid, Alabama of all places, but I just love the look of a good fireplace and I feel like they totally transform a space. And it does get hot here, eventually, for a few weeks, and then I can light a fire instead of use our heat, so yeah it’s totally necessary, in my logical mind. Y’all see where I’m coming from right?
Thankfully most of the houses we looked at had Fireplaces, see why I love the South so much? It gets me on a spiritual level. But most of them didn’t have all of our wants. When I saw our house first, on a computer from thousands of miles away, I totally clicked through the pictures checking off items but not really getting excited about anything, that was until I saw the kitchen space, with the double fireplace and the keeping room. And then I perked up. I clicked back through the pictures, got out a notebook and started trying to piece through the layout of the house… it’s the kind of thing you do when you are 2,000 miles away. PS Why doesn’t every single listing on a house have pictures of the floor plan and layout? I mean that would be a dream!
Anyway I drew up what I thought the floor plan must be (and I was mostly right) and then I showed it to my husband and told him I thought this was our house. I had a plane ticket to leave the very next day to go out and look at houses over the weekend and I was so nervous that our house wouldn’t still be on the market. I checked the purchase history and realized that this house was listed yearly and then taken off the market and rented out within a month. The asking price dropped every single time and now it was on the market IN OUR BUDGET (it definitely was way over budget every time before). It felt like fate and even though I walked through a bunch of other houses this one just kept speaking to me. It knew that I saw its updated potential and that I would give it the much-needed love it deserved. You can see the full home tour and our plans for the house HERE.
But I totally digress, I was talking about our Fireplace makeover.
It was a totally ugly 90’s green tile and not at all the prettiest fireplace we had seen but it was a fireplace and it was double-sided, one side in the living room, one side in the dining room, so basically it was heaven for me. (by the way, those greek pillars back there were the first thing to get ripped out. Blah! Not my taste at all.)
The first thing I did for our Fireplace Makeover was paint the tile white with my trusty BB Frosch Chalk Paint because I was pregnant and we couldn’t afford to retile it just yet. The white gave it the perfect look I was going for and definitely made the space feel more cozy to me. Of course that wasn’t my last step, I had big dreams for this fireplace. Join me on a journey through the holidays with the Fireplace, which seems to be when I really push to get stuff done.
By the next Halloween I had retiled the Fireplace using sheets of Tile from Home Depot. This was the first time I had ever tiled in my life. My Dad bought me a tile cutter for my birthday and I made good use of it its first time around tiling this space. I found some amazing sticky sheets to use on the old tile behind the new tile to hold it in place instead of having to use grout first. And then I spread the grout on when everything was pieced together and hung. I was super nervous with this being my first time but it all worked out amazingly and I love it. Small imperfections and all.
I also painted the gold part of the fireplace black using my trusty BB Frosch again. I also painted the rest of the fireplace insert black because it was looking dull and I wanted to brighten it back up.
You can see the tile a bit closer up in this picture.
At Christmas time I was loving it. Lighting a fire and sitting by the fireplace made me feel all cozy and incredibly grateful that I insisted we have a fireplace.
But of course I wasn’t done there. I needed some shiplap in my life and I knew I wanted to do that up the top of the fireplace. I bought a big sheet of Luan Underlayment from Home Depot and had them cut it into strips to fit my space. I measured the space and decided how many pieces I wanted to fill the space and divided the space by the Number. Example: The space is 85 inches and I wanted 7 pieces so I would take 85/7= 12.14. I had them cut the sheets into strips at Home Depot using my 12.14 wide measurement. This was a bit less than the actual number which left me a tiny bit of space between each piece. I nailed it in place with my nail gun and then added 1×6 Pine Boards on the top and sides to build the frame. I put those right on top of the Underlayment because I was going to put pieces of quarter round trim on the sides to finish it off.
Then I filled in all the whole with wood filler and painted the shiplap AND the whole white area on the fireplace using Valspar Bistro because I wanted them to match in color and the original white wasn’t quite as crisp and clean as I wanted it. I also painted the walls in this space Sherwin Williams Light French Gray.
It looked wonderful when the paint was all done and you can see the trim added to the sides of the top and staged.
Seriously, the tile is making my heart skip a beat. It literally took me almost a year to decide on tile and I wanted something smaller but I was nervous about piecing together small pieces but since this came in an attached sheet and I just had to cut off the extra it worked out perfect, especially for a tiling virgin.
This Halloween will be the first Holiday where it’s fully done and ready to stage and I couldn’t be more excited. I still need to build up a small raised base around the bottom of the fireplace to cover the tile on the floor and I hope to get that done before this Christmas…. like I said, for some reason the holidays put me in the DIY mode.
One last picture where you can really see the Quarter round trim pieces. I still need to caulk around those, but I hate caulk, so I haven’t. That’s how I roll. When I finish the walls in this room then I’ll just caulk it all at the same time…. yah that sounds good.