Tag Archives: Fireplace Built ins

Redoing our Den…

7 Aug

If you remember back to my first posts of the house one of the worst things about it was the fireplace in the den.  It was so dated and looked very 70s even though the house was built in the 90s.  We really hated that fireplace!  The den, obviously will be one of the most used rooms in the house.  It is open to the kitchen and that’s where we are every day and most times that is where friends gather too when they’re over.  We had to revitalize this room and make it a warm and inviting space.  See the afters now.  We completely demolished the old fireplace and built ins and updated it with dark wood tones and stacked stone.  We decided to take the stone all the way to the ceiling, even though it’s a two-story room.  The room somehow commanded a big fireplace.  The feel now is akin to a mountain lodge room and I absolutely can’t wait until the weather cools off enough for us to build a fire in there and enjoy it.  The fireplace has never ever had a fire burned in it.  The original people who tiled the hearth covered over the gas starter with mortar and it never worked until we rebuilt it.  I guess the other owners didn’t want to just build a fire and light it the old-fashioned way, so we’ll be the first ones to enjoy it!  Here’s the difference.

Den Fireplace and Built In Bookcases Reveal…

10 Apr

Like I said in my last post we’ve been working on the house for months but just now are you able to see the real transformation.  It takes time!  This is the biggest transformation to date – the den fireplace and built ins!  If you’re in my age group you probably remember playing with ‘Dawn’ dolls.  They were the very small dolls, smaller than Barbie, and they had really long straight hair.   My cousin and I would play with Dawn and her friends for hours.  They made a super cool ‘Modern’ apartment for Dawn.  It had contemporary furniture and a round fireplace, that as kids, seemed super cool.  The builder of this house must have been channeling their Dawn doll memories when the put in the fireplace in the den because even though this house was built in 1991 it had a very 70ish style fireplace.  The builder seemed to like round edges a lot because there are tons of them everywhere that we are replacing.  I don’t like round edges – it seems retro and contemporary and my tastes lie in the more traditional styles.  We chose to replace the fireplace with stone, dry stacked and interspersed with field stone.  Note to anyone planning to stone a fireplace.  You must pick out all the material yourself and stay on top of the project the entire time.  Our stone mason did beautiful work, but I had selected the stack and field stone from the stone yard and he was responsible for the flagstone for the hearth.  He chose Crab Orchard flagstone “because that goes with everything and that’s what everyone uses”.  Well I had been out for a good bit of the time they were laying the stone and came back and found this orangey looking flag stone in the drive.  That’s what they were planning to use for the hearth.  We really went round and round on this one because he had paid for the material and brought it here and if we changed it he would have to budget another whole day of labor.  It was the end of the work day and he wanted to wrap up our project that day.   I had to hold firm and even get a little ugly and made him wait and continue the next day with different stone.  I went to the stone yard and selected Hickory stone for the hearth.  That was the right color to go with the stack and field pieces.  Believe me you don’t really want to mix some of these stone colors.  That would have ruined the look of our new fireplace.  We decided to build new book cases and stain them the same Spanish walnut color as the kitchen cabinetry.  This is the style needed to complement our Tuscan theme that we’re creating elsewhere in the house.  Our house was crying for this fireplace and built-in makeover!  Here it is!!

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