Friday, November 23, 2012

This Old House: Fireplace

About three years ago I wrote a post about our living room. In the picture below, just a peak of the left hand side of the original fireplace is visible:

The original fireplace was kind of art deco style with rounded column structures on each end and black marble tiles around the opening and on the hearth.

I could not stand the look of that fireplace, but did not have the money to re-do it, so I had Danny remove the white columns and the black tile. He built an inexpensive mantel and mounted it and we left the brick exposed. We used leftover corbels from the kitchen remodel and in the picture below, you can see about half of the fireplace.

For years I have been looking for a man-made stone composite (or something like it) for the fireplace surround. I never could find exactly what I wanted and anything close to what I thought I wanted was really expensive. I decided I had had enough of the exposed brick.

Last winter, as I was perusing the internet, or Pinterest, or whatever, I came upon a tile manufacturer in San Diego (Tierra Y Fuego: Artistic Handcrafted Tile). I immediately fell in love with their ceramic tiles. Specifically, their Santa Barbara Tiles. Of course we do not live in California, or even in a Craftsman Style home, but a girl can dream... and maybe even make a few of her dreams into a reality.

For the living room fireplace, I decided I would go with a decorative painted wood surround with San Carlos Santa Barbara tile around the box and on the hearth. These tiles appealed to me because I think they look beautiful, I love the blue/green, red & yellow color combination, and also because they remind me a little of Sweden for some reason (ironically, not Santa Barbara or San Carlos).

The nice clean living room represented in the picture above was long gone. Joey had used the living room as an art studio and I had used it as a catch-all for lots of things that did not have a home. Before the fireplace remodel, this is what the living room looked like:


Danny got to work removing the old mantel, leveling out the bricks and cleaning the box:

Danny finished the fireplace a few months back, however, Michael and I did not get to cleaning up the living room until the day before Thanksgiving. I am thrilled to report, we love our new fireplace:

and we love our newly clean living room:

Once we get those hardwood floors re-done, and the hard cider in the corner finds a new home, the living room will be "done". It only took 16 years to get to this point, ha!

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