Home Improvement

The prettiest fireplace ever

It would be an understatement to say that I love my fireplace. It has quickly become one of my favorite things about our house — I cannot believe how well it turned out! Glen did a marvelous job of creating a simple mantel for our brick fireplace, and it is truly perfect!

I still have to paint it, which I plan on doing this weekend, but isn’t it just awesome?!?

The fireplace has come so far, and I have to say that I’m rather proud of our design choices. Remember what it looked like before? It used to be smooshed against the wall of our fourth bedroom, suffocated by paneling and surrounded by a massively round hearth . Really, it was just altogether unsightly.

Now it’s the centerpiece of the room again, as it should have been. I’d say we’ve made quite an improvement. The trim at the top looks splendid and the mantel is going to match nicely once it’s white. It’s also placed at a normal height (the old mantel was about a foot higher… weird) and extends to the edge of the brick.

It looks so charming with our wedding photos on it, too! ❤

Instead of buying a pre-fab mantel at Home Depot or Lowe’s that would have been a lot fancier, I had Glen make the mantel out of two simple wooden supports, two pieces of wood (he glued them together to form the thicker shelf), and a piece of trim. It saved me about $200, and it really does compliment the simplicity of the fireplace and the simplicity of the room.

Once I paint the mantel, the only thing left to do will be to eventually replace the doors with something more modern. The brass is rather dated, but it works for now!

We get our couch this afternoon, so check back for pictures of the room with furniture in it!

Home Improvement

Accidental demolition

Day two of home ownership was fantastic. My mom, step dad, mother-in-law, best friend and her boyfriend all came over to see our house for the first time. They all really liked our new digs.

We met our neighbors on both sides of our house. **HUGE sigh of relief** They are so nice! And, one set of neighbors are our age! How cool 🙂

We did a ton of work on the house today. Dad and the hubby cleared out a ton of low branches and brush in the backyard. I installed a handle and dead bolt on the glass doors out to our deck. We hung up a curved shower rod in one of our bathrooms and a toilet paper holder in another. My family friend Glen, who is also an awesome contractor, came over to help us with several projects — he helped us install hardware on all 24 of our kitchen cabinets! They look SO much better. I’ll post pictures tomorrow or Monday, no worries.

We also got a new washing machine… well, sort of. My parents got a new washing machine and we happily took their old one. Free appliances — heck yes!

The best part of day two of home ownership was the accidental demolition that took place. Accidental demolition, you ask? Yes.

You see this wall? And this ugly, weird entry into our fourth bedroom?

And see this nasty paneling running alongside our pretty, brick fireplace?

Well, neither of those things exist anymore!

The hubby and I have been planning from the start to open up our family room and fourth bedroom to make one huge living space. But it never crossed our minds to do it on day two. But, today we were standing in front of the lovely panel doorway explaining to Robin (my mother-in-law) what we envisioned for the room, adding that our design was dependent on whether the two poles at the front of the doorway were supporting posts. I asked Glen if there was a way to tell with, to which he answered that we’d have to remove part of the wall.

“OK, just do it.” “Really?” “Yeah! Let’s find out now!”

And with that, a chain reaction of demolition occurred. First, the posts — they are load bearing (bummer). Then, the paneling. Then the drywall. Then the whole entry into the fourth bedroom was gone. Next came the entire wall next to the fireplace, followed shortly after by the closet in the bedroom.

In 3 hours, Brian, Glen, Robin and I totally demolished our family room/fourth bedroom into one incredible space. Best of all, we did it with one hammer, a jig saw and a pry bar. And, no one got hurt! Amazing!

It looks great (well, minus the pile of debris we left in the wake of our demolition and the whole unfinished room thing…). It is going to be great. And I’m glad we started now because the sooner we begin, the sooner it is finished!

I’ll have to add more photos tomorrow to show you all how different the room looks. By the time we were finished, it was dark out so I couldn’t take any photos. Stay tuned!