I think it’s safe to say that many of you know we are always getting into some sort of renovation project around here. For the past six years it seems like we have always had one going on, one on the list, or one that we’re preparing for. Aside from taking on our own full home renovation we’re also flipping and renting houses on the side.
After sharing more about my thoughts on our summer and how I really enjoyed having more time with my boys, I’ve been thinking a lot more about wanting to possibly do this more (maybe even a full time thing) if the right opportunities come about. I know a lot has to do with the market and things can be so up and down, so we will see where this journey takes us. For now, I’m enjoying the projects we are working on and thankful for the ones we’ve done.
Let’s get back to the fireplace makeover for now. The one I’m sharing here is our back fireplace that’s in a room that we have now designated as our office/study area. We loved that this room had a fireplace but I knew even when we came to see the house that the fireplace was going to need some updating. I know that everyone has different styles, budgets, and tastes, and I encourage that, but the green marble just wasn’t doing it for me. In fact, getting rid of the marble was probably the hardest part of this fireplace renovation.
I took a sledgehammer to that bad boy and banged, and banged, away at it. Once A few areas started to chip, some of them came off in larger pieces, and I continued to bang away. There were some stubborn pieces that I had to chip away at until I was able to eventually get them all off. Let’s just say I certainly used muscles that I don’t always use. I was able to get Eric to give me a back rub and a foot rub out of it which is always a win in my book. Ahhh I could get a massage everyday if I could. Anyway, he offered to help me, and he did coach me along the way, but I told him I wanted to tackle this one. I also kind of felt like a powerhouse pounding away at the marble with a sledgehammer in tow. Even if I did pay for it the next day.
We had some leftover paint from an accent wall that we used in one of the bedrooms and decided that the mantel would look good with a pop of color instead of the wood stain that was on there. We could have completely redone the mantel, and if this was our main fireplace I probably would have, but since this isn’t, we wanted to keep this project on a budget and use some of the resources we already had. After seeing the mantel painted that blue color, I was not in love with it. I felt bad since it was already painted, and I contemplated just keeping it that way and hoping that it would grow on me. I tried really hard to like it, and it seemed like a good idea at first, but something wasn’t doing it for me.
The more I thought about it, I realize that it’s ok to change your mind. If you’re working on a project, I don’t think you have to settle if it’s a reasonable change and you don’t mind putting in the work. Remember when California Closets did our master closet and our laundry room? Well, they also did our custom desk area. Once that was installed I knew for sure the blue should go. Painting the mantel black felt like the right choice and I am really happy with how it came out. It compliments the desk area so well and really sets the tone for this room.
We used a white ceramic tile for the surround that has a subtle design to it. I really liked the longer rectangular shape of them and the contrast between the black mantel and the white tile. We installed it like you would with any other tile using thinset mortar, a wet saw to cut them, and then grout to finish it off. Since the area we were working with around the fireplace was pretty straight forward, we didn’t have to make any odd cuts. We did caulk around the tile and fireplace insert to give it a clean edge look.
I knew I wanted the hearth to lay flush with the floor instead of it being raised up. I went to a local stone yard and explored my options. I needed something with certain measurements that would be able to be cut to the size we needed. The width wasn’t an issue with cutting it, it was the depth. They cannot cut the depth down on a stone like that. Just an fyi, if you decide on wanting the hearth to have an inset look. You might have to work with the stone options they have or choice a different option. At first we thought about doing a herringbone tile hearth, but with the pattern on our area rug, it felt like things would be too busy and it didn’t draw your eye the way I was hoping it would to the fireplace. After seeing the darker mantel, I knew I wanted to go darker on the floor as well.