Making My Ugly Fireplace Pretty….

This morning, before I left for my studio, the sun was shining on my newly renovated fireplace and I took a few quick pics and thought I would update y’all on my latest home improvement DIY.

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When we moved into the house almost five years ago now, the kitchen and the fireplace were the two things I hated the most. The kitchen was torn out in the first 4 months but the fireplace was kind of put on the back burner…yes, it was ugly but we had to remodel the kitchen and master bath and paint and the list went on and on…..I mean there was a whole lotta Hunter Green tile…Ick!!!

So, I worked around it and lived with it (and its green tile)….then this summer we had a stone mason at our house for the exterior job. He inspected this fireplace and really recommended we tear it down. Yikes!!!! We are land locked on that side of the house with our neighbor plus the roof was built around the chimney. HUGE undertaking!!! So we went around and around in our discussion….and finally we were all in agreement we could repair this old guy. I mean it is pretty cool….this old field-stone fireplace does add to the cottage look….so instead of getting a new one and throwing tens of thousands more into this house, we will repair and rework it.

Demmo time!!!!

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Can you imagine how happy I was when we tore off that old oak mantle? I was literally jumping for joy and…..surprise! We found photos of the old homeowners from the ’90’s who put it in! How fun is that? I always wanted to find keys to the past in our house….but I was just not thinking it would be in such the recent past. Either way, it was fun! And one of the pics had the father and daughter standing in our great room with all of the walls torn down to the studs….so that’s when the drywall was replaced?!?!?

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Demmo was complete and my stone masons got to work to raise the hearth for me with a bit of limestone. They took off the doors and raised those too so it made a bit more sense. Yes, we lost a few stones and we broke a few in the process, which was sad but luckily, my yard was full of field-stone when we moved in and we still have some left even after the landscapers built retaining walls with most of it. They took a couple from the yard and worked them back into the face of the fireplace.

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After a week, the dust settled and they guys left us with this. The mortar is still wet in this photo and the doors were still off, but it was still an improvement!

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Now, it was our turn to build the mantle. I, of course, came up with the design and my talented husband built me what I wanted. He has become such an amazing carpenter….and I think he loves it as a hobby! I hit the jackpot ladies!!!

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We added Car Siding to a focal wall in our family room and we thought we would repeat it over the fireplace. When my new sectional, chairs and entertainment cabinet get here I will post about that project we completed over Christmas….stay tuned.

I really just wanted to keep the mantle simple. Our dining table sits in front of the fireplace so I wanted the mantle to draw your eye up the wall above the table and also break up the long expanse of wall on that side of the room.

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Here is the finished product as the sun came up over the lake this morning and streamed in the windows. Once my new table arrives you will get the full view. I think we did the right thing by keeping the old stone and altering/repairing the old girl. This fireplace was part of the original structure and hopefully she will be sound enough to last for may years to come.

 

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Texas Township Client Update

As I am going through my files, I realized I haven’t posted an update about my clients in Texas Township. This couple, like so many I meet with, moved to the Kalamazoo area from a much more urban area where they had less square footage in their last home. They arrived in the new home and were over whelmed with how to fill the space and make it feel like home. Here are some pictures from last spring when they had just moved in.

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The entire home was painted in very dark chocolate tones, so our first task was to get some painters in there to lighten it up!

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We chose Benjamin Moore 991 Grege Avenue for the Kitchen, Family Room, Foyer and Living room.

Next on to the fun part…furniture!!! We shopped at some local stores and came up with a color scheme for each space.

The Living Room was the first room we purchased furniture for. We used the stone from the fireplace to dictate the jewel tones we would pull as accents into the room.

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We went with a simple gray sofa and fell in love with these chairs!!

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One of the rugs I carry in my exclusive line, tables, lamps and hand picked accessories to bring those built-ins to life! We added pops of navy to coordinate with the eggplant. My client loves jewel tones and I think this was the best way to give her that while keeping it light and casual for this growing family.

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This was the final look this fall….we still have a few outstanding issues like the artwork over the fireplace. My client loves this photographer from New York, so we need to have this specific photo re-framed with a larger frame and mat or enlarged. She hasn’t decided yet.

So next up was the nook table. The light above the table was very small, they needed a new table and a rug to add a pop of color.

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We chose the light fixture no problem but they really went out of their comfort zone on the rug.

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I suggested this rug because it ties the living room and the family colors together….not to mention it hides a multitude of sins in a home with two small kiddos.

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This is what we ended up with and I think it is a huge improvement over what was there initially. I wish I had a photo of the old country oak table and indoor/outdoor rug that was here!

The next space we moved to is the family room. This space needed new furniture as well so we ordered brown leather sectional from my favorite local furniture store, Talsma and some side tables.

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We decided on a Navy and Orange color scheme to bring the navy from the living room.

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When I took these pictures we still had furniture on order. These two light linen chairs will flank the window opposite the sectional and this hammered copper top end table will divide them.

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I also ordered this end table for the end of the sectional, to bring in that rustic wood element that is also in the large round tray on the ottoman.

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I accessorized the book shelves in here too and because this room is more casual, we went with a large round ottomon in a linen to break up the leather.

So what is next? Well, we painted the study, master bedroom and all of the kids rooms but they are all still a work in progress.

The Master is the next main focus. Here is the before….

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We are keeping all of the furniture but have ordered new bedding from Pottery Barn.

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I chose Benjamin Moore Wythe Blue HC-143 and it has hit the walls but I have yet to see the bedding with it.

I cant wait to get some pattern in there!!

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We still need lamps, which I have selected from one of my lines….I am just waiting for the client to tell me her fav.

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 Which is yours??

So, hopefully in a few weeks we will have some more progress on this projects and I can get more pictures on here! Stay tuned……