Fireplace: Part One

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Last year we got an estimate from someone to make us a fireplace mantel- $2000-4000!!!! Are you kidding? My need for a pretty fireplace was crushed, we would NEVER be able to afford that.
Then I stumbled across Karla's fireplace on It's the little things that make a house a home. I showed the picture to my husband and he said "ya, we can do that." Sigh. I was going to have my pretty fireplace just in time for Christmas for a fraction of fraction of the cost :) YIPEE!!!

I get inspiration and ideas by looking at as many pictures as I can and gather little pieces from this and that and make my own creation. I call it my design recipe. I don't copy anything exactly. I take an ingredient from here, one from there, throw it in my design pot and it comes out more personable and, well, more ME! (but if you wanna copy my designs exactly, of course you can, that is why I am doing this blog. Just give me some credit.. hehe).

This is the corner fireplace before we moved in. Boring, bla, small and so NOT attractive. Hundreds of starter homes and apartments have this same fireplace. I am pretty sure half of you do.

I had to paint it while I was waiting for my Mantel. I chose chocolate brown... don't ask me why. I have started to hate it towards the end.... and I hate those nasty tiles.

SLATE $100 (including grout and all materials)

I decided on slate. It could go with any paint color (because I change them often), it is a natural stone, and it is a pretty "loved by all" tile for when we want to sell our house.

TIP: When you are doing major renovations, like tile, think about resell. If you are wanting to raise your home value stay neutral, don't get too crazy. If you are planning on staying in your home forever, get what your heart desires (I woulda gone with glass tiles if we were staying here forever, but I still love the slate).

For a step by step guide on how to Tile click HERE

  • We used pennies as spacers (hey, we didn't want to spend an extra $5 on spacers)
  • We also didn't have to make any cuts. The bottom slate fit right where the other previous tile was laid and the little tiles came in sheets so we cut them with a razor blade.
  • This was the FIRST time my husband had ever done tile (he has seen it laid a million times on his construction sites). He did an AMAZING job so don't be intimidated
  • I chose Gray for the grout color.
TIP: The Lowe's guy told me to seal our tile before and after we grouted. You especially want to seal natural stone so the grout doesn't get caught in all the grooves. Plus, it makes it a nice deep color, and if something makes it prettier, I'll take it!
Didn't it turn out pretty?

Now for the fun part.

MDF $55
  • My husband cut 4 pieces to cover the front and top.
  • One for the top (this was a triangle piece to fit in the corner)
  • 3 for the front (rectangles)
Well, ok, I lied. The fun part is all the details (molding & accent pieces)... those are for Part Two . Guess your just gonna have to stick around for a couple more days :)

Leave a Comment

  1. I can't wait to see this finished. My hubs and I keep threatening to do our fire place. Maybe this will give him some get up and go in that area. Can't believe that you are doing this before Christmas. So brave!

  2. I am so excited about your project!! Our fireplace has hunter green tile around it that I have wanted to replace/cover/sledgehammer ever since we moved it. I want something more nuetral because I like to change things up as well. Your project has given me hope that it can be done. Looking forward to Part 2!

  3. Love the slate and the suspense is killing me. I can't wait to see it all done! :) It's looking gorgeous (of course!).

    I wanted to tell you thanks for voting too. Means the world to me! ;)

    Have a great rest of the week!


  4. Hey girl! I can't wait to see the follow up! It looks wonderful so far. You're so lucky to have a fireplace, I don't have any!

  5. how I'm loving this bloggie:) what a good job you're doing. so creative!!


  6. Great ideas! My sister has a crummy fireplace she wants to redo. I'm going to pass this along. Good job!

  7. You should post this to my Its So Very creative party next Sunday night.


  8. oops-forgot--to thanks you for coming by.


  9. Wow! Beautiful tile work. Great transformation. A beautiful fireplace is such a warm and wonderful focal point in a room.

  10. Did you buy the slate tile at Lowe's? We're remodeling our fireplace too and I love this tile!

  11. Very Well Done! You have done very great work! I'll renovate my Fireplace and I've got idea from this. Please share more like this.

  12. HELP!! I went into Loews & asked for MDF & they had do idea what i was talking about. They showed me a sheet of paneling & said it contained some mdf. Can you tell me what department I should be looking in, or is there another name??

  13. thats supposed to be LOWES...

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