Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Faux Fireplace Tutorial

As Summer says goodbye and Autumn makes its appearance, my thoughts turn away from warm beach days to all things home. The weather has been instrumental in helping me with the hard-for-me transition. Summers are so very short in New England.

This year I have an added incentive to get ready for the fall... I have a fireplace! Well, sort of. Originally, when the house was built it had a fireplace in the middle of what is now our living room.

By the time we became owners of the 200-ish year old home the fireplace was gone and a chimney was built on the outside wall, to service the oil furnace. Old houses have smaller rooms so finding a place for a real fireplace without major reconstruction is near impossible and definitely out of the budget.

Meanwhile, my inbox seemingly was being inudated with posts from bloggers I follow showing off their mantels for each season; tutorials on how to style them, ways to change them up and add to them... on and on and on. Delete, delete, delete... it was very sad. Doesn't it always seem like the thing that you can't have is the very thing EVERYONE else has?  I know, I was coveting my neighbor's fireplace... I know! But the struggle was still real, after all where do I hang my Christmas stockings each year?  I always dread that dilemma. I know, first world problem, But I had a remedy.

So, I decided this summer that I was gonna get me a fireplace. I started squirreling aways ideas. Remember this from the Pro.found Vintage Market post?

I scoured the internet, pinned all the faux fireplaces and mantels I liked. With a yardstick and a piece of chalk in hand I drew on the wall a rudimentary version of my fireplace. Mister is a visual guy so he needs to really see it; he needs something tangible in order to get on board. That's just the way we work. Once I had him committed to the idea I grabbed my graphing paper and drew it up. I want to make as little cuts as possible so we are going to work with standard widths to minimize the work.

                                       (My preliminary supply list was tweaked a bit)

We found a set of corbels at a local antique store and I thought we would use them to support the mantel. When we tested it on the wall we realized that the whole thing would stick out too far on the wall, using up valuable space in our 10x11 foot dining room. The whole thing needs to be low profile. The corbels would have stuck out 8 into the room and then a mantel on top of that... too much.

So, a trip to our local home improvement store and the purchase of some lumber was the next step. I thought I was going to build this myself but Mister gets nervous when I try to use power tools. (He also has a hard time not being the one to use tools. Lucky me!) I want all the screws hidden. Even though everything was going to be painted white I still don't want to see or have to try to fill, sand and hide screws and nail heads. That meant we had to buy a Kreg pocket hole jig. We will use it for other projects but it did bump up the price of my project.


2 6ft-1x8
1 4ft-1x10
2 6ft-1x6 (nicer, select wood-no knots)
2 6ft-1x3
7 6ft-1x2
1 6ft-1x6
Pocket screws
1 1/4" screws

pocket hole jig
fresh saw blade - these I did not include in the price of my project because they will be used elsewhere and you may already have them.

Step 1:
Fireplace surround base. Working from the backside of wood (that will sit against the wall-watch knots and imperfections on the face) we pocket screwed and glued the two 1x8x6 (cut to 52" in length) to either end of the 1x10x4 (cut down to 33" in length) forming a "U" shape. This will give our finished product a width of 48" on the wall. Remember wood widths are not true; 8" is really 7 1/2", 6" is really 5 1/2", etc.

Step 2:
Lay the 1x6x6 on top of the face of the 1x8s, down either side of the surround. Mark your length to exact of the 1x8's and cut, (approximately 52") We spaced these right in the middle, with even spacing on each edge.  Glue in place, screw to secure from the backside. **Make sure your screws are only long enough to grab both layers of wood but not pierce through the top layer. We pre-drilled and countersunk 1 1/2" screws.

Step 3:
Build out the profile. We want this to stand out a bit from the wall but not too much. We used 1x2s for this set on edge. We cut each one to length; the outside and inside and top and bottom of the top plate. Pre-drill your holes to prevent splintering or cracking these small pieces. Glue edges and screw into place.

Step 4:
The middle top plate will have a small inset so we framed that portion out using the 1x3. These had to be cut to fit perfectly between the 1x6's. And that is it to the "surround" portion of the fireplace.

Step 5:
The mantel. We went back and forth on this as we don't want it to stick out too much. We went with a 6" depth (smaller than the corbels we purchased). We cut it to overhang the base by about 3 inches on either side. We finished the edge with 1x2s, mitering the corners and securing with wood glue and pocket screws. This gives the mantle a thicker look. We attached it to the base with more pocket screws so no evidence from the top!

Step 6:
Corbels. I still want to use these but how? They are about 3 inches thick!  I wanted a curve-y something happening in the center to soften the very masculine table we purchased this year. Mister came up with the idea to use the corbels in the inset part. Perfect! He cut away some of the material so that the would set snuggly around the stepped in opening. They were glued and screwed in from the back side.

Step 7:
Sand, paint and install. There are a few ways you can install. We opted for a wall cleat.

My fireplace will "hang" on the wall with the aid of a wall cleat. For this we used a spare piece of 2x4 cut in 1/2 on the diagonal. One part was secured to the back of the fireplace surround and the other piece to the wall. We were able to determine where that should be when we dry-fitted the surround on the wall. We removed the baseboard for this. We will replace it on either side when installed.

Sorry in advance for this next picture. I painted the wall with chalkboard paint where the "fire box" will be. My fireplace will not have a back on it because I don't want to spend money on plywood. I always have chalkboard paint on hand! I saw this idea on a blog called Sophia's Decor.

While the chalkboard paint was drying the fireplace surround got a good sanding and 2 coats of paint to match the trim in my dining room. 

When everything was dry we hung it on the wall and Mister replaced the baseboard. 

Now it is ready for me to decorate for the Autumn season! I'm so excited and it is helping me to ease into the idea that Summer 2019 has come to a close. 

So, what do you think? This project took an afternoon to build, another day to sand and paint the piece, the wall and fix the baseboard. (I could have been done in one day but we quit when we got the construction part done.) 

                                                  The price for my new fireplace:$120

                                      Somewhere to hang Christmas stockings: Priceless
Time to decorate! 

Linking up to these parties!

Monday, September 16, 2019

Using My Noodle

A couple years ago when we replaced the horsehair plaster in the living room part of the fun (and incentive to live through the mess) was that I got to pick new curtains. It was a struggle because I am not a grommet girl but I wasn't finding anything I liked or could afford that wasn't grommet top. I also have an issue with tap tops. I don't like it when the spacing is uneven! I drives me a little bonkers. The curtains in my living room are there only as decoration. We do not close them. So....how do they become uneven?

Nobody seems to know. It is one of the great mysteries of life. I am convinced that it is the same person who empties the last roll of toilet paper in the bathroom, though. For years I lived with two other children I still have yet to meet- Not Me and I Don't Know. They would eat all the cookies, drink the last soda, spill and forget to clean up... I have had conversation with other moms and they have similar children living in their homes that they have never seen.

Anyway. I lived with these curtains constantly being messed up long enough. What can a girl do to keep from going bonkers? .... And that's when I decided to use my noodle!

Yup, I purchased noodles from the dollar store.

I removed the stickers and cut the noodle lengthwise.

Next I cut each noodle into 2 inch sections making cuffs that will slip onto the curtain rod.

Armed with my noodle cuffs I slipped one behind each fold on the rod.

And, ta-da! Evenly spaced, non-squished, flat-free folds on the rods. I have not had to readjust them since I installed the noodle cuffs so apparently they are doing double duty as a repellent to the mischievous Not Me and I Don't Know. Sometimes the littlest things can make me so happy!

Two things I realized after I was finished with my little project:

1) pick noodles the color of your curtains or be prepared to paint the sides of the ones that will show a bit from the side.

2) You could probably do the same thing for free using empty paper towel rolls.

Party On At These Blogs:
Ducks N A Row, Our Home Away From Home, Life With Lorelai, The Pin Junkie, Katherine's Corner

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Pro.found Fall Home Decor

I love Summer.

I grumble as the calendar turns to September and I go kicking and screaming like a two year old being dragged away from the beach.  But... this year is a little different. I cannot say why for certain. I did get more than my fair share of days at the beach this year so maybe that makes it a bit easier. It does seem that Labor Day weekend brought about the end or summer as the temperatures turned immediately cooler here in New England- like 20 degrees cooler during the day. Was there a switch that was flipped? The nights turned instantly cooler and lend to open windows and a covering of sheets and a blanket. Can I smell pumpkin spice in the air?

As summer comes to a close the thoughts turn to all things home. And, surprising to me, I'm ready to decorate for Autumn! I'm trying not to go crazy. Mister took me the Brimfield Antique Show last weekend but I left empty-handed! Mister picked out some things but not me.  I was looking for a couple items in particular but didn't find exactly what I was looking for. In the back of my overwhelmed brain (if you've ever been to Brimfield you can't help but be overwhelmed) I knew my heart was waiting for something better.

The weekend of September 21-22 some of the sweetest ladies will be putting on the next Pro.found Vintage Market. I've shared our trips to this market before here and here. I went to the market in late Spring this year and brought home some treasures for our yard. Here are some of things that caught my eye while shopping.

Mister brought home these two pieces for the yard.

                                                                       The compass rose.

                                                                  The Eat Here sign.

But it is Fall (even though the calendar doesn't yet agree) and I am ready to embrace it as I prepare to shop for some fall decor. If you're local come out to the Pro.found Vintage Market in Central Massachusetts! Put on your sweater and boots, grab a spiced cider donut and a cup of apple cider and enjoy the vibe these creative women have put together. I know I'll be there...

If you can't make it out many of the vendors have online shops! You can find links to them on Pro.found's vendor pages or check out their facebook pages.

**This is not a compensated/sponsored post. Opinions are my own. Photos are my own. I just love going there and supporting the talented people in my corner of the world.

Linking up to these parties:
Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop, Ducks N' A Row, Katherine's  Corner, Imparting Grace , Our Hopeful Home, Knick of Time, Life With Lorelai, Shabby Art Boutique, Our Home Away From Home

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Traditional Home Makeover-Family Room (Part 8)

We have finally reached the end of this makeover! Yes, it has been a month since I showed the items that I was going to put into the family room (the final room) in this makeover. I have no excuse for the delay other than Summer happened and that means I was at the beach. You've been so patient with me... thanks for waiting.

 Our goal was to incorporate much of the old furniture into a new, fresher color scheme. Lighten and brighten and keep it liveable-that was the desire when we started. Starting at the entryway and taking you through the entire first floor space in previous posts has left us with the family room. In the last post I showed the products we used in this space and provided links to find the items we used. So, without further adieu, here is the finished product.

A reminder of what the room looked like when we began:

And without further ado, the finished product:

So, there it is-all done. The family has been enjoying this space all summer while I ran off to the beach.

If you've been following along during this whole process-bless your heart! You are a patient person and I am glad you hung in there with me. If you're new here I am so glad you stopped by and spent some time with me today. Please consider following along on Facebook or Instagram or by signing up for notifications of new posts in the column to the right.

Just because I have been slow in posting doesn't mean I've not been busy around the house so come back soon to see what I've been up to.

Joining these parties:
Katherine's Corner. Life With Lorelai, The Pin Junkie