Update a Fireplace

We’ve been in our current home for nearly 10 years now.  It is an early 80′s subdivision builder take on modern – sort of a Brady Bunch house, but not as cool.  The exterior has the modern lines and style of the time, but the interior was finished out just as the more traditional houses surrounding us were.  We loved the street and the floor plan so we overlooked it’s shortcomings with the thought we would eventually remodel.

We quickly made it our own as much as we could with simple things like paint, door hardware and lights, but as is typically the case, it took us longer than expected to get around to the major changes.  Finally, last year, we dove in – to the first floor at least.  We stripped all of the trim and most cabinetry, moved a couple of walls and created some larger openings.  I hit myself in the head HARD with a hammer in the process of demolition – something I would have previously thought not possible!  I spent the rest of the day working with a paper towel stuffed in my ear to hold back the bleeding.  One of my favorite parts of what we accomplished is our newly re-designed fireplace.

traditional fireplaceThe existing fireplace was a beige brick mess.  My initial thought was just to stucco over it, but after a little playing around in SketchUp, I decided to get a little more radical with it.

SketchUp fireplaceHere are some progress photos:

modern fireplacemodern mantlemodern fireplace

And the finished product:

modern fireplacemodern fireplaceWe are still trying to accessorize properly.  The Shag print my wife gave me for my birthday fits nicely and the vintage Eames shell chair I previously posted about now sits in place of the orange Ikea chair in these photos.  We have always had somewhat modern taste, but much more so now than when we were first married, so we have many previously purchased pieces and gifts from family that just don’t fit.  Some of it is getting weeded out over time, but some things, you just feel obligated to keep, so I don’t think we’ll ever be magazine photo shoot material, but that’s OK – we’re happy with it.

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