Whew, I can't even explain what a relief it is to finally have this fireplace finished! It was the most daunting task on our living room to-do list (after the ceiling was finished) and finding a tile installer ended up being a huge stressful ordeal. Between the lack of tile workers in this small town, the first guy backing out at the last minute, several insanely high quotes, and another cancelled contract due to an incorrect estimate, we were facing the reality of having to do it ourselves.
But just in the knick of time, we found a replacement and let me tell you, hiring this job out was the best decision ever.
Let's start back at where we left off a few weeks ago. Our handyman had installed 2x4's for cement board support:
Living in the mountains now, I've embraced the cabin style (albeit in a subtle way) and at the heart of any good mountain retreat is a statement-making stone fireplace. We love the more modern look of stacked stone and were very pleased with how the bar wall in our kitchen turned out so we used the same quartz stone.
Since the materials were on the pricey side ($4/sq foot and it took over 300 sq feet) we decided to keep the hearth simple with some light gray porcelain tile, which ended up being around just $40 total.
After weeks of hunting down a tile guy, he came in last Tuesday and started the prep work. This was the end of Day 1:
Then the tiling began. End of Day 2:
More tiling and cement board—end of day 3:
By Friday evening (day 4) it was 95% done. Excuse the crappy cell phone pic...
The finishing touches were added Saturday morning (another bad pic, sorry!)
We do plan on keeping our TV there (Brad insisted, I can't fight it) but I made sure it wasn't a permanent installation. Just two plugs and it's easily put away if needed. All of the other components are in the hall closet, fortunately, so I'll just have to decorate around the TV.
But not before I took some proper "After" shots of it, all ready for fall. I had fun grabbing whatever seasonal-ish decor I could scrounge up around the house to dress it up a bit.
This is one of those things where you just have to be standing in front of it to really get a sense of scale and the way this changes the entire feel of the room. It truly is the heart of our home now.
I'm trying real hard to pretend like it's fall here, even though it was 90° yesterday.
We have more firewood than we know what to do with, and I'm so looking forward to putting this new fireplace to good use.
Change is coming, soon... I can feel it...
We have this tree in our front yard that started producing these perfect orange and red bulbs (seeds?) the first week of autumn, right on cue. It makes for some great festive arrangements.
I scored this whole stack of vintage books at our local flea market the other day for just $10 (along with that chunky blanket for $1).
My Roman Numerals print decided to make another appearance... the classic black and white typography just goes with everything (and adds a touch of sophistication, don't you think?). I layered it with a black and white vacation photo (see more on that DIY project here).
You'll have to ignore the weird lighting. The bottom of the fireplace had natural light from the windows shining on it, so the top looks a bit darker and warmer in color. It's all uniform in real life, I promise.
The brass candlestick holders were also a flea market score, and I found the inexpensive black lanterns online here—they have so many to choose from!
The antler candle holder was a gift from my friend's dad who makes them.
We have a fireplace screen that will be in place normally, but I left it off for this shoot.
Look who I caught up to no good...
Autumn needs to hurry up and get here so we can cuddle up with our furbabies by the fire. I know they're anxious for it too.
And now the best part... where we can fully appreciate the makeover by traveling back in time to the "Before"...
And after we painted the walls...
Can't wait to get the rest of the living room put back together! We'll be working on that tomorrow. And then I have some exciting news later this week, along with perhaps my proudest DIY furniture build yet.
See you in a few days!