Fireplace Reno

You know how much I love this townhouse, however, the only thing I’ve never really liked are the fireplaces. No mantel, ugly tile, and then drywall straight to the ceiling.  I get that the 70s were not the most ornate period in decor, but would it have killed them to throw a piece of wood and some trim over the fire box?  I had to rig up this complicated system of command adhesive hooks and faux fir garland just to have a place for the Christmas stockings!

When I started planning the new studio room, I knew something had to be done about the fireplace.


Seriously, at some point in time, someone actually put up this tile on purpose.  One day last winter I was in the middle of cleaning up the house and thought “I wonder how hard it would be to rip that tile off the wall”.  Half an hour later it looked like this 🙂


It then stayed like this for several months until it could no longer be ignored.  I called my contractor neighbor Ken (who I now call MacGyver,  I swear, he can fix anything) to see if he might be able to build me something.  I showed him some designs I pulled from pinterest and we sketched out what we hoped would work given the location of the fireplace in the room.

Ken and Neil became fixtures in the den for the next week.


Piece by piece they created a surround that looked like it had been there all along.  Removing the big black vent from above the fireplace required a bit more work to drywall, but it allowed us to get the proportion of the new surround right (and get rid of the big black vent).


I found a great marble brick tile from the Tile and Stone Factory Outlet, if you ever need tile, start here, they have a whole warehouse of discount product as well as higher end.

It was interesting to watch the process, as I don’t know much about carpentry or tile.  This picture made me laugh – it looks like he’s grabbing his head saying “WTF”, but in reality I think he was just adjusting his toque.


This is what it looked like after tile but before painting.  The green tape made sure the tiles didn’t go anywhere while the glue was drying.


I’m thrilled with the way it turned out.  Apparently so was Ken – he recently reno’d their living room and created the same look, right down to the tile.


Bye bye 1979!

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