Monday, January 25, 2016

Fireplace Before And After Renovation

This is the before of the basement fireplace. It's not bad, it just doesn't have much personality. 

We are going to give Airbnb a try and thought some decor improvements could be made first. I'm kind of going for a DIY Pacific Northwest look combination of Pendleton Wool Home meets Ralph Lauren's Poor Relations. Plus it's fun to walk down the stairs and feel like I'm on vacation, too. 

Do you use Airbnb? Do you like it? Any suggestions or hints?

The kick to get us started was the not so very old TV died. It wasn't being used too often, but we discovered, rather late, that when the fireplace was turned on the heat was traveling up the wall here and may have shortened it's lifespan. Big oops. Check yours if you have a similar setup. Hot stuff. 

We had some old wood we'd scavenged from a fence that had been torn down and thought it might give the design interest we wanted. Plus, it had been stored in my little garden shed long enough to be dried out (it rains here off and on most of the winter) and was readily at hand. 

So, throwing all common sense out the door, we took off a perfectly good semi-OK wood mantel. It never really looked that great, to me and I thought hey, if it doesn't turn out, I'll take responsibility for the mistake. Not to say I didn't wake up in the middle of the next night thinking I'd really screwed up and caused a lot of unnecessary work. 

We called our good friend Jill, who owns  The Furniture Girl Shop a couple blocks from our house and she came over and scooped up the mantle. Except it wasn't scooped, it was lugged. It's solid wood, really heavy wood and took three of us (four would have been better) to wrangle it up the stairs and into her pick-up. 

When she got it back to her shop, she gave it a whitewash and it sold the next day to a woman that is now using it for a headboard! Happy ending...(but I was still kind of panicked I made a mistake at this point).

Part way there. Nothing is ever as easy as you think it might be, especially in older homes like ours, when nothing is level or even. Nothing. Never. Nada. 

Getting closer here. We took off the front of the gas fireplace to clean the glass (grotty is an understatement) and vacuum out the dust. The manufacturing info was underneath everything. With this new information, an Internet search found there were compatible blowers for it. Hard to believe there never was one, isn't it? The heat was never projected into the room, it just hung there and slowly warmed things the TV. 

Mr. Bad Monkey House working on the wiring for the sconces he made. Really. He just went out to the garage, pulled stuff out of boxes and whipped them up. He is handy! 

We decided the finished look with all that great old wood was too handsome to cover with the new, larger TV, so this vintage deer mount we got at Portland Expo a year or two ago and the ornate old frame were moved from across the room to here. The sconces are BMH old tooled saddle tapadoras with small Edison lights. 

Bet you've never seen one of these before. Cool, huh! They are hard wired and turn on with a switch when you enter the room. 

You can see how the whole fireplace is wrapped in wood. The new fireplace blower came, was installed and didn't work. At. All. Damn it. But the company was super cool, said throw it away and mailed out a new working one, lickety split. 

The little wood fence is to keep the grand baby from getting too close and possibly burning tiny fingers while checking out the flames behind the hot glass. That funny looking blue bench is actually an old buggy seat we got from The Furniture Girl, Jill. It got parked there when we didn't know what we wanted to do with it and seems to work for now. 

The baseball cap on the deer was temporary, too. Didn't fit or look right, so I'm hunting for an appropriate chapeau. Any suggestions? What's your deer wearing? 

We do have another, even older deer in our entry upstairs wearing a rather elegant ladies hat, fur scarf and glasses, too. I'll share her fashionable look, another time. 

The other side of the fireplace with my chippy scratched $1.00 mirror hanging on it. That odd looking light in the corner was a kerosene heater at one time. I think that was an Expo find, too. Mr. Bad Monkey House wired it into a light that puts out a warm glow, minus the heat. The homemade game board on the wall was a $2.50 Value Village find. I really miss that store. Ours closed a few years ago and I still mourn the loss.

So, what do you think of the fireplace? Did I mess up or do you like it? 

I think it's a great improvement and now am even kind of glad the TV died and got us going. 

I'll share more of our basement decor redo next time. 


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