Thursday, April 19, 2012

R - Renovation

We've been talking about doing this for a few years now, and this week we dug in and began the task of renovating the fireplace wall.  Our home was built in 1960 and has undergone some renos and changes since then.  When we moved in we were happy to have a functioning wood burning fireplace.  The previous owners had redecorated it with deep blue tiles and white paint.  Here's what the wall looked like.  You can see the cute little shelves inset on each side.

We liked the fireplace wall well enough but it didn't really suit the house so after six years of wood burning fires we decided to change over to a gas fireplace.  We ordered it last month and so we had to tear off the deep blue tiles and the faux Grecian mantle and see what was behind it all.

Surprise, we found a few more square feet of living room.  A false wall had been built in front of the original fireplace to cover it up.  You can see the garish yellow walls behind where the shelves were--and the additional floor space, that was miraculously finished to match the existing floor. 

After tearing off the false wall and the studs, this is what was revealed:  a classic 1960s brick fireplace.  Well, the 1960s were ok but we're going to update this with something--either tile or slate.  Many decisions await us here.  Do we add a mantel or go right up to the ceiling?  Or both?  Do we extend the hearth all along the fireplace wall? Do we close it in?  What tiles or stone do we face it all with?  Should it all be the same material or different?  What colour?  Oh the agony of it all.

I know that we'll come up with something that we like but the process is unsettling.  How do you feel about renovations?


  1. I hate renovating--but only because I can never make up my mind. Good luck!

  2. This reno puts your fireplace front and center in your room. It deserves to be the focal point.

  3. Hate the the end result! I sort of enjoy the research part, too. But there are so many ways to go as you've said that it makes my head spin. Good luck. You at least have a good foundation to work with.

  4. Me again...meant to say the queen is a real little girl - my middle gd, Katie.

  5. wow! that was some great renovation you did there. love the new look:)
    Happy A-Zing!

  6. I am somewhat lost, where are the blue tiles ? and the floors look great. Is the few feet your talking about the part that is still under the sticking out hearth ?
    My x husband was an architect and every house I lived in with him we all lived through multiple renovations in all the homes and then when done we had to move. It was so tiring.
    My though is, if you have the side shelves you don't need a mantle. Going straight up to the ceiling would be nice.
    You have done so many remodels on your apartments that I think you will do a wonderful job here. Can't wait to see the finish results.

    cheers, parsnip

    1. The blue tiles are in the first photo Parsnip, around the outside of the fireplace. But they are so dark that they look black; I'm not surprised you can't see them in the photo. The extra floor is behind where those white cupboards were pulled out on each side of the fireplace. You're right about the mantle. We're coming to realize that we'd like to have a clean look right up to the ceiling.
      I'll keep you posted.

  7. Renovation is great! When it's done.

  8. great post! renovations (to me) are exhilerating. It is a bit like christmas, where you are so excited and just want the day to GET HERE ALREADY.

    will be back to read more!!


  9. Personally, I like them best when they're finished!


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