One of the things I’ve never entirely shared here is our fireplace. There’s been mention of it, little bits here and there, but never full on. I’ve tried to take pictures of it over the years, but it is really hard to capture! Not only is it big, grey and featureless, every other room in the house shows up if you try to photograph it. I just couldn’t do it.
Today that changes, for two reasons. First, between my glacial progress on the dining room, updates in the family room and in my workshop, there’s much less humiliation on the table. But secondly, and more importantly, I’m eyeballing that fireplace for a makeover. I’ve wanted to make it over since the day I bought the house, but it hadn’t made the list until now.
The fireplace is the first thing you see when you walk in the door. In fact, if you were to walk in and walk straight forward, you’d plant your left shoulder right on it. Now you can see why I can’t have my furniture centered on or facing the fireplace! I know some of you had wondered about that.
It is beautiful, in it’s own way, and I am lucky to have it. But it’s very dark. Before I plastered the back of it, it sucked all the light out of the dining room. I’ve always wanted to do something about it, but I felt guilty covering up all that stone. But then my Dad told me that it wasn’t stone at all! It’s concrete and pumice that’s been shaped to look like stone. It’s 50’s fakery! Ha!
Here’s a picture of the back before I plastered it:
And here’s what it looks like now that it’s plastered:
SO much better, right? And I actually kind of love the plaster. It looks like a really old building to me, where the old stone has been plastered over centuries ago.
It’s kind of a messy, laborious process, so I’ve been putting it off, even though I have the plaster. But I want to try and get it done before Christmas. You know why?
Because of this:
Remember that mantel I showed you in the review of 80’s classic The Country Living Book of Country Kitchens? Well, Mr. Magpie said that we could build it, and it wouldn’t be difficult or expensive!!!
Can’t you just picture that mantel on this fireplace?
But with plaster on the stone?
Oh, I can. And then, as soon as it’s done, I’m going to finally be able to put my faux vintage door back on display.
I can’t wait.
Slowly, slowly, slowly, it’s all starting to come together.
Have you ever built a mantel from scratch? Any tips?