Our Fireplace Makeover Pt. 1
If you've been following along on Instagram, you know that we've been renovating our upstairs guest bathroom! We are almost done but our wallpaper (the next step) was backordered so we decided to press pause on the bathroom and start working on the fireplace! I have been waiting since the day we moved in to do the fireplace over- it's the first thing you see when you walk into the house and it just made the rest of the room feel so dated. I also wanted to get it done before Christmas since this is the room where we put the tree. I was in inspired by the idea of doing a cool patterned ceramic tile, especially after our Portugal trip, and found this ceramic tile from The Tile Shop. I was initially concerned because all the ceramic tiles I was looking at online were so expensive, but these were moderately priced at under $100 a box. We still have to put the finished touches on, including grout and molding around the mantel - but I am so excited about how it's coming along and I couldn't wait to share!
I know this blog is mainly about fashion, but the other big part of my life right now is renovating our house and I wanted to be able to share on more than just insta stories! If you like this post, let me know in the comments below and I will keep posting - we have endless renovation projects to do. I hope you enjoy!
Above is our fireplace before. We had always planned to redo this since the tile felt a little bit dated and we also felt that the raised tile on either side of the fireplace wasn't serving a purpose. The first step was removing the mantel and tile. They both came off fairly easily with a hammer an chisel.
The next step was removing the hearth and the tile on the sides of the fireplace. We attempted to remove it same as we did on the front of the fireplace, but we (and by we I mean Kevin) had to go at it with a sledge hammer because we couldn't remove it any other way! Needless to say it made a huge mess but once it was cleaned up it was clear we made the right decision to remove them!
The next step was to replace the hardiebacker board that was there before. (This is was they laid the tile on, and some of it was coming off as we removed the tile, anyway.) We removed the rest of the old board and updated to a heat-rated cement board and cut it to fit the size we needed.
The next step was to decide our tile layout. We decided that we wanted one column of tiles running right down the middle of the fireplace, to ensure both sides would be symmetrical. We had to be a little strategic in the beginning to decide where everything would go and how we would tile around the mantel since we didn't have one yet. We drew our layout out so that we would know where to place each tile. Then we started tiling!
We are messy renovators! Sometimes I hesitate to share photos because we are so messy and the house is a mess 99% of the time. Living through constant renovations can be hard, but I don't feel bothered by it anymore. It was always our plan to chip away at the house a little bit at a time, so I hope you like seeing bits and pieces!
The After! (Almost)
As we were tiling, we were looking for a mantel to order. Unfortunately most of the ones we found were either offered in a couple standard lengths or were too expensive. We couldn't find a mantel that was the right length, so Kevin ended up building a custom mantel. It ended up being a great option because we could customize it to be exactly what we needed and we were also able to continue tiling the bottom half of the fireplace without hesitation. AND I think it's beautiful! I am obsessed with how it is coming out! While we are doing some major renovations in other parts of the house, this one so far has taken probably 3 full days and felt a little bit faster and more manageable. The next steps will be to grout the tile, and add molding on the top and bottom of the mantel and on the sides of the tile so that the edges are covered. Then we will be building some custom benches around each side of the fireplace that will be a much better use of the space and make a really pretty and cozy reading/storage nook.
I'd love to hear what you think of my first interior design post! Do you want to see more renovation posts? Or if you have any questions, I'd love to hear in the comments below!