One of my favorite features in our home is most definitely our stone fireplace. It is the fireplace of my dreams, and I just can’t believe we have one. I mean I was excited to have the electric fireplace in our first little home, and this is a major step up! When we were building our addition, I didn’t blog a lot of the progress and projects we did because I either had no internet, no time, or I was sick and pregnant or had a newborn. But I did share quite a bit on instagram. I thought it would be fun to revisit the evolution of our fireplace.
Don’t mind the phone pics!
We built a platform for the firebox to sit on, then had pros come in to install the firebox and chimeny- all 28 feet! We had a bit of creative planning to do- since I wanted the fireplace centred in the room. However, that meant it straddled the loft above. I searched high and low to find pictures of what this might look like, so we could know it wouldn’t be a complete disaster. So much of what we did we just figured out as we went…
I think Matt installed 1 million pine tongue and groove boards. Seriously… we be crazy. I decided to switch things up and put the boards vertically above the fireplace- so that it would stand out from the rest of the room. Matt kept trying to convince me to leave all the pine natural… but I had a vision!
We installed plywood over the framing. At this stage I was a little nervous our fire box would look massive and that we hadn’t left enough framing around it for stone. We tiled the hearth with dark slate tiles- and hoped for the best!
When installing stone- you nail that mesh wire you saw in the previous photo to the plywood, then skim coat it all with what is essentially cement. You run a grooved trowel over the whole thing so that the stones have something to grab onto. If we had a really modern styled home, I actually think that a fireplace with just a skim coat of cement around it would look really cool. But it was not the look for us… so we pressed onward!
Here are a few things to note- stone work is really messy. Like super! So cover your floors and use buckets you don’t care about. Also- I installed most of these stones myself- can you believe it? Matt says its all about getting the right mix with your cement- it was really smooth sailing…. except when my mix started to dry out a bit at the end and I had 2 stones fall off the side. Whoops! Our “stone” is actually cast out of cement, but is still really heavy!
Installing our mantel was one of my favorite days ever! Matt and I built it together out of reclaimed wood- and it is exactly what I had been dreaming of. It is actually made of boards that are about 1′ thick- which we built a box out of to look like a large beam. Our amazing friends gifted us the boards from one of their old dilapidated out buildings. Up to this point I had been considering staining the pine boards above the fireplace in a tone similar to our ceiling.
But once I saw the mantel up- I knew I had to stick to my original plan and paint it white. It was the look I had wanted all along…
And I love it! We framed out the pine using 1×4 on either side and crown moulding up above. The color is Simply White by Benjamin Moore.
Not only do I enjoy changing up the mantel for each season, but I love cozying up by the fire in the cooler months. Living in Canada, we have quite a few of those 😉
I hope you have enjoyed this look back at our process for building this feature in our home. Now if I can just finish some of the stone work and the built ins around it 😉