´¯`•. January 08, 2017

Family Project:  Fireplace!

Just before our Toledo trip, I… kinda did a weird thing.  I stared at the wall.  And Brian came in the room, and looked at the wall… and looked at me… and came over and looked over my shoulder at the wall.  Then he said, “What the heck are you doing?!”  And I replied, “That pipe has been ugly for so long, I’m used to it.  That’s a BAD thing.  I’ve got an idea, and… don’t be mad, but I’ve got kind of a building project I’m thinking about.”

See, back in 2006 when I was in my survivalist phase, I talked Brian into putting in a woodstove in the basement.  It’s a good idea, anyhow- if the electricity goes out in Michigan, it gets c-c-cold, y’know – having an alternative heat source is never a bad thing.  HOWEVER, it meant having a big 10′ pipe running up thru the middle of the parlor.  A big, galvanized, ugly pipe.  With a huge metal screwed-together plate at the top, which was (unbeknownst to us) covering a MESS the guy putting in the pipe made of our ceiling.

We had it that way for about eight years.  And then just before Toledo… I’m staring at the pipe, thinking maybe it might be nice to HIDE it, right?  So I tell Brian I want to make a faux fireplace and enclose the pipe, but have a hearth.  He says he can’t visualize what I’m saying.  So (me being me, of course)… I diagram it for him:

img_0808-555x411Not sure if you can see that, but it’s the best I can do.
And yes, I’m weird and draw in 3D, much of the time.  Don’t judge.

So!  Thanksgiving was celebrated as Hanukkah, X-mess was celebrated in Toledo (and I will finish that adventure series, this week, I promise)… and then New Years weekend was not only candy bark craziness, but we started BUILDING!!

img_0802-555x416You can see the big pipe… and the slot to fit around it.
Everyone gets to pitch in – this is a job with tasks for everyone!

img_0806-555x305Framing up the hearth, and waiting for more wood.

img_0810-506x555You know what they say: measure twice, cut once!

img_0811-416x555And the upper part gets added on to the base part!

img_0812-416x555Getting a glimpse of what it’s gonna look like with stone facing!

img_0814-379x555Stone facing is on, and next we lay the tile along the front.

img_0816-514x555So how long do we want the mantle to be?


There’s still the hole in the ceiling that we have to patch.  We still have to finish tiling the back of the inside of the hearth.  The crown moulding has to go back up.  We haven’t hung the pictures that go around, replaced the ripped border (I have more, don’t worry!) or put the dressing on the mantle, and I still have to stain the white chair to match the one my mom dyed brown.  (< A project I’m TERRIFIED of.  Shhh.)

But I think it turned out pretty nice, don’t you?
(In case anyone wondered what I’ve been doing instead of blogging!)

Leave a comment


  1. That came out fabulous! Awesome job!!! ❤


  2. Shannon Fleckenstein

     /  January 9, 2017

    That looks fantastic! Great job!

  3. Carmen

     /  January 9, 2017

    That is fabulous!! If the crown moulding is brown like on the right side wall, that will really accentuate the fireplace even more. Does that stone facing come in sheets like vinyl or separate tiles?

    • Sheets like paneling. We looked at the type that ‘snaps together’ (with the help of mortar), but the price was four times higher, and we just don’t have money. But we have heart. That counts for something, right?


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