Something From Nothing and a little bit of Everything!

The art of turning "good junk" into "great design"

"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
William Morris, Hopes and Fears for Art (1882)

Monday, December 26, 2011

"Stone" Fireplace

This project was truly a "Something from Nothing".  In the summer of 2009 we began a major renovation project adding over 1000 square feet to our country bungalow.  It truly was a labour of love.  In January 2010 we began this exciting project.
                                                                             The fireplace is our focal point of the addition and a project that both Handy Husband and I are very proud of. I had cut out pictures of houses for years ( just like in Miranda Lambert's hit song, The House That Built Me) Anyway, I digress. I had a great picture of a stone fireplace with a rough hewn mantle. Now we just needed to recreate it.  We purchased the beam from Timeless Materials in Kitchener.  A quick powerwash and it was set to go. We weren't sure whether we should leave the ends, but I am so glad we did.  It adds a lot of interest. 
When it was time to tackle the project we jumped in with both feet.  Having never been a stonemason before it was a bit scary, but we laid the  Dutch Stone ( we used Natural Ledgestone), that we purshased at Shuts in Brantford Ontario.
We drew the size of the fireplace on the floor and started filling in the area with the stones in  a pattern that we liked.  We had already set the 4 hearthstones and set  the stone to the base of the fireplace, and then it was on to the next step.  Handy Husband applied the mesh and the scratch coat and then we started to place the stones on the bottom portion.  It was like a giant puzzle making all of the stones fit.  They are manufactured, and so it was necessary to lay them out to avoid repeats too close together.  This was a project that took several days, and many late nights.     One night, I rearranged stones in my sleep!      

For the upper portion we found the perfect piece for the peak and worked our way down.  Even laying it out ont the floor there was still a lot of fiddling to make it all fit.

A few extra pieces but the work is complete except for grouting in between the stones.  This was a painstaking process, but the colour works well and finishes it off beautifully.
The Farrow and Ball paint colour, Cooking Apple Green, complements the stone work nicely, and before we had the floor laid, we couldn't wait to entertain in our new room, so we moved the furniture onto the plywood and had drinks in front of the fire.  Even Ollie enjoyed having his bed moved to the new family room. 
                                                              We eventually got the hardwood laid but that is another story, and then we had the perfect backdrop for family pictures for years to come.  Notice the tv on the  $10 washstand.  (Spring 2010)
Bookcases were the next project several months later, and for some reason I didn't document it well.  We looked at custom cabinetry as the space is not equal on each side, due to the door to our bedroom.  However the cost was more than we could stand so then we looked at several alternatives.  I kept saying that kitchen cabinets should work somehow, but Handy Husband wasn't sure.  I surfed the web and ended up designing these with help from an Ikea salesperson.  We used Ramsjo wall cabinets( they were the only ones that were finished on the inside in the same colour as the cabinet, rather than birch, making them the perfect choice for open cabinetry)  turning some on their sides to create the top portions, finished them off with crown moulding, and the glass doors so that the components can be operated with the remotes.  A q tip and some walnut stain hides well the holes for the shelving.   We didn't add handles so that they look more like furniture pieces, and most people tell us they can't believe that they are kitchen cabinets.  A custom look without the custom price, at just under $1300.  And Handy Husband doubted!
Check out Sarah's House Season 4 where she uses the same concept for her cabinets in the family room.  

Well it is Christmas 2011 and our friends called our family room, the Bing Crosby Room.  It was great yesterday to have 16 family gathered around the Christmas Tree in the Room that Love Built.

1 comment: