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25 January 2007 @ 11:05 pm
In between demolition of homebaked shelves and drywall...

And now...


We hired Bob the Painter. He did an awesome job, and his labor charge was so well worthwhile. We went with one color for the entire room - Benjamin Moore Sea Foam in eggshell finish. If we decide to do an accent wall later, it will be easy to paint ourselves. I fricking love the color and the subtle contrast with the white baseboard heaters and trim. I thought it would look strange to have the baseboard stuff the exact same color as the walls, and I'd seen (and liked) white trim with very pale walls elsewhere.

Now we can finally put up the decorative curtain rods (and curtains!) I got a few months ago. Hopefully that will get done this weekend.


I don't mind the shape. I don't mind the long hearth. I like the alternating brick pattern under the hearth. And I have seen far worse. But the brick and mortar are dull and dingy next to the perty new wall, and the hearth top is greenish gray concrete slabs. The concrete is supposed to look like rough stone. It looks like a shitty approximation, permanently grody from assorted paint and crud, with a giant mortared crack in the middle for good measure. Who in their right mind ever thought that looked good? It doesn't even go with the red brick, for crying out loud. I guess we could paint it, but the texture and shape would still look crappy.

I've been looking up fireplace facelifts, and it seems like the best idea for our circumstances is to tile it over. Judging from the articles I've been reading and Thar and Anna's bathroom remodeling adventures, simple tiling sounds DIY-friendly. The main problem is that damn concrete hearth top. Its edges are rough and irregularly slanted. At least it isn't structural, and the seams between it and the surrounding brick are readily apparent, so I would think that it could be pried off and replaced with the same thickness of fireproof sheet rock.

I don't expect to come up with a plan any time soon. All I know is that I want a useful mantel and I hate that damn concrete hearth top.
Current Mood: excitedexcited
Assassin Weaselcrackferret on January 26th, 2007 04:48 am (UTC)
I was wondering where you disappeared to, I started trying to get better about LJ a couple weeks ago again and no posts from ya!

I should send you a picture of mine so you can feel better. :D

Offhand, you could rip out the part that you hate, and just leave the brick alone. Brick could be nice if you cleaned up the mortar parts. And you can build a useful mantel. Do you think it would be possible to rip out the top part?

Heh I think your house got beat with the same ugly stick that hit mine. :)
The Heavy Metal Matador: South Park - Happyrydain on January 26th, 2007 05:07 am (UTC)
Glad to see you around! I disappeared into the Land of the Mundane. Life was basically a blur of work, gym, and novel revision that isn't terribly exciting to blog about.

It looks like the ucky concrete can be removed pretty easily. The brick surround is part of the firebox, so it's going to stay. I have no clue what the bottom of the brick hearth is attached to, and as I recall, it's cemented to the chimney, so I doubt it'll go anywhere. I think the brick could look pretty good if it were painted with neutral colors designed to resemble natural variegated brick. I've seen these sorts of paint jobs done very well.

Was your house owned by fussy old people who really liked pink? That wonderful Pepto-Bismol carpet covers the entire first floor, including some of the bathroom (yuck), and there were dumpy dowdy curtains hung all the way up to the ceiling and at least a foot over each side of the living room windows. The curtains and their hardware are long gone, and they will be replaced with decorative dark metal curtain rods and tab top curtains. We still have ugly dumpy hung too high curtains in the bedroom and office, but they're low on my radar.
kaiten-konekokaiten_koneko on January 26th, 2007 03:03 pm (UTC)
can you like, build a false hearth cover box thingy over the uglyness, and then tile that? it would be level and you could change the size and whatnot - maybe make it stick out a little further on the other end to balance it a bit.

mmm, fire.
The Heavy Metal Matador: South Park - Happyrydain on January 27th, 2007 12:05 am (UTC)
We probably can, and I really like the idea. I've seen a lot of nifty box hearths, and I think the hearth would look better longer. I found an awesome wooden mantel surround that I want to order, but it wouldn't work right now because one leg would have to go to the floor, which would just look silly.
Royroyr on January 26th, 2007 04:02 pm (UTC)
awesome! i too had the same ugly brick fireplace thing. i chiseled the brick down to be relatively flat and then covered it with 12" x 12" black granite tiles. the mortar was pretty forgiving of the uneven brick surface.
The Heavy Metal Matador: South Park - Happyrydain on January 27th, 2007 12:07 am (UTC)
That sounds nifty. Do you have any pictures?
Andreaasd109 on January 28th, 2007 02:32 am (UTC)
hooray for pictures!
The Heavy Metal Matador: South Park - Happyrydain on January 28th, 2007 04:18 am (UTC)
Yes indeed. There will be more in the very near future. We got two sets of curtains hung today, and I think they turned out quite well. They have some wrinkles from storage, so I'd like to let a bit of the wrinklage fall out before taking pictures.