Forget me… NOT!

Custom Fireplace & Mantel |

Last week was one of those weeks.  You know… that week where weird random stuff happens and it hits all at once.

A part snapped off of our car’s suspension.  Thankfully it happened in our driveway and was easy to diagnose and fix.  But random, right?

Tyson had an ear issue that resulted in a trip to the walk-in clinic.  Thankfully for a small copay it was easily resolved and the guy can hear again.

And last week the power mysteriously went out in two of the walls of our family room.  After checking the circuit breaker and the outlets, crawling under the house and even resetting every GFI we could think of… we called an electrician.

Any guesses on what he found?

Within 10 minutes of his arrival, the electrician found the one GFI we had NOT thought of… the one behind the TV.

TV GFI Outlet |

That’s right… we paid an electrician to come out and hit the GFI button on an outlet.  He didn’t even have to take the TV off the wall.  He just slid his hand right behind it and hit the button. (Have I mentioned I’m the daughter of an electrician?!  So very true.)  Thankfully, it was just an hour of his time.

So in honor of the GFI that we forgot AND since I told you all about our bullnose walls last week, it seems only fitting to tell you about another stucco design element that we got rid of some time ago.

Our fireplace.

Family Room Fireplace |

If you’ve spent any time around here, you may remember that I shared a view of our mantel when I created a new tray for it last January.

Updated Mantel |

But it didn’t always look like this.  When we moved in, the family room wall looked like this:

Fireplace Before |

The fireplace was framed in with large stucco bullnose details and was flanked on either side with long bullnose pot shelf type structures.  It also had gray tile that we were eager to get rid of.

Because the room is long and narrow with windows in one corner, we never felt like there was a good spot for the TV.  Over the years we tried it in different configurations and ultimately decided to hang it above the fireplace.  However this would require changing out all of the stucco and rounded corners.

Because this project was done several years ago, I don’t have a lot of photos to share.  This isn’t a how-to.  This is more of the story of what led this:

Fireplace Before |

To become this:

Fireplace - After |

And mainly a good excuse to show you this:

Man In Chimney |

That’s right… once the stucco façade came down, my 6 foot tall man wedged himself inside of our chimney while he was running wiring and cables for the new TV.  I, of course, stood back and took photos… on my flip phone.

This is also the same project that Tyson stepped on a board with a nail sticking out of it.  Guess who pulled the board out of her husband’s foot?  I do NOT have photos of that.  I can however verify that the appropriate amount of squealing took place.  By me.  Tyson had to keep me calm while having a board nailed to his foot.  Good times, indeed.

A Couple of Do It Yourselfers |

We were hoping that the long walls on either side of the fireplace were decorative embellishments that we could demo out and gain a bit more living space.  Unfortunately, we discovered that there was a sub wall encased in the stucco and the short walls were there to stay.  We framed them in much like the entry to our kitchen.

Molding & Trimwork |

We also said goodbye to the gray tile that was on the fireplace.

Fireplace Before |

We replaced it with a stone tile, decorative glass and metal accents.

New Tile |

Tyson always creates a detailed sketch on the computer before tackling any project like this.  It really allows us to see what the end result is going to look like.  Unfortunately as we began laying tile with thin set and mortar wet, we realized that the design did not account for the lip of the fireplace insert.  It was not even with the backing board and kept the tile from sitting flush against the wall.  We were forced to redesign the whole thing on the fly. We opted to take the tile just up to the edge of the insert which creates a larger/grander look to the fireplace itself.  I think the final outcome came out so well, I don’t even remember what our original plan was.

Fireplace - After |

PS. I love that the gas valve says Dante on it.

Dantes Inferno |

So there you have it…. Our little fireplace redo that has been so much a part of our lives, we forgot we installed a GFI with it.

Fireplace Features |

Have you ever cracked open a wall and been surprised by what was inside?  Are there home improvement projects that you are so use to, you barely remember what was there before?  Ever have one of those weeks that make you wonder “what’s next”?  My kids always tell me you’re not suppose to ask that.

You can also find me at:

Best of the Weekshowoff_badge1

Life InspiredbeforeAndAfterButton_thumb1.gif


    • Danielle says:

      Oh my goodness, I’m not sure it was bravery… the board was stuck on his foot like a ski and he couldn’t leverage it to get it off himself. It was either pull (and squeal) or get him to a doctor like that. Ugh! I probably would’ve handled it better if I had stepped on it.

  1. Stacey says:

    BEAUTIFUL! What a wonderful transformation. All that moulding is to die for!
    I love seeing TVs in magazines just floating so perfectly over the fireplace with no wires, no cords, …. nothing to get in the way, but I always wondered if it was staged. Now I see it takes lots of work to get to that point. Great job on that. Yours definitely belongs in a magazine! The fireplace is so pretty I wouldn’t know whether to just stare at IT or watch TV. HA! Oh,…. and the electrician… I think we’ve all been there, done that. Sometimes with plumbers too! 🙂

    • Danielle says:

      You are so sweet! It’s fun having an idea in your head and seeing it all come together in real life… but you already know that. 🙂 I’m not sure if every hanging TV requires the crazy work that we did or if we just “lucked out” with a unique set of circumstances, but I’m glad that it’s finally finished. We may have celebrated a Christmas with the wall torn open. Awww… my kids have some interesting childhood memories.

  2. Tammi@1914house says:

    I like the tile work a lot. Very classic. I’ve stepped on a nail before, but it was so quick I barely felt it (I was barefoot). No electrician stories, but I once took my dog to the vet for a small lump on her leg. It ended up being a pimple. So I paid the vet to squeeze a zit – ha!

    • Danielle says:

      Ugh! I hate to even go to the doctor for that exact same reason. You don’t want the lump to be a tumor, but come on… a zit?! None the less… so glad your pup is okay. FYI… we got our tile at “United Tile” in Northwest. We love them!

  3. ScrapAndSalvage says:

    those pesky little GFI buggers!!!
    you guys are so talented. tyson did created a masterpiece! well done. night and day compared to that grey, boring thing. makes your room look legit and not like you’re faking it. ha. that must have taken awhile, but it was worth it!!
    plus, cute couple award! 😀

    • Danielle says:

      Ha… thanks! He is talented and a cutie… I think I’ll keep him. 🙂 It was fun to go back and look at old pictures and see how much things have changed. It’s a good reminder… sometimes you look around and only see how much is left to do instead of all that has been done.

  4. Trisha D. says:

    Your fireplace looks like its ready for a closeup with homes magazine or something. Continuing the trim around the room brings the charm level through the roof!

  5. Alex @ northstory says:

    Gorgeous!!! I cracked up with the photo of him behind the chimney. Seriously. Post more like that. It shows a great story that I love hearing about.
    And the Before and After – DAMN!! Love the molding. Oh my Word. My next house has to have a fireplace. Has to.

    • Danielle says:

      Man… I WISH I had photos of some of the crazy things we’ve done. Like the time we used a carjack to install bookshelves. If I ever get a time machine, I’d go back and take a snapshot of THAT. HA!

Comments are closed.