Thursday, September 18, 2014

Faux Fireplace Revamp and Living Room Update

I've mentioned a few times recently that we're in the process of redoing our living room, for the first time since I moved here 7+ years ago. Seriously, this room was in dire need of some love. It had old nasty wallpaper on the walls, the same "old lady" curtains that came with the house and a hideous 70's light fixture. It was not a very nice room to be in.

It also has a fireplace, which had been boarded up at some point. There is definitely a chimney there, so we were thinking it would be cool to open up the wall and see what was going on in there. We thought maybe we'd have the chimney looked at, and if it was good, we'd put in one of those efficient fireplace inserts to help reduce our heat bills in the winter.

But when we began to open up the wall, we found this:

Oops. No fireplace :(
It was not a boarded up fireplace, it was a faux fireplace. There was, indeed, a chimney there, and an opening where at one point there must have been a wood or coal stove, but that was boarded up and a faux fireplace mantle was put up in it's place. So, no fireplace insert for us. Oh well.

Instead, we decided to just fix up the mantle and really make this faux fireplace a nice focal point for the room.
We re-boarded up the opening, and replaced posts which were inexplicably
removed by previous owners, leaving obvious holes in the floor. 
We also added some tile to the floor, to make it seem more "fireplace-like"

Almost finished! Now for accessories... 
As of now, the rest of the room is ~thisclose~ to being finished. We had SO many setbacks with this room project. Issues with wallpaper and horsehair plaster walls (never a good combination) paint that was the wrong color, and worst of all, an epic electrical issue. We tried to replace an ugly ceiling light with a fan, and when The Man took down the old light, he found this:

That there is some old knob and tube wiring, not legal in many decades. The electrician we called suspects it was original to the house (which was built in 1895) so obviously this was a major safety issue. We are in the midst of having that whole mess cleaned up and redone, and new fixtures installed. This was an unexpected expense, for sure, but better to have caught it before it caused a fire. The electricians should be finishing up tomorrow, so hopefully I'll have a "room reveal" post up for the weekend!

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