Looking at hundreds of houses for the past two years, we had seen our share of crazy. Our fireplace before wasn't the worst thing we had ever seen. But it also wasn't our style. It was one of the first items that we thought should be changed.
A year ago there was a larger fixer-upper that we almost bought that had vaulted ceilings and a fireplace. Because we had come so close to buying that property, we had done our research and learned what our dream fireplace would be.
This came to our advantage when the time came for us to tackle the white monster sitting in our living room. You may not think it was a monster. But just like the monster under your bed, the Hacker and I knew it was there, quietly taunting us. So the first step was figuring out what our style was. This is where the internet can be extremely helpful. I spent hours googling, researching, and saving pictures until we finally decided on not only a style, but the specific stone and mantel we wanted.
I must have saved 20 pictures, but these two were the main inspiration pics:
Then all we had to do was find a contractor to do it.
Believe it or not, this was the toughest part for us. If I have learned one thing it is this: don't let a contractor change your vision of what you want. We interviewed about six different contractors before finding the right match. We were told stories by each one of why and how our exact vision couldn't be accomplished. Each contractor was asking us to make a small compromise that we thought would jepordize the look of the end result. We were told to compromise on many things: from not having corner pieces, to different stone for the hearth, and from the mantel would have to be a hallow box instead of using one solid, reclaimed beam, to a higher placement of the mantel.
I'm glad we stuck to our guns, because in the end, we didn't have to make one compromise and it turned out just the way we hoped it would. We hired a great contractor whose favorite line was "No problem."
It took a little longer, and required more research, but we're so glad we did. Bonus points for us: it didn't require mo' money.
We were told to wait 1 week after completion to light a fire.
it was well worth it.