Fireplace Project

So finally - a fun decorate-y project! This week, one of the things I get to do is work on the fireplace. My Dad is coming up (over?) from Montana to help me and together we are gonna work our asses off. Here's my plan for what I'd like to do to the fireplace. (yes that is a snow shovel that I was using for a dustpan - thank you for noting my ingenuity).

First a few facts about the fireplace that I call "creative bricklaying gone bad." It may surprise you to learn that this fireplace is not some wacky addition thrown up in the sixties. Because I am a crafty little detective I discovered that this baby is either very early 1900's or actually 1800's! First of all every Hudsonite who has seen the hearth has said that the square hand made tiles (not pictured in my photo but they look exactly like the ones pictured below) are pre 1900's. But that's not enough to get me excited or anything.

Here's what did it for me....

I was in a church in Hudson (do not ask me why darling) when I saw this... My fireplace's very own ugly twin! Ok I'll admit that mine is much uglier. But still! Of course I made a total spectacle of myself snapping these photos without explanation, but whatevs. I was on a mission.

Here's the aformentioned hearth. not nearly as ugly as the fireplace surround but nothing too darling either. But regardless, mine will probably stay (thought possibly painted - inspiration pictures to come soo).

So here's where I gleaned some info. this fireplace was gifted to the church in honor of Mary Leeds Punderson 1818-1916 for her 98 (for real y'all) years of service to the Senior Sewing Society. So this was after her death. Sometime not to far after 1916 I'm thinkin.

So I'm also thinking that these were probably made by some local designer. I'll keep my eyes peeled for more like them in the area. NONE of this info however, is enough to make me want to keep mine intact. I'm just not that deep. Much as I'm into historic restoration I'm just not feelin it.

So here's the plan. Frst of all - keep in mind this fireplace was coal and does not work. I'd love to get an insert someday so that I can turn it into something functional but that's not gonna happen anytime soon I don't think - due to finance alone. I'd like to cover the brick surround portion with the plaster treatment shown below (from Apartment Therapy). Follow the link to see how to do it. It leaves a sort of softened cloudy surface to the brick. I think I might be able to obscure the weirder brick shapes and sort of re-draw more normal-ish shapes in the plaster with my fingers. We shall see.

How to create BDDW walls

Then, I'd like to whitewash the exposed brick from the chimney portion (which we just exposed - yay!) so that the bricks still show through but aren't so dark. ie the gorgeous photo below (Apartment Therapy). Follow the link for directions on how to do it.

How to whitewash brick walls

Then, I'd like to use an old barn beam or something similar for the mantle. That's the sort of thing I love love love shopping for. So that'll be a welcome break - whenever I get to go hunt for that.

All for now. I'll let you know how it all shakes out. Getting the dining room dialed in is going to feel awesome!


rh said...

It will look fab-u-lous! My lazy ass would just whitewash the whole thing and be done with it.

So, why were you in church?

Green Fairy said...

I love love how the whitewashed brick looks. Can't wait to see how your fireplace turns out.

Christine said...

So in addition to wondering why you were in a church ;-), I also started wondering about Hudson Valley brick making and through the power of google found this: http://brickcollecting.com/hudson.htm
Anyway, good luck the project, I think it is going to look amazing, great way to update the look.

Hallie&Joe said...

Ok I love you guys! This brick collecting site is insane and fascinating. ps: I will do this project this weekend for sure. Especially now that I don't have to waste time at Home Depot getting all my supplies.

Eleanor said...

Hallie, here I am on the Wyoming border and I probably could just pull the car over and pick up exactly what you want on the side of the road. if you will delegate me to look for a mantle, I will do so, with explicit instructions. I can then email you photos of what I see (on the side of the road, or in the Bob Marshall Wilderness next week--I can jsut drag it back behind a horse or something

Hallie&Joe said...

auntie el - you rule! Must have phone powwow soon. xxoo. H