Saturday, July 26, 2008

A tale of two projects

Happy Weekend to you all! We just waved goodbye to our kids, who will be spending the next seven days with grandparents. And even though I love our children dearly, this will be a wonderful break from my typical routine! :)

I told you I would be back yesterday, but it just didn't happen! I also said that I had a new project planned for later in the week, but actually, now I have two~ one for if it's sunny, and one inside for if it rains, which is often does here in the Northwest! :)

When we moved here, this fireplace looked MUCH worse~ I primed and painted the bricks and replaced the outdated fireplace screen by spray painting a black screen I bought at Target. My parents also helped me add the mantle a couple of years ago, which I painted.
The fireplace has always bothered me, because it is not symmetrical. I think it would look much better if the bricks were even on both sides. I talked to my mom and dad, who have renovated their share of homes, and they said that this is something I can fix by "cutting" out the unwanted brick on the right side of the fireplace. I am going to buy the tool I need at Lowe's and have at it! (Don't worry, my husband made sure it was structurally safe to do so!)

When I have removed the bricks I don't want, my husband is going to put up drywall in their place and then we will put up a real fireplace "surround". The only part of this process I dread is the taping and joint compound. It will be so worth it when it's finished, though! :)

What we still have to decide is what do we want our fireplace to look like. It seems like a really popular thing now to cover all of the brick~ with tile, for example. I think I want to keep the brick on the part under the mantle. Brick adds such character to a fireplace. We are considering putting a large mirror that would completely cover the brick ABOVE the mantle. We have a big window opposite our fireplace, and having a mirror over the fireplace might reflect the light...although it may be that all that will be reflected is the (for now) "lovely" popcorn ceiling! Oh, we have plans for that ceiling, but that's for a different day! :) Anyway, whether we will build our own fireplace surround or buy one we don't know yet. I have been having fun drawing fireplace designs for our bedroom faux fireplace, so maybe I'll plan one for our living room as well!

The outdoor project also involves bricks, and in the above picture you can see some of them. Right now, our front porch is the ugliest cement porch you could imagine and it needs some TLC in the worst way!

The plan is to use cement and lay brick facing directly over the existing cement porch, and tear out the little cement walkway leading up to it. We'll replace that with a large square brick patio.
My goal is to have it completed by autumn, so I can decorate it with all of my fall decorations!

The sweetest part of this project is that it will be almost free! All, or mostly all, of the bricks will be free, because my good friend and neighbor next door is tired of her brick and sand entry way! My son and I are in the process of removing them from her yard and hauling them over to our house. I am motivated by the dream of a cute front porch; my son is motivated by the dream of more money saved toward "Mindstorms". (This involves Lego robots that you build and program.)

Back to the living room...You probably noticed the different colors painted around my fireplace, and I feel compelled to explain! I am trying to decide what color to paint the living room. I painted it a grayish blue, and liked it for a while. However, it is just too gray of a blue for me. We have a lot of cloudy days here, and the paint color is getting depressing! I need something warmer, and more cheerful! I like the top two colors on both of these paint swatches (raspberry and green respectively) and am going to use them together. I just don't yet know which color will be on the wall and which one will be an accent color. (More on this later.)

Well, thanks for listening to me ramble on and on! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! :)


Anonymous said...

You have found some lovely things Jenni. Love the paint colours too..we had a reddish colour here until recently, but greens look great too. Hope you have a nice week without the children : ) Check out my much younger sister's blog for her washing powder recipe and I think shampoo..?

Kim @ Twice Remembered said...

Your fireplace looks great painted white! I'm glad you are keeping the brick. We had old tile on ours and I covered it with some better looking inexpensive tile, but I've decided that I'm going to redo do it with brick pavers because I love the brick look, too. Whatever you plan out for the mantle will look great, I'm sure!

Those two colors look lovely together...can't wait to see how your projects come along!