One of the things we were most excited about when we purchased this house was the big characterful fireplace in the living room. When we viewed our property the fireplace had a huge log burner in that was hiding the mess that was the wall behind it (there’s something to add to the checklist next time!). When we moved in sorting out the fireplace wasn’t necessarily a priority, but as we painted the living room and added custom furniture, such as our geometric coffee table, it stood out as a bit of an eyesore:
Granted, these photos were taken just before Simon started work on the fireplace, but you can see the visual eyesore that a big grey hole in our living room was causing.
Before we could freshen up the fireplace the back and sides needed to be re-screeded. To do this Simon mixed plastering sand and cement, roughly 4 parts sand to 1 part cement with some water, and applied PVA to the walls to create adhesion between the wall and the new plaster. We knew that wouldn’t be any heat generated in our fireplace, however if you were going to do so you would need to add lime to the mixture to help harden.
We had to leave quite a gap between screeding and painting, to enable the new smooth walls to completely dry out. Even while we were waiting for this to happen the fireplace was a vast improvement to look at (Although I think the bright sunflowers help a little)!
As you can see from the in progress shot we decided to add a fire basket into the mantle, rather than adding a log burner or fire. One of the reasons behind this was cost, but the other is that the house is already very well heated and a fire would have been for decorative purposes only.
Once the walls had dried out completely (I think this took about a week or so) we then painted the inside of the fireplace to match the colour on the walls. A few pine cones and some fairy lights later and we have now have a cosy focus piece for the centre of our living room, at minimal cost!
What do you think of the final effect? Do you have a focal fireplace in your home? I’d love to see what you’ve done with them!