This last week my parents came out to visit. So of course I had to come up with a project for them to help me with - the fireplace. But to really appreciate the results, you have to see what we were working with. I never took a picture but when we moved in the house the family room walls were wood paneling. Taking it down required ripping the walls down all the way to the studs. Here's Robby and his brother Jake (yup, that's him with the curly red afro and Mom Squad t-shirt) tearing out the walls.
So we put up new walls and refinished the hardwood floors and had this:
Still not pretty by any means but at the time it was a huge improvement. Isn't the blue gas insert lovely? When my parents came to visit a couple of years ago, we decided we could at least fix up the insert with a little black heatproof paint. Here's the improvement:
Better, but still pretty ugly. (I couldn't find another picture and realized I needed to take one right when I started tearing out the hearth last week.) I got the idea to totally renovate the whole fireplace off of Pinterest, of course. It seemed easy enough (haha...right) but I wanted to add some extras so the week before my parents came I tore out the hearth and had a guy come and put some slate in. I considered doing it myself but chickened out after realizing that in our 50-year old house nothing is level or square.
Then my parents came and we really got to work. Luckily, I got a compound miter saw and belt sander for Christmas last year so all we needed to buy as far as tools was a jigsaw (which is awesome). My dad did an awesome job drawing out and planning the whole project. Robby, my mom and I took turns helping him and watching kids. It took pretty much a whole week to complete and was a lot of work. Here's the final result.
It looks SO good. After making the fireplace looks so nice we decided we should finally mount the TV on the wall to make it all look nice. All I have left to do is cover up the cords coming down from the TV. My dad and brother were geniuses and made it so the mantel has channels in it to hide the rest of the cords. You can still see them right now because I have to get some longer cords but we're almost there.
In all, it was tons of work and would have been a fair amount of money, but I was able to sell our gas insert on Craiglist and come close to breaking even. Thanks Mom and Dad for coming out and letting us put you to work! We promise next time you come we'll let you relax a little bit...probably.
Now all I have to do is somehow convince my husband to get rid of the awful teal couch. I think the only way that's going to happen is if I destroy it. I'm getting desperate. It think I might start leaving scissors lying around in hopes that someone will cut up the leather.