So when we moved in last month, at the start of a freaking pandemic, we didn't realize how much time we would actually have on our hands. We knew we had some projects we wanted to tackle right away but that list grew... because we had nothing else to do. We unpacked in a week. Have I said that yet? My entire house was put together in 7 days... that's always been my lucky number. We sold our house in 7 days too. Anyways... nothing special about that but I was pretty happy because that was my main concern... unpacking my kids and our things was daunting. Glad that's over with. OK moving on... the fire place.
I just kind of put stuff up there for the time being rather than having it in a box... most of it went to the basement though and that is about to be under constructions so I really just made more work for myself, but as you will read later... that's a common theme for me.
It wasn't my favorite... I thought about ripping the entire thing out. That would have been messy, time consuming... and this is really well made. It's kinda cool if you are into satanic seashells, sloths, or victorian carvings. My point is, it's versatile. We can see what we want in it, and I am going to choose to perceive this as Victorian for budget and time purposes.
So I started by painting the living room. We went with Simply White by Benjamin Moore. We used it in a few places in our last house and I loved how clean and cheerful it was without being super stark. Then, to the dismay of friends and family, I painted the woodwork black. I think I got a boner afterwords if that's possible... anyways... it was amazing.
White walls before the chalk paint was done.
I chose Athenian Black... almost went with Graphite so I'm so glad I waited and went with this one. I get all of my Annie Sloan paint from The Purple Painted Lady... she is super helpful, ships fast, and has everything you need.
First coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint...
The pictures do not do it justice!! We left the bottom because we couldn't decide if we would tile it or not... the green stone just wasn't for us and I knew for sure I wanted to change it. In the meantime we took the screen off. This was converted to a gas fireplace so it's filthy from the years of wood burning and I wanted to paint it.... surprise... black. I had to clean it first.
Not great or fun or glamourous. I actually made a massive mess and when I finally thought I had everything cleaned up, I spray painted the inside with some matte black high heat paint. It was gorg. I did not get a progress pic of this because something quite tragic happened in the midst of all of this.
I picked up the sheet I had protected the area with and realized that paint or soot was all over my living room . I will spare you my Joan Crawford moment but things were not good over here. I cleaned the carpets for 4 hours and it just made everything worse.
Again pictures do not do this justice but it looked like shit and I had to call Chem Dry... and with very little hope mind you.... but they cleaned it all up even better than originally and all was well... I bounced back and I was ready for the tile. Praise be.
Enter the tile. I have 3 fireplaces one is double sided so technically 4. I have several options/ideas in my head so I chose the most neutral version for this room and went with a textured/crafted tile and we put them right up against each other with minimal spacing for an "I've always been here" look with a bright white grout to avoid any contrast. Just call me Delia Deetz.
It was VERY messy... the paint would have to be touched up so I just let Paul do his thing but like every project we've tackled so far it went poorly... and took too long... and things were happening that shouldn't have been happening... so we were having A LOT of fun with A LOT of encouraging words being shared. We both decided the bottom stone should be painted and before you freak out on me and say "YOU CAN'T PAINT STONE!" ... you actually can and Annie Sloan herself has tutorials on it. It was beautiful and I'm sure expensive but it was not for me so now it's covered.
Or is this me? Or am I Otho? idk. Maybe I'm both.
I typically like the look of chalk paint without wax but because this is the family room and we have 4 kids and 3 dogs... I knew it would need to be protected so I waxed it. It gives it a shine and the more you buff it the shiner it gets so... to each there own. I think it turned out gorgeous! I paint a lot with chalk paint... it is super versatile so don't be intimidated! Ask the Purple Painted Lady or a friend who has used it a bunch. I reached out to my friend Shan because she is super knowledgable and she let me know, "Once you start waxing it looks like shit but keep going." And she was right!!! Another great thing about chalk paint... It can totally change a piece or room rather quickly because there is very little prep work needed and it holds up great! We also decided to leave the grate/screen off permanently. I like how open it looks now, and since it's gas and super controlled there really isn't a need for it.
Something else odd I noticed about the fireplace was it didn't feel "cozy". The grate was empty so it's just like, flames coming out of holes. Not very romantic or inviting. I took to Google and did some research. Turns out there are little wool, like, embers you can add to make the fireplace more cozy or realistic looking. By the way, super cheap, found them on Amazon. Took me like, 4.5 minutes to add them.
If you need these you can find them here.
It's not styled yet and this room is still in its infancy as far as interior design goes. I'm not able to thrift shop so I haven't found the right pieces yet, and a few things in here are temporary, but I love how this is coming along.
I hope you thoroughly enjoyed this post and maybe even... got a little turned on from it, but enough about me. If you have any questions I'd love to hear from you!!! Want to collab? Please visit the contact page on www.megancherepko.com
Take care, be safe, wash your hands. God Bless.