As we head into week seven of our new normal a few people have asked for some DIY projects to be posted on the blog as many of us are entering into times of financial stress.  So today I thought I would do a short and sweet post on our fireplace which we did ourselves.  There is always a sense of achievement when we do something ourselves and I hope that this post inspires you to take the plunge and do a project in your home over the next few weeks while we are stuck at home.  Look out for our next post about outdoor projects while we enjoy this beautiful weather.

A coat of fresh paint can revitalize a room or an object.  As all my friends know, I almost always have a painting project on the go, whether it is refinishing a piece of furniture, painting bookshelves, window frames, or rooms, there is always something that can benefit from a new coat of paint.  When we moved into our house, we lived for years with our gray brick fireplace, and cabinets on either side that were somehow missing doors… literally one side had them and one side didn’t.  Where they went, we will never know!  So, as children’s lego covered the floor one night I decided I needed to replace the doors and hide the lego – there is always an ulterior motive when mom starts a project!  I then decided we needed to new mantel too and why not paint the brick white too to brighten the room?  What started as a simple project became bigger by the day, but the finished project has totally changed our living room and has become my favorite update in our home.  Here is what it looked like before (no judgment please!):

We don’t have any photos of it in progress so here is the finished product:

Steven was not completely convinced about painting the brick at first, and to be honest he had a point. The thing about painting brick is that there is not an easy way to undo it when it’s done. I’ll never forget putting the first bit of paint on and him saying, “there’s no going back now!” Way to instill confidence! I did slightly panic at that point, but he was right, I couldn’t turn back! We used Benjamin Moore Simply White for the paint color and bought replacement doors online.

Casey Libby had told me about a lumber yard up in Kennesaw that had great weathered wood and could potentially have mantels too, so one afternoon we took the kids on a little road trip to see…wood!  Funnily enough they actually had a good time climbing on it all, but I’m pretty sure the people working were pleased when we left! We took a look at the beautiful thick mantels they were selling, then saw the price and decided there had to be a cheaper way, so we looked around and Steven found the most beautiful piece of reclaimed wood. The funny part is that the random piece of wood that we found for the mantel is the thing that people seem to comment on most in our living room.  It was $80 verses almost $1000 for a specialty one, and we love its simplicity in the room.  Both Steven and I adore reading so, call us old fashioned, but we like to put books on our bookcases!  Steven had collected the majority of these old books from antique stores over the years and his grandmother gave him the collection on the upper shelves.  I knew that I could find a frame to match for my mom’s beautiful English countryside painting and voila fireplace makeover was complete. Oh and bonus, we all like it and love the white brick!