Last time, we drooled over my big sister, Amy’s gorgeous kitchen and dining room remodel here. Now we get to peek at my little sister’s house!
Hillary is married to Mike, they have three squishably adorable kids and just moved in to a new house three weeks ago.
This house is so great: it’s big, with nice open rooms and a great backyard that connects to woods with a stream. They are on a cul-de-sac in a neighborhood with a park nearby. They searched and searched for the right home, and this one was it.
Hillary and Mike are outgoing, so funny, and for sure our favorite people to hang out with (besides Amy and Eric, of course). Most nights are spent either entertaining friends or staying home watching shows together (they have a million), so it felt important to them that their home was pretty, comfortable and reflected their young, cool personalities.
The only problem? The house they bought was pretty builder-basic blah.
Neither are very well-practiced in home DIY’s, so my parents, Ryan and I spent a Saturday a few weeks ago helping with their first big house project.
Before they moved in, they had the walls painted a grayish-white and carpet replaced upstairs. Eventually, they’ll replace the carpet downstairs with new hardwoods and switch out the baseboards for something more substantial, but for now, they’re living with the beige carpet (it’s really not that bad) and trying to do small makeovers that make a big impact.
Their new fireplace was the perfect starting point.
Let’s begin with a before, shall we?
This is the real estate photo. Nothing terrible, but also nothing that says “we’re young and cool!” either. The fireplace looks like pretty much every other builder-grade fireplace with tile surround and a traditional maple-colored mantle.
Upon moving in, they took off the mantle and sold it on craigs list. Next, Mike and my dad pulled off the tile surround. Actually, I think they decided to cut it out and just replace the drywall because it would have torn the wall anyway.
Before we arrived to help, they had replaced the tiled area with new drywall and filled in the gaps with mud.
Their vision for the wall was a panel of horizontal planks just in that middle fireplace section. They wanted no trim – just wood planks. Very clean lines, slightly modern, but also a little rustic. Doing the entire wall would have been great, too, but they really wanted to highlight the fireplace. Plus, those bookshelves are so great on either side and the lines of paneling going all the way across the wall would get busy.
To start, Ryan and Mike added vertical pieces of 1×2 screwed into studs.
The outside 1×2’s didn’t go into studs, so they added drywall anchors. This way, the paneling had something to attach to.
Then the boards went up! They used wood shiplap siding from Home Depot and had them cut the boards to size.
Since Mike had already gone through the tedious work of installing the tv mounting hardware and hidden wiring, they decided to work around it. Someday, if they decide to take the tv down, they can easily replace the three planks to go all the way across.
While all of this was going on, Hillary and I were upstairs building furniture for her office, the girl cousins were playing babies and the boys decided to put on a superhero fashion show.
They pretend like it’s just to entertain their littlest cousin, but I’m pretty sure they all thought it was the best fashion show ever. #lovetheseboys
Back to the fireplace …
The sides were covered.
The tv went back up and voila! a modern/rustic fireplace makeover was complete.
They haven’t decided yet if they will stain the wood – maybe tone down the raw yellowish undertones with a slightly gray stain – or paint it all white. My vote is to stain it just barely and wait until they change out the floors to make the paint decision. The natural wood looks so great in the room, but once the wood floors are down, they may find its too much wood. At that point, I vote for painting it white.
Mike and Hill thought about adding a chunky reclaimed piece of wood for a mantle (mainly because she wants a place to hang christmas stockings!). Once the wood was up, though, we all loved the modern simplicity. The stockings can hang from the bookshelves :)
Here’s the fireplace once again, in before and after format:
Such a great way to turn a builder-grade blah fireplace into a feature they are happy to have at the center of their family room. On to the next project …
Wall Paint: Rock Candy by Sherwin Williams
Wood used: Shiplap Wood Siding from Home Depot (like this)
Coffee Table: World Market Wood and Metal Aiden Coffee Table
Side Table: Urban Outfitters Accordion Side Table in Brass
Thanks Mike + Hillary for letting us show off your home!