Estelle Jan 2007

Estelle Jan 2007
This is the home built by John Nelson

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Fireplaces - Woodworking

Deciding how to decorate the fireplaces was always a fun topic for us to discuss. Because this home originally featured wood fireplaces that vented up the brick chimneys hidden in the walls, there were no open-face hearths. In fact, for the day, having a contained stove/fireplace was much smarter - because these small fireplaces did not suck a lot of air up the chimneys. They were significantly more efficient - and did a great job of heating the home. Often, a cast iron kettle filled with water would spread steam throughout the rooms, keeping the house warmer. These small fireplaces could be regulated by adjusting the air intake - for more or less flame/heat.

It appears that there were small fireplaces throughout the home, including - downstairs in the front room, the kitchen, the dining area and the family room; upstairs in all four bedrooms (in fact, a chimney fire sometime after 1950 left some smoke stains on the wall in the upstairs green bedroom (room by the SE porch).

So, here's some photos of the fireplaces in progress.

The fireplace in the family room is designed to match the kitchen cabinets. We added glass square tiles (1" x 1") around the gas fireplace. I love how they look. We feared they may be too modern, and the entire fireplace looked modern until we were able to finish the mantel and decor touches.

The woodwork is done from Poplar, which stained beautifully to match the tones of the kitchen cabinets. We took samples of the woodwork from the kitchen into the store to get them identical. Their first attempt was not very close to a match on either color. So, we asked to spend a little more time. After some work, they were able to get these colors spot on. In fact, the brown shade (seen in the center carved medallion) is called 'Baird - Door Front' brown [because we took a sample door from the cabinets in for matching] and the red (behind the medallion) is called 'Baird - Red Stain.'

The floor tiles are a 'brick-cut' travertine with Bone colored grout from The Home Depot. You can see our subflooring that we laid down over the pine floors (the gaps were too large for us to save the old floors). We are thinking about 5" wide hand scraped planks for all three rooms and the entry on the main level. The kitchen of course is tile (ceramic tile with a rock look so they'll wear better in such a high-traffic room).

The front room fireplace is very tall. It feels like this room always was supposed to have a built-in fireplace. And with both these fireplaces, they're simple to switch on - the push of a button and you have flames. The logs are gorgeous - I'm pleased with how well the sets look in place.

The trim is very appropriate for a 130+ year old home. And, since we decided on the 'Red Stain' for the front room mantel, it ties in beautifully with the style of the home.

Here are some pictures of the front room fireplace in progress:

No comments: