Uptown: How to Makeover a Fireplace

I was so happy to see a gas fireplace in my house when I first toured it with my real estate agent 2.5 years ago. After I bought it, moved in, and planned my various renovation projects, the fireplace was on the reno list, but it wasn’t a priority.

Over the last few months, however, I tackled this fireplace makeover*, and I’m so pleased with the results. Shall we walk down memory lane together?

Here’s the before photo of the fireplace. It was always in perfectly good working condition, but the tile was old, the 80s gold did nothing for me, and the step riser took up space in the smallish-size room. IMG_5806.JPG White-Cabana-fireplace-makeover-2The plan?
1. Get rid of the tile and the step.
2. Paint the gold.
3. Install a beautiful mantle.
4. Install a tile surround.

Thankfully, things went according to plan with this project!

My dad carefully removed the step and tile and ensured that additional supports were installed before adding more plywood/drywall to the surround.

White-Cabana-fireplace-makeover-7 White-Cabana-fireplace-makeover-3 White-Cabana-fireplace-makeover-4White-Cabana-fireplace-makeover-5My mom’s incredible detective skills resulted in a gorgeous mantle frame that was just about the perfect size for my space. My resourceful and handy parents took care of the few adjustments (and adding more trim).

White-Cabana-fireplace-makeover-1The painting and tile work was my responsibility. After taping around the fireplace screen, and covering my room’s floor with tarp, I painted the gold using high-heat Rustoleum spray paint. I completed a few light coats to ensure good coverage.

White-Cabana-fireplace-makeover-8Once the mantle was installed, I was able to get on with the tiles. I sourced 2-inch matte black hex tiles from my KW go-to tile team at Twin City Tile. I had my heart set on black from the get-go, but I did contemplate white hex and marble for a bit, too (you saw a bit of marble in one of the photos above).

White-Cabana-fireplace-hex-black-tilevia Instagram

In the end, I’m definitely glad I went for a black hex tile surround as the fireplace blends in, and it’s all very sleek.

White-Cabana-fireplace-DIYvia Instagram

Before painting the mantle, I sanded the heck out of it (thankfully I have the Black & Decker matrix with sander attachment, so this process went fairly quickly). I did all the sanding before I installed the tiles, by the way. I then put on three coats of white door and trim paint to freshen and brighten up this old mantle.

White-Cabana-fireplace-2via Instagram

White-Cabana-fireplace-1via Instagram

And there you have it – a step-by-step recap of my fireplace makeover.

* Thanks again, Mom and Dad, for your help!
If you’d like to see more of my house, check out my house tour or read the articles in the Uptown category.

Uptown: A Look at My Kitchen

I have already shared photos of my main floor powder room. Today, I’m revealing the after photos of my kitchen. I took forever to finish up the last bit of grouting (there was a space that I was too lazy to fill), and¬†I was putting off the photos until the backsplash was really fully complete. The before photos of my kitchen are pretty horrific. Honestly, I look back at them and I wonder what the heck I was thinking when I actually bought my house! They’re that bad!

So what did I do to my kitchen to get it white and bright? Here’s a list:
– primed and painted the walls and ceiling
– tore down a dividing wall beside the stove
– installed some new lighting
– installed some additional cabinetry
– installed a marble countertop
– installed a single basin sink
– installed a backsplash (I did it myself!)
– installed an over-the-range microwave
– changed the cabinet hardware

Yes, it was a lot of work! Still on the to do list? The floors are still on my wish list. I’d really love to install hardwood floors.

Okay, here are the after photos:

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In case anyone is wondering – I generally do keep my kitchen this tidy. I took everything off of my fridge and the stack of papers/books/magazines off of the table for the photos, but other than that, my kitchen looks like this every day. The stove and floor could use a scrub, but c’est la vie.

Sources:
marble counter – Natural Stone City
sink – Vigo via Home Depot
microwave – KW Appliances
backsplash tiles via Kijiji (for only $10!)
toaster – Cuisinart
KitchenAid stand mixer
oil & vinegar bottles – Diane von Furstenberg
salt & paper shakers – Chapters Indigo
small tray – Crate & Barrel
large tray, milk glass, light fixture, embroidered cherries framed Рvintage
tea towel, plant pot, table – IKEA
chairs Рvintage, painted by me (inspired by Joan Miró)
black & white fridge magnet bottle openers – Alessi
watermelon art – painted by me (age 5)

Uptown: A Look at my Powder Room

I haven’t posted any¬†photos of my home for quite some time. Most of the major work is done (yay!), although I always have something on my to do list (e.g., my basement bathroom). I am¬†so¬†proud of all that I have accomplished in the 1.5 years since I moved into my home. The house looks nothing like it did when I moved in. I slathered gallons and gallons of paint on every single wall, changed a bunch of light fixtures, cleaned for hours on end, tore down a wall, and so much more.

I haven’t taken after photos of every room, so this past weekend, I devoted some time to doing just this. I am just about ready to share a house tour. I really should post the before photos, too, to make things extra dramatic (maybe I will¬†one day)!

For now, here’s a look at what my¬†powder room. This¬†space was completely gutted, and nothing (besides¬†some of the walls) was salvageable (you can see some before photos here and here). It was¬†a disgusting space, really, and that just sums up the before.

White-Cabana-Powder-Room-1 White-Cabana-Powder-Room-2 White-Cabana-Powder-Room-3 White-Cabana-Powder-Room-4 White-Cabana-Powder-Room-5I am so pleased with how this little room came together. Me and my family did the work ourselves, so the only cost was for supplies and fixtures. Little money, big impact. I especially love the floor in my powder room because I installed it myself. Who knew I would ever do such a thing!

Sources:
Tommy faucet – Delta c/o
cabinet & sink – IKEA
hex tiles – Twin City Tile
twin flush, energy efficient toilet – Costco
vintage Chanel poster – Les Puces flea market, Paris
mirror – HomeSense
towel bar – Umbra (it’s a paper towel holder)
linen towels – vintage
milk glass – vintage
light fixture – vintage
toilet roll holder – Bed Bath & Beyond
baseboards, light plates – Home Depot

Photos by me.

Uptown: To Do List Update

I haven’t posted a house update in many months. If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen some random¬†house photos already. Last year was full of major renovations, and so many changes happened in my once dark-burgundy home.

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white-on-white-on-white jewelry station

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teak and white in my living room

My original to do list (August 2013) was lengthy and full of major projects. Some additional items got crossed off the updated to do list (March 2014):

Рremove wallpaper in basement bathroom
– install a shower in the basement bathroom
– paint touch-ups (all over)
-office organization
-office art wall
-install fire smoke alarms (again)
plan patio

Since then, I have added – and crossed off – a few more tasks:
have a garage sale (read about my garage sale with Tim)
-finish touch-up tile work in kitchen (seal grout, add missing tile, caulk again)
-install foyer tiles
magically find 2 small side tables for my living room
-find one small table to match my chaise (to replace the existing ottoman)
-upholster my two Danish teak arm chairs (seen in photo above)
clean up/organize the garage (again)
-paint basement
BBQ a lot

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coffee Рjust because

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I’m starting to organize my not-so-pretty-but-oh-so-useful garage supplies

Renos have slowed down slightly¬†over the summer¬†as there weren’t immediate changes that needed to be made. My¬†basement (storage central) got cleared out a bit after my recent¬†garage sale. I have had the paint (thanks, CIL) for many months, and I’m itching to break it open and start slathering white on the dark walls. I could do a major bathroom/laundry renovation down there, but I honestly don’t know if this is the year that I’m going to do it. Please hold.¬†I have also had my marble foyer tiles stacked neatly for months, but I haven’t found the time or energy to focus on installing them in my foyer. Soon, yes?

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Ah, flowers, they’re so pretty (thanks, Anita)! They almost make me forget about the DIY to do lists that are waiting for me!

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