This summer we bought a fireplace insert for our living room. We had dreamed of purchasing a Jotul stove for years. The high efficiency design burns less wood and puts off more heat, not to mention Jotul's have a beautiful design too. Unfortunately we had to pull out the existing mantel and built in bookcases around the fireplace for the new one to pass code. Deconstruct. Bummer one.
Once we pulled out the built-ins, we realized the three quarter inch oak floors only went to the cabinets, not under them. So now we had two giant holes on either side that were just sub flooring. Bummer two.
One trip to Home Depot and we were a few hundred bucks lighter and a stack of slate stone heavier. Joe carefully cut more of the wood floor away in front of the fireplace so we could add enough non combustible on the front for code, oh that was sad cutting into that beautiful floor. Then he laid cement board down and we put in these really nice variegated stones and a small border, both natural slate. Maggie laid right in the middle of everything we did, as usual for her. It turned out really nice! We got so lucky and the cement board + the tile was the exact height of the wood floor. It makes it look like an on purpose inlay and we didn't have to add a transition piece between the new and old flooring. Major bonus! A few coats of stone sealer and grout and it was done. This of course took a week to complete.
We also had to pull out the huge mantel, and we had a big hole there as well with just cement and no bricks, so we did an inlaid border with the same small slate there. It pulled the project together nicely…. but I forgot to grab a photo of that part.
As I type this we're in the progress of de-glossing and sanding the paneling in the den so we can prime and paint the walls in there. I originally thought I would do a lovely sage green in the den…… but after a few months of living here I realize I want the lightest color possible in that room. So we're going with Lyndhurst Estate Cream. I'm hoping for warmth…. it seems like a nice warm color, and a perfect backdrop for lots of art and family photos. But first, there will be much sanding and cutting in all those edges and corners and windows. Lots of work to go in there.
And now we arrive at the reconstruct part of this post. We couldn't bare to part with the solid wood cabinets & shelves. So they sat in the basement for several weeks until we figured out a plan. We have this really funky walkway that has a door to the main floor bathroom, a door to the apartment, and french doors to the kitchen. It's rather large, has a sky light and is not used often. Joe had the brilliant idea of reconstructing the bookshelf part of the cabinets in that space. They fit perfectly and he made some notches in the base so they were flush with the hall. He anchored them to the wall and now all we need is a top for the shelf. My huge stack of books that was occupying the floor in the apartment now have a home again! Have I told you I organize my books a bit like a book store? In categories. And I also kind of love doing this. Craft shelf here, cookbook shelf there, homestead shelf here…… oh books, I do love them so.