The last of my decorating “details” went in this week, with just days to spare before the basement photo shoot. It is the fake fireplace. I had created a 5-foot-wide built-out to fake a fireplace chimney, then flanked it with shaker-style double doors which conceal loads of storage. Of course, I was inspired, as always, by Darryl Carter (above). Are you sick of how much I write about him yet? He isn’t my absolute favourite for nothing.
The next bit of business involved an old beat-up fireplace mantel I purchased from a local designer — it was living in his backyard, not used, and beaten down upon by lots of rain.
My first idea was to leave it unfinished like the one in this inspiration shot. I love the simplicity of the mantel, the layers of paint still clinging to the wood.
So I bought one that had the same vibe. But all that rain meant it required a complete overhaul, as it fell apart in my hands when moving it to the basement. So I will paint it out white, or black, or even pale blue. But I will have to let go of my first idea. Isn’t that the thing about reno-ing or redecorating? You have to be prepared to walk away from some of your ideas, and who knows, the next decision might be the better one.
Lastly, and most excitingly, I have to let the cat out of the bag for all the blog readers who encouraged me to keep my original rubble wall. For reasons of dampness, I just couldn’t do it. So while that first idea to keep the rubble and paint it white was ditched in favour of drywall and dryness, I did find a fantastic new product for my fake fireplace wall — a really good faux brick. When I realized I couldn’t get that old rustic look with the mantel, I scoured the city for good fakes, maybe an embossed wallpaper I could paint white would work, or brick veneers I apply and paint out.
Then I discovered Century Architexture, a local company that does fantastic fake brick walls — so real looking. I chose the Manchester Brick, which looks like it has tons of goo squeezing out between the bricks. Prepare to be fooled, as next week’s post will be written just after my photoshoot day and I will do a little reveal on my basement.
To recap on the entire reno, read all my blog posts.
1. Darryl Carter from Remodelista December 1, 2008
2. Unknown source: Help! Does anyone know where this shot comes from?
3. Meg Crossley
4. September 2009 issue of House & Home, Century Architexture Manchester Brick, photography by Felix Wedgwood