As many of you already know, we have so far done some work in the master bedroom and the hallway, as well as our huge master bathroom renovation. We like to keep ourselves busy during larger home projects, such as the guest bathroom we’ve been slowly chipping away at. Our fireplace was one of the first things on our “Must Go” list when we first moved in, but we decided to handle a larger problem first. As you can see in the before photo below, there was this huge hanging archway that connected from the fireplace to the other wall. While we’re all about original home character, this one just didn’t make sense. It was right in front of our beautiful coffin-shaped windows and was blocking all of the natural light, making the home feel dark and sad.
You can slide across the photo below to see the before and after!
We quickly had the archway removed, and no joke - what a huge difference it made! This after photo is one we snapped to show the huge difference it made in the layout. Our home is already on the smaller side (1,300 sq. ft.), but taking down this arch makes it seem so much bigger. Honestly, every little thing helps in giving that illusion of being larger than it is.
From Porcelain Tiles to Brick
You may also notice the change in tiles around the fireplace. So as much as we hated them, we didn’t want to get too far into a new project while working on so many others (new flooring throughout, painting all the walls, replacing some windows.)... But once the tiles started falling off the wall on their own, we dove right in.
Sean and I have always wanted a wood-burning fireplace with beautiful original bricks, but unfortunately in Las Vegas, those were no longer allowed to be built past a certain year. Our home didn’t make the cut… Boo! We have a gas fireplace but decided to be total weirdos and make it look like the brick we always wanted anyway!! ;) We ended up buying Thin Brick tiles and laying them on ourselves around the gas insert and also on the floor below it. For the inside of the surround, we bought black heat-resistant paint made just for these types of fireplace/BBQ projects and painted the interior beige tiles. That alone made such a huge impact!
DIY Floating Mantle and Logs
For the mantle, we wanted something simple and timeless, so we went to our local Home Depot, bought some wood, and Sean made us this gorgeous piece himself. We had to get a little creative with mounting it to ensure it would fully support all the weight of our decor, so we made this sort of wood “box” without a 4th side, and drilled that into some blocks of wood that we had previously fastened to the studs. The missing side comes into contact with the wall, if that makes sense (should have taken pictures.. oops!). I did find this great tutorial though - it’s very similar to what we did, in case any of you are interested!
With some wood filler and stain, you can’t even see the screws we used to attach it to the blocks, so it ends up looking like one large floating piece of wood. :)
Once we replaced the gas log with the real wood, the whole thing came together. Now I know some people might say we’re crazy for putting real wood in there, but let’s be honest - how often are people using their fireplace in the desert? In all my years of living in Las Vegas, I can say I have never, ever turned on a fireplace in any of my homes. Just our personal preference, but we did keep the gas log as a backup in case we ever do change our minds or just want a visual experience during the holidays.
To keep up with our decor theme of brass and blush, we hung up our gorgeous brass round mirror and styled everything else around it. Aside from the vintage brass candlesticks, everything else is shoppable at the bottom of the post!
Thanks so much for following along! If you have any questions, or just want to tell us how insane we are for using brick instead of some modern tiles, feel free to leave us a comment below! ;)
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