Friday, August 7, 2009

Fireplace story ...

Do you have a fireplace in your home? If so, do you use it often? We had a little corner fireplace in our home in California and I'm surprised we used it as much as we did. I loved it because I never grew up in homes with fireplaces. When we moved into our current house in Montana, there was a fireplace in the living room upstairs. This is what it looked like when we visited the house for the first time while the original owners still lived here ...

As you can see, they had rigged it up so their TV fit on the top and they had wires coming out all over the place. The lady tried to make it nice, but it was her husband who had the idea about the TV and he proceeded to brag about how great it was. I thought it was ... well, ugly. When we moved in, I tried to dress it up a little with a few plants and my leopard statue. It helped, but it was still ... well, ugly. This is how it looked ...

So, when we decided to install a wood-burning stove downstairs, we had them redo this fireplace as well. The wood burning stove pipes came right up through the same area, so the brick facing covered them up really well. This is how it looks now, minus some bear statues I've added ...

Rick's only regret is putting the fireplace insert back in and not making it a wood-burning fireplace. I guess that would have been nice, but it would have been a major expense. Not only that, but we'd have to lug wood in for 2 fireplaces. It's hard enough to do that for one when the snow gets really deep. So, we don't use the upstairs one all that much for heating the house. It's mostly for decoration or for when we're all sitting around it. It's hard to tell from this picture, but it's in a great room with the living/dining/kitchen all in the same area. Before, the burgundy dome thing was really distracting. Now the brick seems to be a focal part of the room. By the way, this is the oddest shaped house I've ever seen. I don't think there is one square-shaped room in it. Anyway, since I showed you some of the pictures of the house the other day, I thought I'd share the little fireplace story as well.


  1. I love the new look but where did the cheetah go to? I love cheetahs and tigers and lions, etc. I am bad I was trying to see what the plates were to the side. I love to see how other people decorate their houses. It always gives me great ideas.
    I have a gas fire place here that I love in the winter. My last house we had a wood burning with a great insert. I learnt real fast how to build fires. My hubby said I did it wrong but I always had fire! I would get the house so warm that the insert was warped in a few places.
    Oh and one time we had some hickoy wood to burn. I loved that smell so lovely.

  2. No fireplace story here, but I thought yours was good. And you're right - the previous owner's idea of tv-over-fireplace looked horrible. Thank goodness you guys had it redone.


  3. We used to have a Franklin fireplace and a wood burning stove - I replaced those when I bought the house from mom and dad. I was always afraid one of the kids would get burned. Call me P-squared. Paranoid parent ;)

  4. Miss Daphne -- the cat statue went into my bedroom. You can't see it in the slideshow, but right over the bathroom door there's a big open cove and he fit perfectly in there. Since my bedroom & bathroom are done up in big cats, he fit in perfectly here.

    Gale -- Yeah, the fireplace definitely wasn't one of the reasons we bought the house. It was so tacky.

    Kim -- I hear you on the paranoid thing. I'm the same way, but that comes from Rick who worked in law enforcement and as an EMT for so long. Sadly, he saw the outcome of parents not being protective enough, so I think it's made us a little more so. The boys are older, so they've been okay with the wood-burning stove downstairs. It's kind of in the corner of the room, so it's out of the way from where they play. I have a little chair by it and only cold, snowy days I can just sit there for hours.

  5. That tv fireplace definately looked like something a man would do. It looks nice now,and I loved the cat statue. I've never lived in a house with a fireplace,but I'd like to someday. Your home is beautiful,what a lot of rooms! I like how your bathrooms are decorated especially. You use a lot of earthy colors.So cool!


  6. Thanks, Leanne. In the slideshow, there weren't any pictures of the girl's bathroom, but they have it decorated in horses. The washroom isn't picture either, but that's where I keep my treadmill. Also, I couldn't find the boy's playroom picture either, so that's not included. It's just the weirdest shaped house. When you look at it on Google Earth, it almost looks like it's U-shaped. I love this house though because it's literally twice the size of our old house. Downstairs in the basement, where those wood floors were shown in the slideshow, there's also a big bar with sink, fridge, microwave, etc. It's almost like having 2 homes. I can't believe how cramped up we were in our old house in CA compared to all the space we have now. The only bad thing is the garage, which isn't big enough for Rick and all his stuff. We hope to add a shed someday.

  7. Oh, one more thing ...

    Miss Daphne asked about the plates. If you click on the slideshow below, you can go right to the site and see the pictures close up. That particular plate set is from the Franklin Mint and is of kittens. I have 3 complete cat plate sets -- kittens in the living room, cats in the kitchen, and then small cats of the Americas in my bathroom.

  8. I like it so much better now. It was definitely a man thing before. heehee.

    Growing up in the mountains, just about all houses had fireplaces. My dad loved them and it seemed there was always a fire burning. I love the smell. We used pine needles and pine cones along with newspaper to start the fires which made it smell that much better.

    (I don't think my grammar is very good) LOL


  9. Lovely fireplace Rena. We do have a fireplace but what is so funny is that when I first read this post, I thought, "nope, we don't" but then it hit me - we have one in our den. lol As you may have guessed, we don't use it at all. It is a gas one and gets so hot and since the kids are so young, we never turn it on.

    It is not really my taste - it is a brass colour with brick around it and it is on our list of "things to change when we win the lottery."