Welcome to week 2 of the Fall 2018 One Room Challenge! If you’re not familiar, every spring and fall, 20 featured designers selected by the ORC team participate in a 6-week challenge to decorate one room. The event is hosted by Linda Weinstein of Calling it Home and Better Homes and Gardens. In addition to the featured designers, hundreds of other folks with blogs (and Instagram this season!) join in on the challenge as Guest Participants <— that’s me.
If you’ve hopped over to this post from the ORC website – welcome! I’m Emily, this is my blog, and I’m working on undecorating the 1929 tudor-ish home I share with my husband, Andy, and our corgi, Penelope. This is my second One Room Challenge (last season I made over our guest room). I am glad you’re here!
For this season’s challenge, I am making over our main bedroom. Sometimes I like to think of the One Room Challenge as the Great British Bake Off of interior design blogging and if you’re following me down that path, I’m about to talk about what I like to think of as my “showstopper.” In last week’s main bedroom plan post, I talked about my overall vision for the room and the most important, most labor-intensive DIY part: building an electric fireplace surround. But where did that idea come from?
On my list of “one-day house hopes” (we all have one of the those locked up in our brains, right?) is a bedroom fireplace. So many of the Victorian homes I drool over have them along with some of my favorite Tudor and Craftsman homes. Our bedroom actually used to have one – the brick chimney and firebox have been plastered over and the surround removed, but the footprint is still visible – and I figured that was the end of the story. It seemed completely impossible to me to restore the old fireplace, to dig out the firebox and make sure the chimney was safe for use. And so, that was the end of it.
DIY Fireplace Inspiration
That was until I saw some of my favorite home bloggers adding electric fireplaces to their homes.
Nicole built this beautiful surround with a modern take on a traditional fireplace style.
Julia and Chris Marcum built a recessed modern marble surround fireplace with the most beautiful view into their stunning new bathroom. Be sure to read their excellent post on how to DIY a built-in electric fireplace.
Classic Fireplace Surround Inspiration
Once the internet gave me the courage to build something similar, I had to think: what do I want this thing to look like? How can I make it appropriate to our house with its Tudor-ish and Craftsman-ish and Colonial-ish style? My dream is a beautiful stone surround with an arch in the middle like the one pictured above. But as I do not know how to make a single thing out of stone, I figured maybe I’d better try to capture similar design elements with wood and tile.
Fireplace Design Building Plans
This is what I’d like the view of the fireplace to look like when all is said and done. It would be nice to have 2 chairs or a small chaise or sofa near the fireplace but honestly, we don’t need more furniture to trip over on the way to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
Here’s a look at the back of the surround. The plan is to build some framing to both hold up the electric insert and to support the surround. A piece of cement board will be secured to the framing and then tiled. Next, the framing and tile combo will be secured inside the surround. Last, the electric insert is slid in from the front of the surround.
The electric fireplace insert vents through the front and doesn’t need extra venting or clearance in the back beyond its actual depth. I’ll just need to make room to pass the cord outside of the surround so I can plug it into the wall.
Here’s how the 3 main components look on their own.
I love the aged crackle on the tile in our blush bathroom and want something similar for the new fireplace. I want to add a little bit of color and age with the tile and have ordered a few samples.
Which would you choose? Tundra, Arctic Blue, or Deep Emerald? There are some obvious color differences in the examples above pulled from the TileBar website but they are all beautiful in person. I am leaning strongly toward the Arctic Blue!
Main Bedroom Makeover Checklist
So how’s it going with the rest of the One Room Challenge?
Order bed Order nightstands Make complex plans for the fireplace surround and run them by Dad
- Order electric fireplace insert
- Order tile
- Build fireplace
- Pick curtain rods
- Choose and order rug
- Pick and order a mattress
- Order prints and frames for photo gallery grid
- Other art
- Find new dresser for Andy
- Get king size bedding
The fireplace project isn’t a weekend or even a week-long project but instead will come together over the course of the challenge. My dad and I have talked through the plans and are ready to get started, but since we live about an hour and a half apart, this will be an extra tricky build. I’ll keep you updated but will probably save the fireplace reveal for the whole room reveal! So stay tuned.