You might remember how this all started. It was all so blah. Or bleh—whichever makes it seem the most ugh. I loved and hated the fireplace.

More than once I recommended busting up the fireplace. I believe I called it obtrusive and obnoxious. And, yes, I really thought it would be a good idea to take a chisel and sledge hammer to this old stone. Thankfully, nobody paid attention to my this-fireplace-makes-me-crazy rants. I blame it on first-house syndrome, you know, the it’s-my-first-house-I-think-it-should-be-perfect syndrome. I also blame the selective use of high-gloss paint. (See below). 

Starting Point: It’s a classic 1940s bungalow fireplace.

Pardon the mess. As you can see, I always took the time to remove the scattered debris before taking photos. I like to think I was just keeping it real.

The furnace was killing me. Brad (contractor) saw potential while I carried on with my bust-the-whole-thing-out-this-looks-like-a-grandma rant. Somewhere in the process we came up with the idea for cutting doors into the space.

That’s better. The doors made it feel and look a hundred times better—so did a coat of flat paint. Flat paint is a double-edged sword. More on that later.

Those doors are one of favorite elements of the house. Somewhere along the way I ran across this tile and it occurred to me that this would be the perfect tile to tie the fireplace and doors together.

All it needs is grout. Grout is all it needs.

Here it is, with today’s version of the ever-evolving mantle decor.

Thanks for reading. Have a lovely spring-that-feels-like-summer day.