It was Bill’s idea to put a gas fireplace in the basement. At first I thought it’d be a nice touch, but I was kind of indifferent about it. And especially after we realized it was going to cost considerably more than we originally thought, I threw it into the category of “things we can cut for the sake of simplicity and/or finances”. But we didn’t end up cutting it and I’m very glad we didn’t! I love how it turned out, and it adds interest to the room. Plus, it’s a basement so it’ll be cold in the winter and this baby is hooked up to the thermostat so it will help keep the room warm.
Of course Bill framed and installed the fireplace himself and I helped with super complicated and important things like arranging the fake logs and embers. I was also there for the first test, which I am happy to say did not blow up the house. Bill also built the mantle and the top of the fireplace is a flat shelf. We are hoping to commission a custom piece of pottery for that shelf from our friend Valerie.
Bill (and/or his dad, I forget) came up with the idea to surround the fireplace with some kind of “fake stone”. He didn’t want the clean, lined-up look of tile, but a more rustic look. So I was tasked with looking up “fake stone” on the interwebs and trying to find some that wouldn’t be too expensive. We went to Lowes to check out this option, but it was much more substantial than we wanted (3″ deep and required an extensive mortar application process). As we were leaving, I said “What if we just got some slate tiles and busted them up artistically and tiled the fireplace face?” As usual when I suggest a building method I either made up or know nothing about, I expected there would be some reason why this could never work. But it did work! Bill said that grouting the broken tile and then cleaning and sealing it was a huge pain, but it looks great and it cost us about 1/4 of what we thought it would cost with “fake stone”.
Coming soon…updates on the bathroom and the rest of the basement. We are almost done!