Another week in the house, another week closer to feeling settled and another Tuesday Tidbits. We are still working on lots of odds-n-ends with the house (a trim piece here, some more caulk there, etc) and we are slowly decorating. As I’ve said before, I take my time with this. I especially take my time with making decor purchases and hanging things on the walls. They both feel so permanent that I want to be really sure.

Below is our upstairs guest suite and while it is not decorated yet, it is done enough for guests. New bedding, new towels in the bathroom, extra blankets….you name it. While we have entertained friends during our evenings, we haven’t had any overnight guests just yet. But I’m guessing that will change in the near future. As we have found in our master suite, the upstairs of the house is SO quiet it’s amazing and a littler eery. Side note: if you ever wondered whether the spray insulation was worth it or not – it IS. That stuff lets in no sound. Zero. Zilch.

I’ve posted several photos of our kitchen, but it’s tough to get a feel for the size. I thought I would try and show you the dining area. The table (including the chairs) is a little over 12 feet long.

We ended up with so much space on each side of the table, that we could turn the table side ways and it would still fit with room to spare.

And while some people we use this space, Trent and I have found that we love (read: absolutely LOVE) having empty space. I realize it’s not everyone’s taste…but we love having room to roam.

In other news, we are trying to figure out what we want to do with the small fireplace. Both fireplaces have been a huge ordeal that never should have happened (take my advice and never…repeat NEVER hire someone without a massive reference list in the exact area you are wanting). While the large fireplace did not come with any great quality from the carpenter, we have managed to “fix it” and are happy with it now (generally speaking). The smaller fireplace is a much worse situation. The carpenter mis-measured several pieces and when asked to measure correctly and repair it, he did but then handed it over unfinished (no paint, final sanding, nothing). Trent and I have been ignoring it for the last couple of months and now it’s time to figure it out. Originally, the plan was to paint it the same white as the trim. While I think we will still do that, we feel like the entire fireplace needs to be beefed up in size. Initially, we are thinking all the trim pieces need to be twice their current size. So, as the old saying goes “if you want something done well, do it yourself.” Do you have any great ideas on this fireplace? We have talked through tons of options. Painting it a different color, adding a matching piece of granite to the top mantel (that would match the hearth), even adding some brick/stone, etc. It’s time for us to stop ignoring this little guy and just fix the problem.

As always, thank you for following along and have a wonderful week!

19 Comments

  • March 27, 2018 Reply

    Judy Heston

    Oh wow. I see what you mean about the small fireplace. A suggestion? I think the panels on either side of the middle section need the same trimming as the bottom part of the window on the right. The middle section a plaster (or whatever the composition) a wreath with ribbon extensions on either side of wreath, not too showy but simple. I cannot find what I am talking about but I think you get the idea. All a suggestion though. 🙂

  • March 27, 2018 Reply

    Ralph Buchanan Pears

    Perhaps wider trim would help balance the appearance and reduce the contrast between the relatively small size of the fireplace opening and the large panels surrounding it. I think repeating the motif of the raised panels on the adjacent walls in the large panels surrounding the fireplace would also help pull everything together a bit more.

  • March 27, 2018 Reply

    Connie

    OK, you asked. So here goes. This fireplace is just plain boring (to me). Problem is that I’m not creative and can offer little advice. I can see why you say “Help!” Maybe it needs some color, either with paint or stained wood or brick surround? I feel like it’s deserving of something to draw the eye rather than just “being there.” It looks lost in its little (big?) corner.

    P.S. Leah, if you want to read this then delete it rather than posting it, that would be great with me. I know I’ve been pretty blunt and I don’t want you to think I’m belittling your decisions. I love and admire what you and Trent have done with this outstanding piece of history.

  • March 27, 2018 Reply

    Moriah

    There are many ways you could change it and it’d be beautiful. But since I think you’re saying you are still in the “getting to know you” phase with your home., I would add some simple decor pieces – simple wreaths, florals/greenery I’d Is say from your yard but nothing is springing up yet…), photos on the mantel, candlesticks, etc… to cozy it up for now. One day you will wake up with an “Ah-ha” moment and you’ll know exactly what to do. 🙂

  • March 27, 2018 Reply

    Heather

    Adding brick might be a nice touch. You did mention in the beginning that you wanted exposed brick but for insulation purposes that it was a no go, but this might be the answer to getting your brick. Also a bigger mantle would probably help make it more “beefy”. But no matter what I’m sure you guys will make it look amazing!

  • March 27, 2018 Reply

    Janet Chutro

    I like the ideas above of mimicking the panels under the window on the right. And you’re idea of using matching slate on the mantle. I do think something ornamental for above the firebox. Maybe something with your initial’s intertwined. Or something with a pear motif?

  • March 27, 2018 Reply

    Michael Lannoo

    Wow, the your home is looking wonderful. The guest room is so nice and looks very comfortable. The big space around your table gives the home an elegant look too. About the fireplace. How about adding some scounces to each of the big panels for candles or other decorating items. One of those old fireplace protection screens might also add to the overall view and make the fireplace appear bigger. I like the marble treatment idea as well….

  • March 27, 2018 Reply

    Sue

    How about repeat your backsplash Marbel with a satin metal basket or vase to repeat your lighting metal which can hold random bunches of seasonal florals or greenery. I love to see a little nature brought inside. If you could find something thatis table height for visibility it would even be better. Antique funeral basket could be fun.

    • March 27, 2018 Reply

      Sue

      If your put the counter top marble on the 3 panels it would tie the opposite ends of the space together.

  • March 27, 2018 Reply

    Sarah

    What about putting some book shelves on either side that angle out from the fireplace itself?

  • March 27, 2018 Reply

    Karen Petsovich

    How about marble slabs over all 3 panels? Two dark on the big side panels to match the hearth & a contrasting color on the smaller one in the middle.

  • March 27, 2018 Reply

    Karen Petsovich

    Or 3 contrasting colors on the 3 panels.

  • March 27, 2018 Reply

    Jane Gajewski

    Personally, it gets lost all being the same color. I’d have a wooden mantle. The I’d replace the trim to match the window trim to give it the life it deserves.

  • March 27, 2018 Reply

    Cindy

    I agree with the others about matching the trim. A large metal piece to sit on the hearth to bring in some color, texture …. a large aged copper bowl to hold some birch logs. Plus Niles will enjoy sitting on it!

  • March 27, 2018 Reply

    Ross

    A drastic suggestion? But one which may prove a stunning fix?

    What about wholly removing the mantel and hearth? They crash, uncomfortably, into the glorious old window trim.

    What about then replacing the mantel with an antique wood mantel from the same era the house was built? A mantel with its original overmantel?

    Thus, the long and low current mantel, which is lost in the HUGE room, would be replaced by a visually dynamic tall mantel complementing the original trim.

    I know, a lot of work. But, again, the results might well prove spectacular.

  • March 27, 2018 Reply

    Peggy H.

    I think Ross’s (comment above) is a great idea. If you put some oversize tall wooden candlesticks on the hearth or a couple tall plants on both sides of the hearth it would make the fire box look not so small. I think the trim around it needs something darker to make it pop instead of fading away. More mantle decor too.

  • March 27, 2018 Reply

    Barb

    I love everything you’ve done with the house but I think you need some color!

  • March 28, 2018 Reply

    Debby Blum

    I would suggest you trim the outer brick of the fireplace with the slate (if possible). It will give the illusion of the fireplace being a bit larger. Then use a matching slate mantel with natural wood corbels under it where the trim pieces intersect. The slate will repeat the slate look table surface and the wood corbels stained the same color as the floor will tie it all together.

  • March 28, 2018 Reply

    Andrea Schopbach

    Maybe an interesting tile? Your colors are beautiful, a patterned tile might be nice.

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