July 21, 2015

The Big Cabin Fireplace Wall Reveal

You all know that I've been a little overwhelmed lately, (which is a classy way of saying that I feel like I've been run over by a truck and every time I get back up it runs me over again.)  But I do owe you all a big Cabin Living Room reveal, and let's be honest, before and afters are good for my soul.  So let's go on a little journey...

Here's where the Cabin Living Room began just under 2 years ago.  Ouch.

Baby Bo is a little Where's Waldo.
 
First we spent weeks striping wallpaper:

  
And got a clean slate after some paint on the walls and new furniture:

Then we tore out the carpet and laid beautiful rustic hickory wood floors: 

Next I removed the window:


Build a pair of built-in bookshelves:








Finally, we built a mantel, and we have this:



I'll save your finger the scrolling, here's that before again:


And the after:

 

And here's an updated look at the cabin from entering the front door:


Let's get a close up on that lovely wall.

I love, LOVE how the inset cabinet doors that I built turned out.  It was a little, difficult detail, but I think it really makes these pieces feel original to the house and intentional.


We've filled the shelves with all shorts of old and new things that are special to us.  My Mom's uncle carved that wood heron on the top shelf, my parents picked up that piece of driftwood on their honeymoon, and I grew up with that fan which was a relic from early in my parent's marriage (and I remember always hating to be the kid that got stuck with it on hot nights because it rattled.)  A stack of classic books will help to fill lazy afternoons, and I'd hear "Go Jump in the Lake" dozens of times every summer weekend growing up whenever I dared to say I was bored. 

On the other side a basket of binoculars and bird books will help us discover the local fowl, and that wooden loon is a favorite of my Dad's.  The cupboard is packed with games for rainy days.

My Mom remembers taking that box camera on a field trip with her to the state capital in elementary school.  


 

And how cozy will that fireplace be this winter?




But in the meantime we'll finally enjoy our cabin summer the way it was meant to be, outdoors, work free and full of memories.


 Want to follow along on the big cabin fireplace wall project from the beginning?

Removing the Window
Part 1- Framing The Fireplace
Part 2- Building the Built-Ins
Part 3- Finishing the Built-Ins
Part 4- Installing the Built-Ins & Building Barn Wood TV Wall
Part 5- Triming Out the Built-Ins (to make them look "built in.")
Part 6- Creating a Stacked Stone Fireplace Surround 
Part 7- Building the Fireplace Mantel 




June 26, 2015

Cabin Fireplace Part 7- Building the Mantel

For those of you still with me as I get get lost on this crazy house journey, thank you.  I owe you good, fun, quality project updates, so let's take my mind off my house-reno-that-never-ends and head to my happy place; our cabin up north.  

When I last left you we had created a stacked stone fireplace and all that was left was the mantel.   I had initially built a frame out of 2x4s, but once that big, beefy stone was in it was clear my whimpy mantel wasn't going to cut it.
 
  
It wasn't going to be easy though, as no one on the internet seemed to have my same odd configuration for a mantel.  So I fell asleep a few nights building and rebuilding it in my head, until I came up with this crazy configuration. I built it out of scrap studs in our garage, (those red boards are left over from the addition-that-became-a-brand-new-deck project. )You'll see that I had to make 2 boxes, one that fit in between the shelves, and one slightly wider one that could stick out over the fireplace rock.


You might also notice that the back box was 1/2" taller than the front one.
 

Here's why- so I could fit a 1/2" piece of plywood on top.


Or on the bottom that is.  Once I attached the plywood, I flipped over the entire piece, so that the 1/2" plywood stuck out from the fireplace on the bottom of the mantel for a nice, clean look.


Then I wrapped the sides with 1x8's, mitered to a nice perfect corner.  (I only had to cut it about 7 times to reach perfection.)



I built the sides to be 1/2" taller than the studs, so that I could set in a 1/2" sheet of plywood to complete the top.


You'll notice we have cables running behind the TV wall, and if you look close you can see in this pic the hole we drilled where the wires go from this area to the built in shelf on the left. We'll put the last piece of barn wood up with screws so that we can always remove this piece if needed to adjust the cords.


Now that my little Frankenstein was complete, it was time to finish it.  I went back and forth a million times, and finally stained a scrap piece and let the family vote.


Dark was the winner!


And after a couple of coats of glossy poly, we finally had this:


So there you have it. The hard work is done and we're ready for the big reveal.  I promise that I won't keep you waiting long this time.  You all know the before and after is my favorite part!  So stay tuned for what is bound to be a 50+ picture post soon!


Pst- Want to follow along on the big cabin fireplace wall project from the beginning?  Or jump straight to the end?  Here you go:

Removing the Window
Part 1- Framing The Fireplace
Part 2- Building the Built-Ins
Part 3- Finishing the Built-Ins
Part 4- Installing the Built-Ins & Building Barn Wood TV Wall
Part 5- Triming Out the Built-Ins (to make them look "built in.")
Part 6- Creating a Stacked Stone Fireplace Surround 
Part 7- Building the Fireplace Mantel 
The Big Cabin Fireplace Wall Reveal