April 14, 2015

The Cabin Fireplace- Part 5

I know, I know. Part 5.  This project is dragging on in a big way.  But there is so much to do.  So let me jump into the recent progress.

We have shelf decor! (Or a start on it anyway, it will evolve.) We have cabinet doors!  We have cabinet hardware!  We have curtains! And of course we have the TV mounted on that glorious barn wood wall. 

We also have this super-fly rug.

I scored a big deal on this sisal rug from Rugs USA during a recent clearance sale. The 7'6" x 9'6" rug is usually $649, but I got it for just $129 plus free shipping.  It's soft underfoot, but not too perfect that we have to worry about dirty feet or accidental spills.  And I love this subtle orange touch on the edges.

But sometimes the smallest details take the most time.  In order to get it right, I spent a lot of time trimming out each of the built ins.  First adding trim to the side and top, next adding the toe kicks, and finally caulking and painting every seam and nail hole.

Here's the left side in action:

And the right:

 The right side tried to kick me while I was down, as I had to use a coping saw to perfectly trim around the existing wainscoting molding.  The result after a long period of time I'm embarrassed to confirm, is this crazy, weapon looking piece of trim.

It fit in pretty rough.

But caulk and paint make it what it 'aint.  #NailedIt

That wasn't the only tricky part- I had to remove the ceiling molding on both sides to cut a perfect inside corner where it meets with the built in.  Hello again small glimpse of ugly wall paper.  We meet again for the last time.

I also had to cut perfect outside corners where the built in molding went back to the barn wood wall.

Thank God for painter's caulk.

So after all that work, we finally had this:

 Right? We've got a no joke, real deal, this-is-actually-my-living-room, living room!  Sure, we still need to officially install the fireplace (it's just sitting in there now), install the rock around it and build a mantel, but we're on the home stretch people! Who would have thought that this little wall with one, off center window could have so much potential? 

Next step- let's get the fire burning baby!

April 8, 2015

The Cabin Fireplace- Part 4

When we last left the cabin fireplace project, I had just built and painted the bookcases that would frame either side of the fireplace.  So while we were homeless up at the cabin for a week, it was the perfect time to get those bad boys in.  We started by placing in the base cabinets.  Piece of cake.

Even the little man helped out.

And played Hide and Go Seek in them.  As you can see he's an exemplary hider.   I don't want to say he's a genius, but...

The left side took a bit more care as I had to cut out for the outlet and cable jack behind it.  We specifically planned for these outlets here so that we can plug in the equipment inside the cupboards and hide all of the wires.  A small hole in the top of this base cabinet will allow us to fish a wire through so that the cable box can sit on top of this cabinet, accessible via remote without having to open the door. 

Once the base cabinets were in, it was easy to place on the uppers and secure them through the 1x4s at the top and bottom of the back panel.  Then we filled, sanded and painted the screw holes.

Huzzah- Progress!
Next it was time to hang that big bad TV, of which there has been much debate.  As you may recall, we went back and forth on whether or not to cover the TV with custom cabinet doors that could open and retract for TV viewing.  In the end it came down to cost.  I found that the hardware alone for these doors was over $300, not to mention all the wood (and time!) to build them.  In the end we decided that the doors would be open (or left open) most of the time, and would likely be more of a hassle than they were worth.  I focused instead on making the wall really interesting looking, so that the TV didn't stick out like an eyesore.  

Luckily my Dad found and purchased some old barn wood from a nearby farmer, which fit the bill perfectly.  First I needed to create a wall to attach it, and our TV mount to.  I wired an outlet on this wall so we didn't have to string the cord through to the outlet in the left base cabinet. 

From there it was pretty quick and easy to cut my boards to length and attach them with my finishing nailer.  Just look at this beautiful barn wood- already making the messy space look like a million bucks.

In under a half and hour I had this:

The tape on the top and bottom was just to mark the studs so that I could hang the TV mount.  I left off the last piece of wood at the bottom intentionally.  I drilled a small hole just above the outlet, and dropped the HDMI cables from the TV down through it. With the bottom piece of wood off, I could easily pull these cords over to the left through a small hole in the side of the built in where my cable box and Blu Ray player were waiting.  We'll screw this bottom piece in instead of nailing it, so if we ever need to replace or add more HDMI cables we can do so easily. 

And once the TV was up... magic.

Obviously there was more to do, but I'm in love with it so far.  The wood is beautiful and interesting, and the TV on top of it doesn't feel as huge and ugly as I imagined.  It sort of blends, no?

It's not done, but we're miles ahead of this:

More fireplace fun to come!